The Senate was set to vote on several measures Wednesday regarding US military operations in Iraq. Two Democratic and two Republican amendments weren't expected to pass but were meant to gauge lawmakers' stances on Iraq-war legislation. One proposal, from Sen. Russell Feingold (D) of Wisconsin, set a firm March 31, 2008, cutoff date for funding. Another measure, led by Sen. John Warner (R) of Virginia, would link US funding for the Iraq war to benchmarks that the Iraqi government must meet. The Senate must pass an Iraq-war-related measure in order to begin negotiations with the House and the Bush administration on a final compromise.

Leading Democratic presidential candidates switched positions Tuesday to back a firm withdrawal deadline for US troops in Iraq. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama each announced they would support one of the above-mentioned proposals that set a March 31, 2008, cutoff date for funding US troops in Iraq.

Stating that "all options are on the table" for the World Bank's top position, the White House indicated for the first time Tuesday it would be open to Paul Wolfowitz's departure as the bank's president. The bank's board continued meeting Wednesday to discuss the controversy over Wolfowitz's role in his companion Shaha Riza's pay raise.

Ten Republican presidential candidates met for their second debate Tuesday in Columbia, S.C. Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former New York city Mayor Rudolph Giuliani participated in what was considered a livelier, more confrontational debate than the first one.

Workers began filling tunnels along the US-Mexico border Tuesday. The two-month project includes five passageways in California and two in Arizona. It comes three months after the Los Angeles Times reported that, though they were discovered months or years ago, tunnels hadn't been filled in, largely due to jurisdictional issues and a lack of funding.

Montgomery County, Md., became the country's first to ban trans fats Tuesday. The measure prohibits restaurants, supermarket bakeries, and delis from using the hydrogenated oils starting next January. "The goal is to protect the public health," said Council member Duchy Trachtenberg, the bill's chief sponsor.

The eldest child of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. passed away Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif. Yolanda King, 51, "was an actress, author, producer, advocate for peace and nonviolence ... loved for her motivational and inspirational contributions to society," her family said in a statement.

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