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SUN NEWS DIGEST

NATIONAL

Weak oil royalty payments

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At a time when energy prices and industry profits are soaring, the federal government collected little more money last year than it did five years ago from the companies that extract more than $60 billion in oil and gas from publicly owned lands and coastal waters. pg 1a

Uniting to make mining safer

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In death, 14 West Virginia coal miners have achieved something that just a month ago seemed an unlikely goal: Labor, industry and lawmakers are united in demanding that a dangerous subterranean occupation be made safer. pg 3a

WORLD

U.S., Israel aim to boost Fatah

Israel and the United States scrambled yesterday to plan strategies in case of a Hamas victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections this week amid polls showing the militant Islamic faction running neck and neck with the governing Fatah party. pg 7a

Canadians head to polls

Canadians voting today for a new leader and House of Commons will choose between 13 years of Liberal Party rule or a new government that could shift the country toward a conservative right seeking to cut social programs funded by high taxes. pg 10a

MARYLAND

Youth center problems persist

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Residents of the Chesapeake Youth Center, a psychiatric facility on the Eastern Shore, are still being mistreated, according to a report by the state Office of Health Care Quality, which warned the center's owner in November that he would lose his license unless he made sweeping changes. pg 1b

City plans vast bike network

Ambitious plans to create a bicycle network across Baltimore with a combination of designated lanes and shared roadways spanning more than 400 miles could begin in about a year pending approval by the city's planning commission. The first phase would be the creation of the Collegetown Bike Route, linking Johns Hopkins and Morgan State universities with St. Mary's Seminary and Loyola and Notre Dame colleges. pg 1b

SPORTS

Steelers stop Broncos, 34-17

Ben Roethlisberger passed for two touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Denver Broncos, 34-17, in the AFC title game. Pittsburgh became the first No. 6 seed in NFL history to reach the Super Bowl. pg 1d

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Seahawks top Panthers, 34-14

The Seattle Seahawks advanced to their first Super Bowl by defeating the Carolina Panthers, 34-14, in the NFC championship game. League MVP Shaun Alexander came back from last week's concussion to rush for 132 yards and two touchdowns. pg 1d

TODAY

It's a depressing day

If you're feeling a little blue today, there's good reason. British psychologist Cliff Arnall has concluded that today is the most depressing day of this year. Last year's most depressing day also came on a Monday. pg 1c

QUOTE OF THE DAY

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"Most people don't get real enjoyment out of the flying experience anymore, so anything they can give makes everyone's lives a little bit better."

Dean E. Headley, co-author of an annual airline quality rating, on airlines' snacks

Article, PG 1a

Up next

Thursday

News from macworld

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Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs used the annual Macworld Conference & Expo to introduce new hardware and software.

IN LIVE

Sunday

Look at me

In this era of personalized media -- Web sites, blogs, Web cams -- there are infinite ways to call attention to yourself.

IN MODERN LIFE

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ONLINE

TODAY

BUSINESS BUZZ

For breaking developments in the business community, go to: baltimoresun.com/businessbuzz

TRAFFIC

Live traffic maps for Baltimore, D.C. and Annapolis roads, updated every 5 minutes during weekdays at: baltimoresun.com/traffic


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