SUN NEWS DIGEST

THE BALTIMORE SUN

NATIONAL

Man charged in fatal train crash:

A suicidal man who is accused of parking his SUV in the path of a commuter train in Glendale, Calif., triggering a horrific wreck that killed 11 people, was charged with murder and could face the death penalty, authorities said. [Page 3a]

Contraceptive decision delayed

The Food and Drug Administration has delayed a decision on whether the morning-after pill -- called Plan B -- may be sold over the counter, prompting critics to complain that politics is interfering with science. [Page 9a]

WORLD

Jordan anxiously eyes Iran

While the world focuses on Sunday's election in Iraq, Jordanian leaders are nervously looking past Iraq and to Iran, which they fear is trying to influence the election and expand its brand of fundamentalist Islam. [Page 14a]

Palestinians issue arms ban

The Palestinian Authority banned civilians from carrying unregistered firearms yesterday, a move intended to curb militants without directly confronting them. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said progress was being made in high-level talks. [Page 17a]

MARYLAND

Ehrlich issues call for respect

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., in his State of the State address, issued a stern call for mutual respect between him and the General Assembly, lamenting a bitter political climate that some of his critics believe he has helped create. [Page 1a]

100 years for teen in shootings

Saying he could not begin to imagine the terror that students and teachers felt walking out of their school last spring as gunfire erupted, a Baltimore County judge sentenced an 18-year-old former Randallstown High School student to 100 years in prison for his role in the shootings that left one student partially paralyzed and three others wounded. [Page 1a]

Gay marriage ban sought

About 1,000 people huddled in front of the State House yesterday to call for a constitutional ban on gay marriage in Maryland, cheering a succession of preachers and politicians -- including Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele. (Page 1b)

SPORTS

Terps women fall to Duke

The No. 20 Maryland women come up short in their bid to upset No. 1 Duke, falling, 60-57, at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Shay Doron scored 16 points to pace the Terps, who led by six early in the second half. [Page 1c]

Attorney: Fuller charges bogus

The attorney for Ravens defensive back Corey Fuller told a jury that gambling and firearms charges against his client are bogus, saying that investigators were interested in the player only because of his celebrity. [Page 3c]

Safin upsets Federer in semifinal

Marat Safin won a 4 1/2 -hour match with Roger Federer in an Australian Open semifinal and ended the top-ranked player's 26-match winning streak. Safin had fended off a match point in the fourth set, then needed seven match points of his own before pulling off a 5-7, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (6), 9-7 upset. [Page 5c]

BUSINESS

Feud snares HDTV owners

Thousands of owners of high-definition televisions are caught in a feud between broadcasters and cable companies, including some in Baltimore. Many people who bought pricey high-definition sets last month wanted to show them off on Super Bowl Sunday. Now, they're discovering they can't. [Page 1a]

Media ruling to be appealed

Tribune Co., owner of The Sun, and three television networks today plan to appeal to the Supreme Court a ruling that blocked media companies from acquiring more local TV stations and newspapers. [Page 1d]

MuniMae plans expansion

Municipal Mortgage & Equity LLC -- the apartment financier best known as MuniMae that has quietly grown into the eighth-largest company in Baltimore -- announced plans to expand further with the purchase of a real estate investment firm. [Page 1d]

HEALTH & SCIENCE

The science of leg lengthening

It used to be that the only way to fix a short leg was to amputate it and fit the patient with a prosthesis. But now, surgeons can lengthen a leg by using its own healing power. Patients can gain anywhere from a few inches to a foot or more in length. [Page 1e]

Study reports new use for Viagra

Research published this week in the journal Nature Medicine found that a daily dose of Viagra reversed enlarged hearts in mice with high blood pressure. [Page 1e]

TODAY

'Alone,' 'Hide and Seek' open

Alone in the Dark and Hide and Seek open in area theaters today. While the two bring well-known names to the screen (Christian Slater and Tara Reid in the former and Robert DeNiro and Dakota Fanning in the latter), neither appear to knock the critics' socks off. [Page 1f]

Dick Clark back home

American Bandstand star Dick Clark is recuperating at home after a stroke put him in the hospital for more than seven weeks. Clark, 75, returned to his Malibu home Wednesday. [Page 1f]

TODAY ONLINE

HOSPITAL "REPORT CARD"

The Maryland Health Care Commission issues its annual hospital performance evaluation guide. See the full report at www.baltimoresun.com/hospitals

STATE OF THE STATE

Read the full text of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s State of the State address and view video audio clips of the speech. www.baltimoresun.com/politics

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Respect is a term we need to learn in this chamber. Respect is about even working with flawed administration bills. ... Respect is about not playing the Capitol Hill game about demagoging personal ethics."

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., in his State of the State address to the legislature (Article, Page 1A)

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