Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

September 14, 2005

NATIONAL

Roberts says Roe is `settled'

From the opening moments of the second day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge John G. Roberts Jr., Roe v. Wade and the right to privacy it was built on was a topic of conversation between the 50-year-old nominee and the committee members. Roberts called the landmark 1973 abortion rights case "settled as a precedent of the court." [Page 1a]

Bush takes blame for relief

President Bush took responsibility yesterday for federal government mistakes in dealing with Hurricane Katrina and suggested the calamity raised broader questions about the government's ability to handle both natural disasters and terror attacks. [Page 1a]

WORLD

A darker side of China

For the past year, Chinese President Hu Jintao has presided over a stepped-up crackdown on dissidents, according to activists, scholars and journalists working there -- a darker side of a country that is rapidly modernizing and opening up to the rest of the world. [Page 11a]

MARYLAND

A failure to communicate

A 46-truck convoy of Baltimore first responders and equipment on its way to Louisiana on Sunday received an education in emergency communications: Even a multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art system can fail. [Page 1b]

Teen acquitted of murder

The teenage getaway driver in the fatal shooting of an educator in the Towson Town Center garage was convicted yesterday of attempted armed robbery, but was acquitted of a first-degree murder charge -- a jury verdict that appeared to skirt the judge's instructions and spared the 18-year-old defendant a potential life sentence. [Page 1b]

Property tax break weighed

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. renewed his call for a property tax reduction yesterday, saying he is developing a proposal that could provide a break for first-time homebuyers and lower-income senior citizens. But members of the Board of Public Works, which rejected a similar proposal earlier this year, said the state needs the money to pay for education and other programs. [Page 1b]

Frederick mayor concedes

The embattled mayor of Frederick, Jennifer P. Dougherty, lost her bid for a second term last night as she was defeated in a Democratic primary pitting the city's first female chief executive against a former mayor hoping to win his job back. [Page 2b]

TODAY

Blogging with his constituents

A blog begun by Washington Mayor Anthony A. Williams to further connect him with constituents has been a big hit -- 1,112 of them, in fact, in the two days after its Aug. 16 launch. Respondents have been free with gripes, like parking and a lack of good restaurants, and some sharp criticism, but Williams hopes the blog will also help fill in the big picture about how to better serve the city. [Page 1c]

A sharper line for Ellen Tracy

Ellen Tracy, which had lost business to cooler clothing designers, unveiled its newest spring looks -- by its not-so-secret weapon, designer George Sharp, former head of the Escada label -- at Fashion Week in New York yesterday. "It's a great new direction," says Frank Doroff, a merchandise manager for Bloomingdale's. [Page 1c]

BUSINESS

Airlines ponder Chapter 11

Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines are both preparing to seek bankruptcy protection as soon as today, people close to both companies said yesterday. If they both file for Chapter 11, four of the industry's seven biggest airlines would operate under bankruptcy protection, reflecting the deep competitive issues that have battered the airlines since 2000. [Page 1d]

Race and mortgage rates

Federal regulators reported yesterday that African-American homebuyers are nearly twice as likely as white applicants to get mortgages with higher interest rates, though they warned that more probing is needed to show discrimination, a Federal Reserve study showed. [Page 1d]

Constellation seeks bid for plant

Baltimore-based Constellation Energy Group, with a New York-based hedge fund, plans to offer $3.5 billion for the United Kingdom's largest power plant, perhaps marking a new phase in the power providers' strategy to export its business model overseas. [Page 1d]

SPORTS

Ravens to re-sign Stewart

The Ravens are expected to re-sign Kordell Stewart as early as today, sources said. Stewart will give the team a veteran quarterback to back up Anthony Wright for Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans while starter Kyle Boller recovers from a hyperextended right big toe. [Page 1e]

Orioles win fourth in row, 4-3

Luis Matos drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the ninth inning, helping the Orioles win their fourth straight game with a 4-3 victory over the Rangers in Arlington, Texas. Orioles reliever Chris Ray (1-3) gave up the tying run in the eighth but got the win. B.J. Ryan got three outs for his 33rd save. [Page 1e]

Horsemen, breeders make case

Maryland's horsemen and breeders made impassioned pleas to the Maryland Racing Commission in a bid to stop Magna Entertainment Corp. from implementing a plan that would shut down thoroughbred racing from mid-May through October and from selling the Bowie Training Center. [Page 1e]

WORKING

Tips for stress-free relocation

Relocating involves many of the most stressful events in life. It's crucial to negotiate the best package for yourself and your family to minimize the financial and emotional stress of moving. [Page 1k)

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