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The latest news headlines.

BILL WOLFF (Announcer): This is NPR.


Thanks Alison. Turkey has launched a cross border land offensive into northern Iraq. Today, Turkey's military confirmed that the incursion began last night. Here's NPR's Ivan Watson with details from Turkey.

IVAN WATSON: The Turkish military and the Turkish government say they are pursuing Kurdish separatist rebels known as the PKK who've been fighting a 25-year war against the Turkish state here in Turkey, often suing bases in the mountains of northern Iraq. The problem here is by sending additional troops into northern Iraq, the Turks risks getting into a confrontation with the Iraqi Kurds who control most of that territory and in fact we had warnings from the Iraqi Kurds yesterday that there was almost a confrontation between the Turkish military and Kurdish militia fighters known as the Peshmerga. We also had concerns and alarm being expressed by Iraqi Kurdish officials after Turkish war planes destroyed a series of bridges in the mountains of northern Iraq yesterday.

MARTIN: NPR's Ivan Watson reporting from Turkey.

To Iraq now where Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has extended a cease fire on his Mahdi Army for another six months. Al-Sadr called the cease fire last summer, ordering his followers not to attack U.S. led forces and threatening to expel any Mahdi Army members who didn't comply. The cease fire is widely credited with helping to reduce violence in Iraq by 60 percent since last July.

To this country now, Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama squared off last night in Austin, Texas. The debate was a mostly cordial affair but with the delegate grab still so close, the stakes were high and there were some jabs. Clinton again criticized Obama for using the same phrases uttered by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Senator HILLARY CLINTON (Democrat, New York; Presidential Candidate): If your candidacy is going to be about words, then they should be your own words. That I think is a very simple proposition.

MARTIN: Obama went on to dismiss the issue and called the whole thing silly, noting that Patrick is his campaign's national co-chairman.

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democrat, Illinois; Presidential Candidate): I'm happy to have a debate on the issues, but what we shouldn't be spending time doing is tearing each other down. We should be spending time lifting the country up.

MARTIN: After the 90 minute exchange, Clinton shook her rival's hand and said, quote, "whatever happens, we're going to be fine," end quote. The candidates are focusing on March 4th when key states Texas and Ohio will hold primaries. More highlights from that debate coming up in the show.

Microsoft is pulling the curtain back a bit. Faced with anti-trust concerns in Europe, the world's largest software maker announced yesterday that it will reveal some of its technical secrets and share that information with rivals. The intent is to make sure that competing programs can work better with Windows, Office and other major products. Microsoft's first step will be to publish 30,000 pages of technical documentation on its Web site. Regulators in Europe, Asia and the U.S. have long accused Microsoft of using its dominant position in the market to squeeze out competitors.

And finally, gray wolves roaming the wilds of the United States will have to fair for themselves again. Yesterday the Bush administration announced an end to federal protection for wolves in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. Gray wolves were first protected in 1974, one of the first animals to be covered in he Endangered Species Act and it apparently worked. In the mid-1990s, there were 66 wolves introduced into Yellowstone National Park in central Idaho. Today, there are now nearly 1,300. The Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior said, quote, "Wolves are back."

That's the news and it's always online at

WOLFF: This is NPR.

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