OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

The Senate Armed Services Committee agreed unanimously to block the Defense Department from funding Iraq reconstruction projects worth more than $2 million and to begin to force Baghdad to cover the costs of training and equipping its own security forces.

A military jury at Fort Hood, Texas, acquitted Army Sgt. Leonardo Trevino of premeditated murder in the death of an unarmed Iraqi insurgent who was killed in a village overrun by Al-Qaida operatives. The 31-year-old San Antonio native also was cleared of attempted murder, solicitation to commit murder and obstruction of justice.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, after watching a YouTube video showing poor barracks conditions at the Army's Fort Bragg in North Carolina, told an audience of enlisted men and women at Fort Bliss, Texas, that what he saw was "appalling" and that "soldiers should never have to live in such squalor."

The State Department said 974 Iraqi refugees were permitted to enter the country last month. That was up from 751 in March, 444 in February and 375 in January. The Bush administration has set a goal of 1,000 Iraqi refugees per month by September.

NEWS SERVICES