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Al-Sadr leads protest in Iraq

Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr denounced the presence of U.S. troops in his Baghdad stronghold of Sadr City yesterday, and thousands of his followers waved banners and marched through the neighborhood to back his call for foreign withdrawal. pg 8A

Riots rage in Pakistan

In Pakistan yesterday, riot police resorted to tear gas and batons to beat back hundreds of protesters who had gathered in downtown Islamabad to show their support for suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry. pg 9A


Corruption case delayed

A federal judge yesterday substantially delayed the start of the public corruption trial against former state Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell Sr. and his wife, citing "irreconcilable conflicts of interest" among the couple's attorneys. The unexplained departure of the Bromwells' attorneys left the schedule of the case in flux. pg 1B

House approves health bill

The Maryland House of Delegates yesterday approved a plan to extend medical coverage to more than 100,000 residents, but the measure faces strong opposition in the Senate, where legislative leaders oppose funding health care through a $1-a-pack increase in the tobacco tax. pg 1B


West's heroic return

The Wire's Dominic West returns to Baltimore this month a bigger star after his new movie, 300, defied studio expectation as a breakout hit. pg 1D

CoreStar closes local office

CoreStar Financial Group is shuttering its Timonium offices and transferring client loans to other mortgage companies, an apparent casualty of the lending industry, which is increasingly losing businesses to the housing-market slump. pg 14C

Laureate gets no new bids

Baltimore-based Laureate Education Inc. did not receive a single competitive bid to counter a proposal offered by a group led by Chief Executive Officer Douglas L. Becker to take the company private for $60.50 a share, according to a preliminary proxy filed yesterday. pg 14C


White House silent in probe

The White House failed yesterday to turn over documents and commit to allowing high-ranking officials to testify in congressional investigations into the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. pg 3A


Winthrop upsets Notre Dame

No. 11 seed Winthrop defeated sixth-seed Notre Dame, 74-64, in a first-round game in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Winthrop, which had been 0-6 in previous tournament appearances, blew all of its 20-point lead in the second half before surging in the final two minutes to end Notre Dame's first NCAA appearance since 2003. pg 8C

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