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OPINIONS
Editorial: Students lucky to find war with beer in hand, sun-tan
It's amazing that many of us heard the news about the war on the beach with a margarita, or in a bar with friends. We didn't have to hear the fire in the sky or the bombs hitting our town. We found out from the news.

Linking Saddam to al-Qaeda makes weak case for Iraqi war
Whether or not you support the war in Iraq, it's important to understand the reasons for this action. To justify the war in Iraq by attempting to link Saddam to al-Qaeda is to weaken the case of the war on Iraq.

Soldier shares thoughts from the barren desert of the field
Samantha Xanthos' column written straight from the Army's units in the Middle East, detailing her daily hardships and observations working as a fuel transporter and being one of 14 females in her company.

At least America's motives for war in Iraq aren't hidden
Unlike the war on terrorism, where countries jumped at the chance to help us, this war has encountered some resistance. France and Russia have joined the opposition to benefit their own economic interests.

Letters to the Editor: Be wary of spring break scams
The letters in response to recent events and columns, including a UA reader who wrote that she wanted to help prevent problems for students who may, like her, respond to spring break ads and become stranded.

WEB EXTRA
Drag Racing Devils experience 'total rush' at Firebird Raceway
"Hard acceleration in an automobile is a total rush for anyone," said Tony Cadorin, president of ASU's Drag Racing Devils.



While most people would cringe at the thought of drag racing at speeds of up to 120 mph, Cadorin embraces the rush.

Huge surprises, war comments at this year's Oscar ceremony
The 75th Annual Academy Awards ceremony, presented at L.A.'s Kodak Theatre last night, was full of surprises. The Best Picture award went to the flashy musical Chicago, but most of the other major awards were given to the Holocaust drama The Pianist.

Opinion: Shocking elements, victories for Pianist pleasing
If there was ever a night when the Oscars needed surprise, it was last night. OK, so Chicago won Best Picture like everyone said it would, but there were more than enough shocking victories to please this viewer.

SPORTS
Hoops: Devils' tourney run ends with loss to Kansas
The Jayhawks' speedy transition game was too much for the Sun Devils to handle as the Jayhawks ended ASU's season Saturday with a 108-76 win in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City.

ASU gets epic win, thrilling loss
If there was any indication from the rankings that a series between ASU and Stanford, two of the top teams in the Pac-10, would be interesting, a split of two extra-inning games put an exclamation mark on that.



In an epic 11-inning battle Saturday, the No. 1 Sun Devils baseball team came away 7-6 victors on the strength of a Dennis Wyrick bases-loaded single to top the No. 6 Cardinal.

Devil Dish: Running NCAA tournaments best even in war
It's hard to think about sports right now, but one of the best decisions that the NCAA has ever made was to not postpone either the men's or women's basketball tournaments, or the wrestling championships.

W Hoops: Season ends as ASU can't get by Bears in NIT
Women's basketball earned a first round victory over the University of Hawaii 57-44 on Thursday night before seeing their season end at the National Invitational Tournament as they were ousted by Baylor 85-62.

Wrestling: Larkin finishes as champion, undefeated
There's a myth around the sports world that one of the most difficult feats to accomplish is to beat an opponent twice in the regular season, and then again in the post season. But senior Eric Larkin did just that.

Gymnastics: Seniors boost ASU to win over Kentucky
The ASU gymnastics team's spring break was filled with emotion as it hosted its final home meet of the season, claiming an easy victory over San Jose State and breaking a school record versus Kentucky.

Spring Break Briefs: Football kicks off spring practices
A brief look at the happenings in various sports over spring break, including today's beginning of football spring practices. Seventeen returning starters are coming off one of ASU's most successfull seasons.

Troops encounter greater resistance than expected
A concrete bunker full of mortars and rifles lies just off the road at a former Iraqi military checkpoint here, and the ground is strewn with abandoned surface-to-air missile launchers.



But it's the weapons still being carried in the dusty streets of this town just south of Basra, and throughout southern Iraq, that worry coalition troops days after the front-line troops passed through.

Summary of recent events in the war with Iraq
U.S. and British forces continued Sunday to drive to Baghdad, but it was the most painful day of the war so far for the coalition.



Al Jazeera, the Arabic television network, showed Iraqi footage of dead U.S. soldiers as well as video of American POWs. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned Iraq not to exploit captured soldiers.

Allied forces continue fighting after U.S. soldiers captured
Allied forces pushed to within 100 miles of Baghdad Sunday, but saw the first Americans captured by Iraqi forces and faced stiffening resistance.



Fighting continued along the front lines of American advances, and also behind them as fast moving U.S. and British forces encountered unexpectedly sharp resistance in several towns and river crossings they'd seemed to control.

