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America At War

Pentagon officials say 12 Americans and four British soldiers have been killed in a helicopter crash in Kuwait. They were aboard a U.S. Marine CH46 Sea Knight assigned to the First Marine Expeditionary Force.

Military officials say the crash happened about nine miles away
from the border with Iraq. The cause of the crash is under investigation, but officials say that hostile fire had not been reported in the area.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials say the marines crossed into Iraq earlier today from Kuwait to secure positions for a push north by U.S. and British Troops.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says the new wave of bombing is not the "shock and awe" campaign prediced by the U.S.

Iraq responded to the first U.S. attack with missile strikes on northern Kuwait, but every missile either misser or was intercepted by U.S. missiles. Many of the missiles used by Iraq appear to be long range, banned missiles, they claimed not to have.

Some 280,000 U.S. and British troops are in the Persian Gulf. Many are in Kuwait, ready to move into Iraq.

So far, President Bush say he's pleased with how "Operation Iraqi Freedom" is going.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is setting aside more than 661,000 tons of wheat to feed Iraqis. The Bush administration authorized more than 220,000 tons
for immediate release, with the rest to be held in reserve.

The Agriculture Department says part of the wheat in reserve will be
exchanged for rice, to vary the Iraqi diet. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman says the commodities are part of the U.S. effort to prepare for "the humanitarian consequences of conflict.'' She says the donation also will help Iraqis improve their lives "in a liberated nation.''

USDA says the first shipment of wheat is expected to begin
moving next week. It says more wheat and rice will follow over the
next several weeks.


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