Sun News Digest

August 20, 2005

NATIONAL

Merck held liable in Vioxx death

Jurors yesterday held drug giant Merck & Co. liable for the heart-related death of a 59-year-old marathon runner who took its prescription painkiller Vioxx, slapping the company with a $253.4 million judgment. [Page 1a]

King may not fully recover

Coretta Scott King, wife of the late civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., managed to say a few words yesterday, but her physician said she might not recover fully from a stroke. King, 78, suffered the stroke Tuesday morning when a blood clot became lodged in the part of her brain that controls speech, said Dr. Margaret Mermin. King has not been able to walk or speak since. [Page 3a]

Frist aligns himself with Bush

The Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, aligned himself with President Bush yesterday when he said that the theory of intelligent design should be taught along with evolution in public schools. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Ships are vulnerable to attack

Analysts say yesterday's failed rocket attack on a U.S. ship at a port in Jordan illustrates a vulnerability of Naval vessels in foreign ports, despite increased security measures since the USS Cole attack. [Page 1a]

Moroccan sentenced to 7 years

A German court sentenced a Moroccan linked to the Sept. 11 hijackers to seven years in prison but ruled that the man was not involved in plotting the attacks. [Page 10a]

MARYLAND

Correctional officers indicted

A Baltimore grand jury indicted three correctional officers with second-degree murder in the stomping death of a 51-year-old man at the Central Booking and Intake Center, a brutal melee that spurred federal and state investigations and cast a glaring spotlight on troubles this spring at the beleaguered facility. [Page 1a]

Homeowners sent faulty letters

The city government's routine annual effort to register new Baltimore landlords has resulted in faulty letters being sent to hundreds and possibly thousands of homeowners. The letters accuse the homeowners of failing to register their rental units and threaten them with criminal charges and fines if they don't comply. Housing officials have apologized. [Page 1a]

Man charged in strangulation

City police charged a registered child sex offender with strangling a 36-year-old woman whose body was discovered last week in a safe at a South Baltimore company. Oswald V. Voigt, 48, a Halethorpe resident, was charged with murder and assault in the death of Robin Hoey. [Page 3b]

SPORTS

Indians rally past Orioles

Ben Broussard hit a home run off Orioles reliever Steve Kline leading off the 10th inning, and the Cleveland Indians rallied from three runs down in the eighth to defeat the Orioles, 5-4. The Indians' Casey Blake's three-run homer in the eighth tied the game at 4. [Page 1c]

J. Lewis, Owens to sit

Ravens running back Jamal Lewis (sore ankle) and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens (groin injury) will not play in tonight's NFL preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium. [Page 1c]

Mets edge Nationals, 1-0

Jae Seo allowed four hits in eight innings to outpitch John Patterson, and Victor Diaz drove in the only run as the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals, 1-0. [Page 5c]

BUSINESS

Alion protests loss of contract

Alion Science and Technology Corp., an Annapolis defense contractor, is protesting the award of a key contract to a competitor who, it says, would effectively be evaluating the work of its own parent company. [Page 10c]

Jobs and unemployment are up

Maryland employers added 4,500 jobs last month, but the hiring spree was not enough to keep the unemployment rate from edging upward. The jobless rate rose to 4.4 percent from 4.2 percent in June, according to preliminary numbers released by the Labor Department. [Page 10c]

Trucking regulations criticized

The Bush administration announced trucking regulations that left intact a controversial, 2-year-old provision allowing drivers to stay on the road 11 hours without a required rest, drawing immediate criticism from highway safety activists. [Page 10c]

TODAY

Protecting a stable profession

You see them occasionally in downtown Baltimore: mounted police officers among densely populated areas in need of crowd control. What you don't see are people like Wiley Wainwright, one of three horse caretakers, or hostlers, at the Baltimore Police Mounted Unit. He is part of a long tradition of a division of Baltimore law enforcement that dates to 1888. [Page 1d]

California paints town Brown

In tribute to Peanuts cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, who lived and worked in Santa Rosa, Calif., for four decades, the city has painted the town Brown. Fifty-five large sculptures of Charlie Brown stand throughout Santa Rosa, offering proof that although he was a loser in love, baseball and everything else, Charlie Brown wins the game of attracting tourists. [Page 1d]

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"At first, it takes you back because you do not know what it is all about ... and looking at some of the soctumes, I was like 'whoa.'"

Sharon Andrews, on people dressed in costumes for Otakon, a Japanese anime convention held in Baltimore (Article, Page 1B)

TODAY ONLINE

MALPRACTICE INSURANCE

The state's largest malpractice insurer will not seek another increase for next year. For archived coverage, go to: www.baltimoresun.com/malpractice

RAVENS BEST

Sharpe or Sharper? Ray, Jamal or Jermaine Lewis? Cast your vote for your all-time favorite Ravens at www.baltimoresun.com/alldecade

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