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Front Page: Iraq Fights in Basra, PA Dems Balloon, Sirius/XM

  • Thousands of Iraqi troops battled Shia militias in heavy fighting that has been raging in the southern city of Basra. At least 12 people have died in the conflict, one day after Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki vowed to "re-impose law." Some of the most brutal fighting was with the Mehdi Army, supporters of radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr. The city of Basra with its wealth of oil makes the area ripe for warring. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said, "Militias have taken over almost the city and law and order has collapsed, although it is not a hopeless case because the government is taking measures to reverse the situation. Remember, Basra is the lifeline of Iraq. Most of Iraq's oil exports go through Basra." Those oil exports provide most of Iraq's revenues.
  • Democratic voter registration in Pennsylvania has hit a record of more than four million voters. Yesterday was the deadline for Pennsylvanians to register ahead of the April primary. In addition to more than 120,000 new voters registered this year, more than 86,000 others switched from other parties to register as Democrats. Only 12,000 switched registration to become Republicans, perhaps signaling the desire of Keystone voters to participate in the tight Democratic contest.
  • Sirius Satellite Radio won US antitrust clearance in their proposed purchase of XM Satellite Radio. The deal would create a single US satellite-radio provider. The Justice Department approved the deal and said the combined company won't amount to a monopoly because of competition from other types of audio entertainment like broadcast radio and MP3 players. The Justice Department's antitrust chief said, "we just simply found the evidence did not support a challenge to the transaction under the antitrust laws."
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