More headaches for air travelers

Days of bad weather, a computer malfunction and sick airline employees put tens of thousands of travelers in holiday limbo yesterday, with regional carrier Comair canceling all of its flights and US Airways trying to reconnect thousands of pieces of luggage with their owners. [Page 3a

States recover from record snow

Much of the nation experienced a bone-chilling Christmas yesterday, but holiday travelers made it out in droves despite record snow that shut down highways two days earlier in the central states. South Texas awoke to a rare blanket of snow, when accumulations of up to 13 inches shattered records for the region. [Page 3a


Abbas reassures Palestinians

Mahmoud Abbas, the front-runner in January's election for a successor to Yasser Arafat as Palestinian leader, launched his campaign yesterday, appealing to voters who worry that he might surrender core tenets of their long fight for statehood. [Page 1a

Ukraine court overturns changes

On the eve of Ukraine's hotly contested presidential vote, the nation's highest court yesterday threw out some of the election law changes aimed at battling fraud, a possible setback for opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko. The ruling could provide grounds for a dispute over today's vote. [Page 26a

Toll from Iraqi explosion rises

The death toll from the blast of a tanker truck in Baghdad on Christmas Eve rose to nine yesterday, and violence elsewhere killed at least five Iraqis. Meanwhile, the U.S. military said that it had captured two local leaders of an insurgent group affiliated with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most wanted man in Iraq. [Page 27a


Island preserved as sanctuary

It took five years, an act of Congress and a presidential signature, but two residents have saved Garrett Island from commercial development. The nonprofit Conservation Fund, which bought the mile-long island, will turn over ownership to the National Wildlife Refuge System, enabling Garrett to live on as a bird sanctuary. [Page 1b

Recovery group opens market

I Can't We Can, a nonprofit organization that operates eight halfway houses in the city, has opened the 10,000-square-foot Your Marketplace yesterday in West Baltimore. In addition to a supermarket, the center on Park Heights Avenue offers drug counseling, HIV testing, massage therapy and lessons in tai-chi. [Page 1b

11th-hour reprieve for shoppers

Last-minute shoppers hit the few stores that were open Christmas Day for that last missing ingredient for a holiday recipe, a present for a forgotten relative, or maybe some soda, ice cream, mints or Marlboros. [Page 1b


Heat edge Lakers in overtime

Miami Heat defeated the host Los Angeles Lakers, 104-102, to extend their winning streak to 11 games, equaling a franchise record. The Lakers' Kobe Bryant scored a season-high 42 points, and ex-teammate Shaquille O'Neal had 24 points and 11 rebounds in his first game against Los Angeles since he was traded to the Heat. [Page 1e

Pistons, Pacers resume play

Peace prevailed as the Detroit Pistons beat the host Indiana Pacers, 98-93, in the teams' first meeting since their Nov. 19 brawl. Rasheed Wallace's three-pointer with 90 seconds left helped to ensure the victory. [Page 1e

Saban to coach Dolphins

LSU coach Nick Saban has accepted an offer to coach the Miami Dolphins. Saban will coach LSU in its bowl game before he takes over the Dolphins. He becomes the sixth coach in team history, and the fourth since Wayne Huizenga took over as owner in 1994. [Page 3e


Doctors adopt pressure tactics

Physicians around the country are taking a page out of labor and protest movements to counter rising premiums for malpractice insurance. Analysts say their pressure has helped move the issue to the top of the political agenda - as it has in Maryland, where a special legislative session on the matter convenes Tuesday. [Page 1a

Retailers look hard at exchanges

Estimates are that one in five shoppers will crowd malls and discount stores today to begin cashing in gift cards and to return or exchange gifts that didn't meet their tastes. But faced with rising fraud, retailers are tightening exchange and refund policies - at the risk of alienating customers. [Page 1d

Tourism industry applauds move

The state's decision to move its cruise ship terminal from a cargo port in Dundalk to a less crowded pier in South Locust Point is drawing approval from the local industry, which feared tourism would suffer without a move. [Page 1d


Frustrated, a city artist packs up

Fifteen years after it began, the Interstate 83 "Gateway of Color" project that saw 16 bridges across the Jones Falls Expressway repainted is all but complete. The artist-activist who saw it through, Stan Edmister, is leaving town. [Page 9f


A healthy step toward conciliation

To forgive may not be divine, researchers say, but it can be good for you. Studies of the health benefits of forgiveness have shown it to be a useful tool in reconciling couples and families, a link to a lessening of chronic back pain and depression, and a coping mechanism for people with HIV/AIDS. [Page 1n


"I've loved Baltimore for a long time but ... it has become a very frustrating place. I've learned that anything a bureaucracy comes up with is going to be fraught with graft, incompetence and corruption."

Stan Edmister, artist and civic activist (Article, Page 9F)



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