Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

August 30, 2005

NATIONAL

Katrina batters Gulf coast

Hurricane Katrina, the most powerful storm to strike the United States in more than three decades, smashed into the Gulf Coast, battering the nearly-deserted city of New Orleans but saving its worst fury for the Mississippi shoreline. At least nine people died as buildings collapsed, floods inundated towns and residents retreated to wind-blown roofs across four states. [Page 1a]

Democrats question demotion

Congressional Democrats demanded an investigation into the demotion of a senior U.S. military contracting official who publicly criticized a no-bid contract awarded to Halliburton Corp. for work in Iraq. [Page 3a]

Academy prayer policy altered

Seeking to curb a climate at the U.S. Air Force Academy that some cadets have said is intolerant of non-Christians, the Air Force offered new guidelines that discourage public prayer, disappointing critics who had sought a ban. [Page 5a]

WORLD

Shift in Iraq charter fight

After battling over Iraq's draft constitution for months in the halls of government, Iraq's Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds prepared to take their fight over the charter to the streets, mosques and airwaves ahead of a nationwide referendum on the document. [Page 11a]

Chinese police raid rights group

Chinese police raided the office of a American-financed human rights group shortly before the arrival of the U.N. human rights chief yesterday, as authorities sought to keep a rein on dissent during the visit. [Page 11a]

Iranian nuclear freeze urged

President Jacques Chirac of France warned Iran that it would face censure by the United Nations Security Council if it did not reinstate a freeze on sensitive nuclear activities under an accord reached last November. [Page 11a]

MARYLAND

High school pays heavy war toll

Students returned to the first day at Forest Park High School and mourned two recent graduates who died within weeks fighting overseas. Army Staff Sgt. Damion Campbell was killed Friday in Afghanistan. Army Spc. Toccara Renee Green died in Iraq on Aug. 14. Yesterday, junior ROTC students expressed sorrow and fear about their own futures. [Page 1a]

Baltimore Improv closes its doors

The owners of the Baltimore Improv comedy club closed the venue without warning this weekend. Improv officials said rowdy conditions at Power Plant Live, the popular city party spot the comedy club has called home since 2001, made it impossible to continue doing business there. Power Plant officials denied the allegations. [Page 1b]

Pa. fugitive found dead

A three-day manhunt for an armed Pennsylvania fugitive ended early yesterday when his body was found in a small dirt parking area of Patapsco Valley State Park in Howard County -- an apparent suicide, police said. [Page 1b]

TODAY

Pratt to show Emmett Till film

Today, 50 years after Emmett Till was beaten and killed by two white men after he purportedly whistled at a white woman in Money, Miss., the Enoch Pratt Free Library will show and have a panel discussion on the Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary film The Murder of Emmett Till. [Page 1c]

Paltrow on Pitt-Aniston split

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow says in Time magazine that Brad Pitt's breakup with Jennifer Aniston proves the danger of allowing details of a private relationship to become public. Paltrow, who dated Pitt and is married to Coldplay singer Chris Martin, says she values her privacy more than ever. [Page 2c]

BUSINESS

8 ex-KPMG executives indicted

Eight former executives of the accounting firm KPMG LLP were indicted yesterday on charges of conspiring to defraud the federal government by selling questionable tax shelters that deprived the Internal Revenue Service of billions of dollars in revenues. [Page 1d]

Strong corporate plane market

Corporate planes are being manufactured, bought, leased and shared by U.S. businesses in larger numbers than at any time since the 2001 terrorist attacks dampened the market. They range from small propeller planes costing less than $2 million to trans-oceanic jets worth more than $40 million. The users don't see private planes as an indulgence, but as a sign of success. [Page 1d]

SPORTS

O's Tejada ready to end streak

Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada, who has played in 886 consecutive games since May 31, 2000, said that he will probably miss a game at some point over the next four weeks. Yesterday, Tejada went 0-for-6 in the Orioles' 10-5 loss to the Oakland Athletics. [Page 1e]

Kuznetsova ousted at U.S. Open

Svetlana Kuznetsova became the first women's defending champion to lose in the first round of the U.S. Open. Kuznetsova fell, 6-3, 6-2, to fellow Russian Ekaterina Bychkova. [Page 6e]

Ravens show interest in Simon

The Ravens expressed an interest in signing defensive tackle Corey Simon, who became an unrestricted free agent Sunday when the Philadelphia Eagles removed the franchise tag from the disgruntled six-year veteran. [Page 7e]

TODAY ONLINE

WHEN TO DISCLOSE

To ask Sun columnist Eileen Ambrose a question about when to disclose your Social Security number, go to www.baltimoresun.com/social

GAY MARRIAGE

For archived coverage of the growing dialogue over same-sex marriages and civil unions, go to www.baltimoresun.com/gaymarriage.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"It's almost humorous. There's never a day that somebody doesn't bring it up. But people mean well; they don't ask these questions to be mean."

Paul LaRuffa, 58, who was shot during the Washington-area sniper killing spree in the fall of 2002 (Article, Page 1C)

MARKETS

DOW -- UP

+65.76

10,463.05

NASDAQ -- UP

+16.88

2,137.65

S&P -- UP

+7.18

1,212.28

SUNINDEX -- UP

+2.24

325.35

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