The World

At least 128 U.S. soldiers died last month in Iraq, the largest monthly toll in that war.

U.S. troops in Iraq backed by helicopter gunships battled with insurgents near the southern holy Shiite city of Najaf, killing 43 gunmen and destroying the insurgents' anti-aircraft system, the U.S. military said.

Ten U.S. soldiers were killed in one day in Iraq - eight of them in a car bombing south of Baghdad. The two others were killed in a convoy attack in Baghdad and a roadside bomb in Baqoubah, north of the capital.

Fifty-two of Britain's former ambassadors and senior government officials delivered a signed protest to Prime Minister Tony Blair, condemning his support of the U.S. approach to the occupation of Iraq and to settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Thai police said they shot and killed more than 100 Islamic fighters - including 32 inside a mosque - after militants attacked about 15 police stations and government buildings in three provinces, apparently opposing Thailand's support for the war in Iraq.

The Nation

American support for the war in Iraq dropped substantially over the past several months, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll. Asked whether the United States had done the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, 47 percent said it had, down from 58 percent a month earlier and 63 percent in December.

Cable giant Comcast Corp. dropped its takeover bid for the Walt Disney Co., saying Disney management has made it clear that it has no interest in putting the companies together.

Deaths from rollover crashes involving sport utility vehicles increased by about 11 percent last year, while fatalities in passenger cars went down, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported.

The Commerce Department reported that the economy grew at an annual rate of 4.2 percent in the opening quarter of this year, a solid showing and fresh evidence that the business recovery is solidly on track, but less than some analysts wanted.

The NCAA adopted an academic reform package designed to improve the graduation rates of athletes.

Search engine giant Google announced plans for an initial public offering of stock designed to raise $2.7 billion while leaving control in the hands of its founders.

The World War II monument on the National Mall in Washington opened to the public a month before its official dedication.

Bob Edwards signed off after almost 25 years as host of NPR's Morning Edition.

Pop star Michael Jackson pleaded innocent to 10 counts related to the alleged abuse of a child under the age of 14.

The Region

The driver of the gasoline tanker that plunged from an overpass onto Interstate 95 in January apparently had a heart attack or other sudden medical problem that caused him to lose control of his truck, according to the final state report on the fiery crash that claimed four lives.

Donald B. Hofler, 70, a retired Loyola College professor, apparently tried to commit suicide after allegedly killing his wife, a 48-year-old Harford County elementary school teacher, and her 17-year-old son in the family's Pennsylvania home just north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge John G. Turnbull II signed a death warrant for Steven Oken, who was sentenced to death in 1991 for the torture, rape and murder of White Marsh newlywed Dawn Marie Garvin. Turnbull acted immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn Oken's conviction.

Four-year-old Miles Patrick Smith Jr. died after apparently shooting himself with a gun that he found in his Randallstown home, according to police.

A Montgomery County fisherman angling at Wheaton Regional Park's Pine Lake caught a northern snakehead, the same voracious, fin-walking Asian predator that made national news when it took over three Crofton ponds in the summer of 2002.

Responding to a Freedom of Information request, the University of Maryland, College Park revealed that basketball coach Gary Williams makes $1.3 million and football coach Ralph Friedgen $1.1 million annually, with incentives that could add tens of thousands of dollars to that.


"As far as we know, Senator Kerry got three Purple Hearts for risking his life in Vietnam and President Bush got a dental examination in Alabama."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi,California Democrat

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