Key recent developments in the war:

_ Huge explosions shook buildings in the heart of Baghdad Tuesday, apparently from U.S. forces bombing Iraqi positions on the city outskirts.

_ Ground troops advanced to within 50 miles of the Iraqi capital, as thousands of Marine convoys took dirt roads to avoid cities and towns, creating traffic jams in the push north.

_ Firefighters trying to put out blazes in southern Iraq's oil fields said that while some wells appear to have been sabotaged, Iraqi troops may have disobeyed orders to blow up many others.

_ The White House said President Bush will ask Congress for $74.7 billion to pay for the war with Iraq, assuming a month of combat, and for strengthening counterterrorism efforts at home.

_ Iraqi state television showed two men said to have been the U.S. crew of an Apache helicopter forced down in central Iraq on Monday. The Pentagon identified the missing men as Chief Warrant Officer Ronald D. Young Jr., 26, of Georgia, and Chief Warrant Officer David S. Williams, 30, of Florida.

_ In his first appearance since the start of the war, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said that Saddam is in ``full control'' of the army and the country.

_ U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned of a humanitarian crisis in Basra, scene of fierce fighting. Annan said that ``urgent measures'' were needed to restore the city's electricity and water supply.

_ Arab nations called for an emergency Security Council meeting to demand an end to the U.S.-led war against Iraq and the withdrawal of all invading forces.

_ At the Pentagon, spokeswoman Torie Clark accused Iraqis of violating the rules of war by misusing white flags of surrender and other deceptions.