The price of parkland

A Baltimore County plan to buy a patch of green in Edgemere to increase scarce parkland has raised questions from a council member about the price the county would pay for it. A vote on the deal is scheduled tonight. pg 1b


City lines up for BRAC

More money for roads and housing are among the steps Baltimore officials say they are taking to ensure that the city captures its share of the growth expected to come to Maryland from the military Base Realignment and Closure process, or BRAC. pg 1b



American leads Afghan force

Gen. Dan McNeill, the highest-ranking U.S. general to lead troops in Afghanistan, took command of 35,500 NATO-led soldiers yesterday, putting an American face on the international mission after nine months of British command. pg 8a

Iraq points finger at Syria

The Iraqi government accused Syria yesterday of harboring insurgents fomenting violence in Iraq after a huge suicide bombing the previous day that killed at least 130 people in a Shiite neighborhood of the nation's capital. pg 8a

Hamas on the attack

Hamas gunmen attacked bases of Fatah-allied troops in the Gaza Strip with mortar shells and rocket-propelled grenades early yesterday, part of a four-day campaign by the Islamic militants to weaken the security forces loyal to the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. pg 8a



Pentagon budget swells

When the Bush administration unveils its annual spending request today, it is expected to ask for a defense budget of $481 billion - near historic highs, even when adjusted for inflation. pg 3a

The quality of greens

September's national spinach recall has shaken consumer confidence in the safety of leafy green vegetables, according to a new national survey. Consumers are avoiding greens and questioning safety issues, months after spinach contaminated with E. coli bacteria killed three people and sickened nearly 200. pg 6a


Ground rent reform


Lawmakers will join Gov. Martin OMalley today to unveil a ground rent reform package that would make sweeping changes to the arcane system by preventing home seizures, tightening notification requirements and expanding homeowner's options for buying out ground leases. pg 1a


Her honor, first lady

Catherine Curran O'Malley is the consummate multi-tasker: wife, mother, judge and now Maryland's first lady. pg 1c

The long hello

CBS offers its take on the institution of marriage in a new sitcom, Rules of Engagement, premiering tonight. pg 1c



Terps women top BC, 71-39

No. 4 Maryland routed Boston College, 71-39, in a women's basketball game at Comcast Center. Shay Doron scored 15 points for the Terps, who broke a two-game losing streak. pg 4d