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The Morning's Stories: Vote or Pop?

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We're having a debate with ourselves this morning. Do we lede with the most important global story or the King of Pop? Since local news seems obsessed with celebrity justice, we'll pretend like we have loftier standards and run with the first Iraqi Democratic Election.

Both The Daily News and The Daily Bruin run stories of local expatriate Iraqi voters. The Bruin covers a poli sci student who has never been to his home country but participated in the election. The Daily News looks at the journeys that several voters had to take to have their voices heard.

While UCLA's paper has its eyes on Iraq, e Times has its eyes on UCLA. The university will release a study today that claims that racial issues are losing urgency amongst college freshman. Rather than this being good news, Sylvia Hurtado, coauthor of the survey, finds these results troubling. Not to be outdone with stories of higher education, The Daily News lets us know that Pierce College has launched a mule studies course this semester. Yes, we mean donkeys, asses, beasts of burden.

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And, if you didn't know, Michael Jackson's trial begins in earnest today with jury selection. Jackson released a video statement over the weekend claiming his innocence. You want other stories of the weird from the weekend? An exotic cat is roaming the Hollywood Hills and a Pico massage parlour got busted for prostitution. The weird part of the massage parlour story is that the location wasn't in the valley.

The big news of the day for us, however, is the announcement of the Coachella schedule. Coldplay and Nine Inch Nails are the headliners on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. We'll parse the lineup more later today.