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Troops round up suspected insurgents
(By Charles J. Hanley, Associated Press, 3/19/2006)
BAGHDAD -- US and Iraqi troops pushing through a desolate area of Iraq's Sunni Arab heartland rounded up dozens more suspected insurgents, including alleged killers of a television journalist, American and Iraqi officials said yesterday.

Late TV Listings
(By 0, 3/19/2006)
This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Topic: The third anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. Guest: Marine Corps General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 9 a.m. (5)

Shi'ites attacked during pilgrimage
(By Bushra Juhi, Associated Press, 3/18/2006)
BAGHDAD -- The pilgrims' road to the holy city of Karbala was a highway of bullets and bombs for Shi'ite Muslims yesterday. Drive-by shootings and roadside and bus bombs killed or wounded 19 people, intensifying the sectarian tensions gripping Iraq.

US, Iran trade sharp words as each looks to stabilize Iraq
(By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times, 3/18/2006)
WASHINGTON -- A day after raising international hopes by agreeing to direct talks about stabilizing Iraq, US and Iranian officials took a decidedly sharper tone toward each other yesterday, differing markedly over the purpose of their upcoming discussions.

President to hold to force doctrine
(By Steve Holland, Reuters, 3/17/2006)
WASHINGTON -- President Bush clung to his doctrine of using preemptive force against threats of weapons of mass destruction yesterday, despite his experience in Iraq, and said Iran may be the biggest security challenge to the United States.

US, Iraq assault insurgent center
(By Richard Boudreaux, Los Angeles Times, 3/17/2006)
BAGHDAD -- US and Iraqi forces began a major helicopter and ground attack yesterday on an insurgent stronghold near Samarra, a city dominated by Sunni Arabs, where the bombing last month of a Shi'ite shrine led to sectarian bloodshed.

Congress boosts borrowing limit by $781b
(By Jonathan Weisman and Shailagh Murray, Washington Post, 3/17/2006)
WASHINGTON -- Congress raised the limit on the federal government's borrowing by $781 billion yesterday, and then lawmakers voted to spend more than $100 billion on the war in Iraq, hurricane relief, education, healthcare, transportation, and heating assistance for the poor without making offsetting budget cuts.

Iran, US agree to talks on Iraq
(By Karl Vick, Washington Post, 3/17/2006)
TEHRAN -- A senior Iranian official said yesterday that Iran would enter into direct talks with the United States about Iraq, opening the way for the two countries to hold their first face-to-face discussion about Iran's western neighbor since shortly after the US-led invasion in 2003.

Hussein urges Iraqis to unite
(By Bassem Mroue, Associated Press, 3/16/2006)
BAGHDAD -- Saddam Hussein, testifying yesterday for the first time in his trial, called on Iraqis to stop killing each other and instead fight US troops. The judge reprimanded him for making a rambling, political speech and ordered the television cameras switched off.

Number of active-duty Guard, Reserve drops
(By Robert Burns, Associated Press, 3/16/2006)
WASHINGTON -- The ranks of National Guard and Reserve troops on active duty for Iraq and the global fight against terror has fallen to just under 118,000, the lowest level since before the US invasion of Iraq three years ago.

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