SUN NEWS DIGEST

THE BALTIMORE SUN

NATIONAL

Extra tight security for inauguralLaw enforcement agencies planning for this month's inauguration ceremonies -- the country's first since 9/11 -- are putting the final stitches into what is considered the largest and most comprehensive security net ever attempted in the nation's capital. [Page 1a ]

Ex-congresswoman Chisholm dies

Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and an outspoken advocate for women and minorities during seven terms in the House, died near Daytona Beach, friends said Sunday. She was 80. Chisholm was elected to the U.S. House in 1968 and was a riveting speaker who often criticized Congress as being too clubby and unresponsive. [Page 1a]

US Airways weathers holiday

More than 100 US Airways executives and other employees volunteered to serve coffee and snacks, sort and move bags and help passengers find their way at Philadelphia International Airport to try to avoid a repeat of the bankrupt carrier's Christmas weekend debacle. The airline reported no problems by late yesterday afternoon. [Page 3a]

WORLD

Food, water top priorities

A Sumatran fisherman was discovered barely alive under his beached boat -- the first survivor found in three days -- but with tens of thousands still missing in crushed seaside settlements and in the flotsam washing the shores of the Indian Ocean, rescuers turned full attention to getting food and water to the living. Aid agencies said the death toll was expected to hit 150,000. [Page 1a]

At least 22 dead in Iraq bombing

A suicide car bombing killed at least 22 members of the Iraqi National Guard, one of the highest death tolls in months for Iraqi security forces under siege from guerrilla fighters. The attack occurred in Balad, a mostly Shiite Muslim city north of Baghdad in an area heavy with Sunni insurgent activity. [Page 6a]

Israelis launch Gaza raids

Israeli soldiers and tanks swept into the northern Gaza Strip in what the military said was the latest attempt to prevent Palestinian militants from firing rockets into communities in southern Israel. The operation took place not far from where the interim Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, was campaigning in his bid to be elected president of the Palestinian Authority. [Page 6a]

Argentina fire victims mourned

Mourning families buried victims of the nightclub fire that killed at least 188 people and injured more than 700. The funerals came before a pot-banging protest as irate Buenos Aires residents demanded a full government accounting of Thursday's calamity, the worst fire tragedy in this country in recent memory. [Page 6a]

MARYLAND

Auction may end rowhouse fight

Three historic but blighted rowhouses are headed to the auction block tomorrow, an event that could end a long battle over the properties that pitted a church-related corporation against the city and an East Baltimore community group. The houses are owned by Apostolic Community Development Corp., an arm of a prominent church. [Page 1A)

Arundel test sparks protest

Students and their parents complained recently after students at some Anne Arundel County high schools had to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery unless they opted out. School officials say the test used by the military as a recruiting tool is not mandatory but acknowledge that the message might not have reached all students. [Page 1a]

Library expands bilingual efforts

Officials are trying to better serve the growing number of immigrants who live in Baltimore County with bilingual library programs and materials. Spanish, Korean and Russian books are available at seven branches, and some story times will now be offered in Russian and Spanish. [Page 1b]

TODAY

TV midseason starts tonight

For the TV networks, midseason used to be a tryout time and dumping ground for new series that failed to make the fall schedules. Not anymore. Midseason has become a season unto itself. This year it is starting earlier than ever -- tonight -- and offers a promising roster of new dramas, sitcoms and reality series. [Page 1c]

Changes at houses of worship

At least three historic houses of worship in the Baltimore area are vacant this winter and either up for sale or about to get new owners. The building with the most uncertain future is the former Bolton Street Synagogue, which is scheduled to be sold at an auction on the Bolton Street premises this month. [Page 1c]

SPORTS

Season ends for Ravens

The Ravens defeated the Miami Dolphins, 30-23, to finish the regular season with a 9-7 record, but they were eliminated from playoff contention when the Denver Broncos defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 33-14. Problems on offense have led to speculation that offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh is about to lose his job. [Pages 1a, 1e

]

Concern over pain medicine

Recent studies about heart-related side effects of the drugs Vioxx, Celebrex and Bextra have professional and recreational athletes wondering about the management of pain. Some health professionals say use of anti-inflammatory medication should be measured against the frequency of use. [Page 1d]

Dixon leads Wizards to win

Wizards reserve guard Juan Dixon scored all 15 of his points in the fourth quarter to lead Washington to a 104-101 victory over Atlanta for the Hawks' fourth straight loss. Dixon, who starred at Calvert Hall and Maryland, had played only 33 minutes in the Wizards' previous five games. [Page 5d ]

TODAY ONLINE

TSUNAMI UPDATES

For developments in the cleanup and relief efforts in the wake of the deadly tsunamis. www.baltimoresun.com/tsunami

NEW YEAR'S WEATHER

Get the current weather conditions, plus the forecast for the first work week of 2005 and Sun science writer Frank Roylance's blog. www.marylandweather.com

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