Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

November 30, 2005

NATIONAL

Hurricane season ends today

The most active and destructive hurricane season in U.S. history officially ends today, but don't count it over yet. Forecasters christened the year's record-smashing 26th tropical storm Epsilon yesterday, shortly before gathering in Washington and Miami to discuss the 2005 season's historic nature. pg 3a

WORLD

5 taken hostage in Iraq

Four Western peace activists and a German archaeologist were taken hostage in Iraq. Meanwhile, President Bush said yesterday that a U.S. military pullout from Iraq would be a mistake. He is to give a speech on the subject today at the Naval Academy. pg 1a

Chemical spill poses dangers

Experts warned yesterday that dangers from a huge chemical spill in the Chinese city of Harbin could last for years because of toxins - including cancer-causing benzene - embedded in ice and mud at the bottom of the Songhua River. pg 10a

MARYLAND

BDC plans closed meeting

The fate of a valuable waterfront property in South Baltimore commands widespread interest, but a Baltimore Development Corp. briefing on the subject next week will be conducted behind closed doors, by invitation only. Some people are alleging violations of open meetings law and saying the secrecy typifies the BDC's approach. pg 1a

Ads aim to save inmate's life

Claiming Maryland's death penalty is unfairly skewed by race and geography, a new ad campaign calls upon Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele to commute the sentence of death row inmate Wesley Eugene Baker, who is scheduled to be executed next week for the fatal shooting of a woman in Baltimore in 1991. pg 1a

SPORTS

Konerko rejects O's offer

Slugger Paul Konerko turned down the Orioles' latest contract offer, a five-year deal worth $65 million, a move that threatens to end the club's courtship of the free-agent first baseman. pg 1e

TODAY

From addict to living example

After a drug-related shooting left him bleeding on the pavement, Carneal Means changed his ways and began working to help others. "My goal is to save as many lives as I can, to get as many addicts off drugs as possible and bring them to God," says Means, a former crack addict. pg 1c

BUSINESS

DOW -- DOWN

-2.56

10,888.16

NASDAQ -- DOWN

-6.66

2,232.71

S&P -- UP

+0.02

1,257.48

SUN INDEX -- UP

+1.11

327.02

U.S. Foodservice to be split

As the latest step in a recovery effort precipitated by a $1 billion-plus accounting scandal nearly three years ago, Royal Ahold NV said yesterday it will boost profit at its Columbia-based U.S. Foodservice unit by splitting it into two parts. It also plans to cut administrative costs by $100 million by 2008, although it did not provide details. pg 1d

Big drug patents about to expire

So-called blockbuster drugs have earned billions for their creators, but patents are soon to expire on some of the most popular products, opening their formulas to generic copycats and threatening future profits. That situation underlies this week's announcement by Merck & Co. Inc. that it will lay off 7,000 employees, the latest of "Big Pharma" to cut jobs and close plants. pg 1d

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"If you don't have access to the Internet, you better have a strong wrist because you're going to grow up flipping burgers. Part of this is about treating low-income people like human beings."

Alec Ross of One Economy, a group that helps give low-income people access to technology.

Article, PG 2B

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