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By Compiled from wire service reports by Ross Atkin / April 5, 2006



Pennsylvania gambling regulators begin 18 days of public testimony Wednesday about nearly two dozen casino proposals, including one for a casino just outside Gettysburg that has drawn the ire of historic preservationists. They object to a recent borough council vote to allow a casino near the historic Civil War battlefield.

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The judge presiding over the Zacarias Moussaoui case hears motions Wednesday in Alexandria, Va., in advance of the final sentencing procedures for the admitted Al Qaeda conspirator, which begin Thursday. Earlier this week, jurors decided that Moussaoui, who claims he was to have flown a fifth 9/11 plane into the White House, is eligible for the death penalty.

The Red River, which runs through the Red River Valley between North Dakota and Minnesota, is expected to crest Wednesday at roughly 37.5 feet, or roughly 20 feet above flood stage, according to the National Weather Service.

As an investigation continues into an alleged rape of a black coed in Durham, N.C., so too do protests and rallies. On Monday, students at historically black North Carolina Central University rallied to show their support for the fellow student, an exotic dancer, who claims three white members of Duke University's men's lacrosse team sexually assaulted her at a March 14 party. No charges have been filed in the case.

Police in Alabama began an investigation into the cause of a church fire Tuesday in Talladega. The blaze destroyed the Blackberry Lane Community Church. State law enforcement has been on high alert since three men, who await trial, were jailed on federal charges in a string of February church fires.

The annual Employee Benefit Research survey of retirement confidence showed that 68 percent of American workers believe they're financially well positioned for comfortable retirements. More than half, however, have less than $25,000 in retirement savings, an amount considered insufficient by experts.

The University of Florida won its first NCAA men's basketball crown Monday with an emphatic 73-57 victory over 11-time champion UCLA in Indianapolis. The Gators were led by 6 ft. 11 in. sophomore Joakim Noah, who scored 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and blocked a championship-game record six shots in being named MVP of the Final Four.

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