Al Jazeera criticized for airing images of U.S. dead, POWs
Iraqi television on Sunday broadcast the first images of captured and dead American soldiers from the four-day-old war, showing five anxious-looking POWs saying they were only following orders and at least one dead American soldier who appeared to have been shot in the forehead.



Lt. Gen. John Abizaid, briefing reporters at coalition headquarters in Doha, Qatar, angrily blasted al Jazeera for airing the images when one of its reporters asked an unrelated question.

Bush from Camp David: 'Just the beginning of a tough fight'
Facing the first setbacks of the war with Iraq, President Bush and top military aides sought Sunday to brace the nation for what could be a long and bloody conflict.



"I can assure the American people, we're making good progress," Bush said as he returned from Camp David, the presidential retreat.

Kurds' optimism turns to worries
The easy victory smiles have vanished at Kak Sanaat's hamburger stand, a cramped nook that dispenses gossip and plain cooking at this Kurdish city's bazaar.



Last week, the shopkeepers and clerks who paused here for a quick sandwich were literally dancing at the news of America's long-expected war to topple Saddam Hussein. Several elderly regulars even bought an American visitor a soft drink to celebrate their eminent liberation.

Opinion: Seniors persevered to bring hoops to new heights
Kyle Dodd and his five fellow seniors came here much the way they came to Tempe - with little fanfare outside the Valley - and accomplished more than what was expected by making it to the NCAA tournament.

CAMPUS NEWS
Police Beat: Man threatens motorists with steel pipe
The incidents reported by ASU and Tempe police, including a transient man arrested on the charge of aggravated assault after allegedly threatening motorists and a police officer with a 4-foot steel pipe.

Schools around the country wrestle with plus/minus issue
There are plenty of conflicts and rivalries out there, but the decision of whether to add plus and minus signs behind letter grades has professors and students from universities all over the nation ready for debate.

New grade plan to be presented
A committee of students concerned with the pending plus/minus grading system will present an alternate grading plan to the Academic Senate at a meeting today.



Cledwyn Jones, student government senator-elect for the Barrett Honors College, plans to attend the meeting and present a petition with nearly 4,000 signatures of students opposed to the pending system.




Detailed timeline of ASU's plus/minus saga
A timeline of the events that led up to the adoption of the plus/minus grading system at ASU, beginning with the improvement of information technology equipment that would make the GPA distinctions possible.

Brief: Tech transfer dept. speeds up research apps
A new technology transfer department at ASU will speed up the process of finding commercial applications for research beginning in April. It will focus on finding markets for researchers and hire industry workers.

Protests erupt on Mill Avenue
American flags were burned and people on opposing sides of America's involvement in Iraq screamed at each other Thursday night when Tempe joined the world in heated war demonstrations.



When protesters ventured to the opposite side of Mill Avenue and University Drive, screaming matches broke out.




ENTERTAINMENT
Honing In: Trip to Rocky Point ain't no mechanical bull
Every year thousands of students from Arizona and other western states flock to Rocky Point, Mexico, looking for spring break madness. But what attracts so many people to this small fishing community every year?

'New American Piano' adds dance to traditional repertoire
The "New American Piano" had exclusively been a musical show, but for the first time in its five-year history, two Herberger College professors have choreographed three new dances specifically for the music.

Comics: Rockinfunzone
A comic strip by Nathan Ross.

Comics: F-Minus
A comic strip by Tony Carrillo

Comics: W.M.U.
A comic strip by Joseph Bowen.

CD Review: State Radio's 'Flag of the Shiner'
Seedy ReviewsSo you want to start an anti-war protest, eh? Well, according to recent weeks, you need available lawn space on a major college campus, a huge marionette of the dubya, and, sometimes, an obscure band for background noise.



With the release of Flag of the Shiners, State Radio is making a push to be that band. These guys can pretty much play any music that can fit your musical needs from reggae to grunge to punk.

CD Review: The Kicks
Seedy ReviewsThe Kicks may have adopted a new moniker, but the band formerly known as Ashtray Babyhead unfortunately hasn't ditched the tired power-pop sound they ripped off from Weezer way back in 1997.



On their self-titled "debut," The Kicks explore the same used-up subject matter that every other doofus-rock quartet has subjected us to for the past decade.

CD Review: Dressy Bessy's 'Little Music'
Seedy ReviewsDressy Bessy isn't your momma's pop band, but - don't be afraid - she'd enjoy a listen to the latest album from the Denver quartet.



The mellow beats of Little Music are reminiscent of a bygone era when music was meant to be fun and stress-free. Sit back. Take it easy. Enjoy the music.

