Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

December 16, 2005

NATIONAL

Army meets recruiting goal

The Army met its recruiting goal for November by again accepting a high percentage of recruits who scored in the lowest category on the military's aptitude tests, Pentagon officials said, raising renewed concerns that the quality of the all-volunteer force will suffer. pg 5a

WORLD

Iraqis cast votes

Iraqis across ethnic, sectarian and religious divides voted in droves yesterday in a high-stakes election that could determine the course of the nation and the success or failure of the U.S. effort to promote western-style democracy in the Middle East. pg 1a

Iran leader's rhetoric

Experts say Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's harsh rhetoric was an effort to signal that Iran, not al-Qaida, is the leading force behind militant Islam. And by appealing to Muslims worldwide, he aimed to bolster his regime at home and win support from Arab nations against the West. pg 16a

MARYLAND

Reading, analytical skills drop

More Americans are getting college degrees than they were about a decade ago, but skills in reading and analyzing data among the well-educated have dropped significantly, according to a national report on literacy released yesterday. One positive finding of the National Assessment of Adult Literacy was that African-Americans are making significant gains in both reading and math and that the black population is reaching higher levels of education. Marylanders scored higher in nearly every category than the nation as a whole. pg 1a

BUSINESS

DOW -- DOWN

-1.84

10,881.67

NASDAQ -- DOWN

-1.96

2,260.63

S&P -- DOWN

-1.80

1,270.94

SUN INDEX -- DOWN

-0.28

328.40

Power-sharing deal possible

Baltimore's Constellation Energy Group and Florida-based FPL Group Inc. are in the final stages of working out a merger agreement that would leave the combined company with joint headquarters in Baltimore and Florida and include an unusual power-sharing agreement between the two chief executives, according to a source familiar with the talks. pg 1a

SPORTS

Robinson will be back with Nats

The Washington Nationals announced that Frank Robinson, 70, is returning as manager next year. However, first-base coach Don Buford, another former Oriole, won't be back. pg 1f

MOVIES TODAY

Hard to embrace `Stone'

In the home-for-the-holidays comedy-drama The Family Stone, the talented Sarah Jessica Parker gives an excruciating performance. It's a keenly self-conscious caricature - the bold, showy kind that often wins awards yet sends audiences running from the theater. pg 1c

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"It's blasphemy. They're doing this to pay for a new stadium? I hope the thing collapses."

Jerry Kelly, 72, of Reisterstown, a diehard fan of the Baltimore Colts who is upset with Indiana's plan to sell license plates that refer to old Colts stars

Article, PG 1a

Up next

Tomorrow

Passing the test-drive test

It's the end of the year, a great time to buy a car. But what do you really know about taking a test drive?

IN GO TODAY

Wednesday

Christmas brunch

Make an easy brunch to satisfy the hungry on Christmas morning.

IN TASTE

ONLINE

TODAY

Utility talks

For recent updates and archived coverage on Constellation Energy Group and FPL Group Inc. talks: baltimoresun.com/constellation

NFL TOP 5

Baltimore Sun sports reporter Ken Murray makes picks and predictions for the best NFL games of the weekend: baltimoresun.com/murraynfl

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