SUN NEWS DIGEST

THE BALTIMORE SUN

NATIONAL

Avian flu raises epidemic concerns

Scientists have reported the first case of avian flu passing from person to person, fulfilling what some say could be an intermediate step toward the deadly flu becoming a human epidemic. The case occurred in Thailand, where an 11-year-old girl who caught the virus from infected chickens apparently transmitted the disease to her mother and an aunt. The report is scheduled to appear this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. [Page 1a]

Budget may scuttle Hubble repairs

On orders from the White House, NASA's next budget reportedly will scuttle all proposals to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope with a manned shuttle mission or robots. If upheld by Congress, the decision would mean that the space observatory is likely to suffer gyroscope breakdowns or battery failures that would cripple it by 2007. [Page 3a]

Blizzard slams the Northeast

A howling blizzard slammed the Northeast yesterday with more than 2 feet of snow and hurricane-strength wind gusts, halting air travel for thousands of people, keeping others off slippery highways and burying parked cars under deep drifts. At least six deaths were linked to the weather, three in Ohio, two in Wisconsin and one in Pennsylvania. [Page 5a]

WORLD

Security concerns cloud election

A week before Iraq's national elections, security concerns dominated yesterday as the top U.S. official in Baghdad acknowledged concerns about voter intimidation. U.S. Ambassador John D. Negroponte said American and Iraqi forces could not guarantee voter safety in Sunday's elections. [Page 1a]

Yushchenko sworn in as president

Viktor A. Yushchenko was sworn in as Ukraine's new president yesterday, then returned to Independence Square minutes later to thank his countrymen who launched a civil disobedience campaign that propelled his Orange Revolution into power. His tribute to tens of thousands who gathered yesterday was a fitting coda to the political drama that drew the world's attention to this square. [Page 7a]

2 linked to al-Qaida arrested

German police arrested two suspected al-Qaida terrorists yesterday. One attempted to buy enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb, the other allegedly planned a suicide attack in Iraq. German Federal Prosecutor Kay Nehm said the two arrests took place early yesterday and came after months of investigation. [Page 7a]

MARYLAND

Worker visa program capped

Thousands of temporary workers essential to keeping many summer industries humming will not be allowed into the country this year to take their regular jobs. A cap on the number of foreign seasonal workers is blocking them. For the first time since the seasonal worker visa program was established in 1990, the nationwide limit of 66,000 workers was reached early enough this month to close the door before many seafood processors and landscapers were allowed to apply. [Page 1a]

UM facility opens in Hagerstown

A long-awaited satellite branch of the University System of Maryland is scheduled to open in Hagerstown today. The center is Maryland's first public institution of higher learning in nearly eight years. [Page 1b]

Making a pitch for school repairs

Maryland's local governments are making a pitch for more state money for school construction and repairs, an issue that Republicans and Democrats agree is a top concern on their agendas for the 90-day General Assembly session. [Page 1b]

TODAY

Johnny Carson dies at 79

Johnny Carson, who died yesterday at age 79, helped advance the careers of many of today's comedians by inviting them on his Tonight Show during his three-decade run. [Pages 1a, 1c]

Trump, you're married!

In a simple, short wedding ceremony real estate mogul Donald Trump married model Melania Knauss Saturday evening in Palm Beach, Fla. Then limousines whisked him and some 400 guests to his private estate for a reception. [Page 1c]

Ice Cube heats up box office

Are We There Yet? starring rapper Ice Cube takes over the No. 1 spot at the box office. [Page 3c]

SPORTS

Eagles, Patriots reach Super Bowl

The Eagles overcame the burden of three straight losses in NFC championship games by defeating the Atlanta Falcons, 27-10, in blustery conditions in Philadelphia. In the AFC title game, the defending Super Bowl-champion New England Patriots beat the Steelers, 41-27, in Pittsburgh. The Eagles are seeking their first Super Bowl title and the Patriots their third in the past four seasons. [Page 1d]

Terps lose to N.C. State, 85-69

Maryland scored just five field goals in the first half and trailed by 26 points at halftime in an 85-69 loss to North Carolina State. Julius Hodge had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Wolfpack, which won for just the second time in seven games. The Terps fell to 11-5 overall and 2-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. [Page 1d]

Woods takes Buick Invitational

Ending the longest stroke-play drought of his PGA Tour career, Tiger Woods survived a 31-hole final day to win the Buick Invitational by three shots. He hadn't won a stroke-play event since October 2003. [Page 8d]

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Baltimore is better than reality TV. Just open your eyes. ... Just eavesdrop on people. You hear the most amazing things."

Director John Waters on using the city as his inspiration for his films (Article, Page 3B)

TODAY ONLINE

GENERAL ASSEMBLY COVERAGE

Find coverage of the 2005 General Assembly session, including a separate story gallery on slot machines and links to relevant resources at www.baltimoresun.com/politics

THE DAY IN PICTURES

View our Day in Pictures archive, featuring top photos from The Sun and wire services from the past two weeks at www.baltimoresun.com/dayinpics

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