Wikinews Shorts: April 11, 2007

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A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, April 11, 2007.

Charges dropped in Duke lacrosse rape case

James B. Duke statue at Duke University

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped all charges against three Duke University lacrosse players. He said the athletes were innocent victims of a “tragic rush to accuse” by an overreaching district attorney, namely Mike Nifong. The year-long case saw Reade Seligmann, David Evans and Collin Finnerty indicted for rape, kidnapping and sexual assault charges tied to an alleged attack at a lacrosse team party on March 13, 2006.

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Sadrist Movement threatens to leave Iraqi government

Artist impression of Muqtada al-Sadr

Controversial cleric Muqtada al-Sadr criticized Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's lack of support for a timetable for a United States withdrawal from Iraq. Although it is not the first time the Sadrist Movement has threatened to leave the government, a statement released by the bloc said: "The Sadrist movement is studying the option of withdrawing from the Iraqi government - a government that has not fulfilled its promises to the people ... We are serious about withdrawing."

Al-Maliki's coalition relied on the Sadrist Movement to give it the mandate needed to form a government and the withdrawal could threaten to topple the government. The Sadrist Movement holds six ministerial positions and represents about a quarter of the MPs in the coalition.

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