Dirty rat thief: 'Willard' movie review
Crispin Glover had to go back in time to find the role that was tailor-made for him.



Although his mastery of George McFly in 1987's Back to the Future will surely define him for years to come, it is the title character in Willard - by far, the most superb remake of any American film to date - that is undeniably Glover's calling.

Seeking sanctuary
During the crest of America's urban gang epidemic, much of the America's communities were being ravaged by a culture of death, drugs and despair. However, for Jose Casas, ASU Masters of Fine Arts student and Southern Californian native, in Baldwin Park's epicenter of gang brutality there was a safe haven where even the dominant gang bangers, and drug slangers couldn't penetrate - The Vine.



Now, years later, the community phenomena is the motivation behind Casas' upcoming hip-hop play bearing the same name. Casas, who is the playwright, says "The Vine" is a musical voyage through the realities of life for many American minorities. "I'm trying to tell a story that normally isn't able to be told in this form," Casas says.

Cup o' Joe: To die for
Cup O JoeInside the club, you sip on a $6 cocktail mixed in a cheap, plastic 8-ounce cup. You find your reflection in a panoramic mirror behind the bar, inventing another drab and cliché introduction. Flashing strobes, black lights, and smoke-screened illuminations of red and green conceal the blemishes that would otherwise keep you from getting laid if anyone saw you in the light of day.



Outside, just a few feet beyond an unimpressive line of pretentious, yet unimportant people and a gated patio of superficial small talk, a man is about to die. His brain is hemorrhaging internally, blood swimming freely inside his cracked skull.

Permanent Midnight
Josh Kolsrud, a 22-year-old business management and philosophy senior, has stayed away from the club where he was stabbed and nearly killed 13 months ago, but he'll never forget what happened there.



He can't. There's too much to remind him.

An exhibition of protest
Phoenix police on horseback patrol McDowell Road, their eyes fixed on the crowd. Kyrsten Sinema, joined by nearly 1,500 peace-protesters present on a Saturday afternoon, shuffles by. Sinema's brethren sing in awkward harmony around her and carry signs like "Bush is a wack! Hands off Iraq," sketched on yellow poster board and decorated with two solid, black hands below it.



Sinema also held a sign, but earlier she passed it on to someone who didn't have one. In fact, she had many signs. The night before, friends and fellow dissidents from around the Valley brainstormed slogans and painted on posters at her house for five hours. They prepared for Saturday's "No War! A Celebration of Life and Creativity" rally at Margaret T. Hance Park in central Phoenix.

Break it down
For the past year, ASU student Brad Hasse has been flying back and forth between Tempe and Los Angeles every weekend, spending Saturday nights on the promenade at Santa Monica, submersing himself in hip-hop culture. Hasse isn't a breakdancer; he doesn't even aspire to be one. He's simply an artist who saw the beauty in an ever-expanding hip-hop culture and decided to share it with the world.



"It's not a hip-hop representation," Hasse says of his 40-minute video, Outside the Box: A Dance Odyssey. "It's an outside look at what [breakdancers] do. I wanted to capture the art in it. "

Apocalypse now?
Having formed from the leftovers of two other San Diego bands back in 1995, The Locust is now comprised of Gabe Serbian, Justin Pearson, Joseph Karam and Robert Bray. The band claims no lead singer, and at live shows it habitually lines all its members up front. They also have no name for the tour they are now on, but the band will, however, promote the June release of its new album "Plague Soundscapes" with a tour starting in July.



Until then, local fans can absorb The Locust's scourge of cacophonous notes at the Mason Jar on Monday night.

Scenic route: Before Braille's journey to SXSW
For a band on an independent record label, a road trip to the South By Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas, is like going on a patronage to Mecca. If you want to appease the gods of rock'n'roll, you have to make the trip at least once in your musical lifetime.



This year, locals Before Braille will be among the nation's finest, best-kept secrets playing at the annual conference, which is attended by record executives, radio bigwigs, and any other salivating music fans that make the trek. Before Braille has incorporated the three days in Austin into its current 14-state tour and through the use of modern day technology [cell phones are the greatest journalistic tool ever invented], SPM was able to help document the band's journey.

Clock-wise
Since learning two months ago that he will be spending spring break deejaying in Jaipur and New Delhi, India, Mark "Jas" Tynan has been preparing himself for the culture shock and time change. For almost a week now, he's been slowly tricking his internal clock into thinking he's on Indian time, which is 12 hours ahead of Arizona. He will not go to bed until 8 the next morning, after a night on the turntables at Club Freedom, where he's been spinning for more than four years.

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