Iraq government

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Iraq Loses Control of 2nd City

State Dept. calls ISIS 'threat to entire region'

(Newser) - Stability is deteriorating quickly in Iraq, where officials are confirming that Islamist militants have seized control of a second city, Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit. Officials tell the AP that the provincial governor based in Tikrit is missing, while the New York Times notes that militants encountered precious little... More »

33 Killed at Sunni Protest Site in Iraq

'The peaceful demonstrations are over': tribal leader

(Newser) - Some 33 civilians have been reported dead after Iraqi security forces took on Sunni protesters near the city of Kirkuk. Almost 100 people were wounded in the fighting, local officials say; the Ministry of Defense says 20 "gunmen" and three soldiers were killed and 75 people arrested. Sunnis across... More »

With US Gone, Iraq Explodes

Violence rampant thanks to political crisis

(Newser) - Iraq has experienced a surge in violence since US troops left the country last month, with 327 people dying in explosions or assassinations by the Iraqi Ministry's official count. Bombings have hit Baghdad neighborhoods , Shiite pilgrims , and Sunni police, among other targets. "They are not arbitrary attacks. They... More »

Iraq's Biggest Problem: Its Corrupt Banks

Bloated state banks feed corrupt economic system: critics

(Newser) - Eight years after the US invasion, Iraq still lacks reliable electricity, postal service, public transport, you name it. But many of these problems are fueled by a corrupt banking system that rejects market economics and funnels money to scams and greedy government officials, McClatchy reports. The worst offenders, critics say,... More »

Maliki Moves Against Foes as Crisis Deepens

Opponent says Maliki could send Iraq into 'abyss'

(Newser) - Just hours after the last US troops left Iraq, the country's political crisis has deepened seriously, with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki moving against several major rivals, reports the Wall Street Journal . Yesterday Maliki tried to get parliament to take up a non-confidence motion against Vice Premier Saleh al-Mutlaq, a... More »

Adm. Mullen: For Smooth Iraq Withdrawal, 'Now Is the Time'

Further delay of Iraq government's decision could jeopardize smooth transition

(Newser) - Iraq's indecision on whether to ask American forces to stay beyond the end of the year is pushing the US close to the point where a smooth, safe troop withdrawal will be jeopardized, the top US military officer said today upon arriving in the country. Adm. Mike Mullen said... More »

Muqtada al-Sadr Returns to Iraq

Anti-American cleric's political influence rising

(Newser) - Muqtada al-Sadr—the radical Shiite cleric whose militia was involved in some of the bloodiest battles of the Iraq war—returned to Iraq today, after almost four years of self-imposed exile in Iran. Sadr finds himself with newfound political influence, after throwing his party’s weight behind Nouri al-Maliki, and... More »

Sunni Bloc Walks Out on Iraqi Parliament

Coalition deal in jeopardy

(Newser) - Iraq’s political compromise didn’t last long. Ayad Allawi’s predominantly Sunni Iraqiya party walked out of a parliament session intended to unite it in a coalition government with Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law party yesterday, the New York Times reports, after it failed to force votes on... More »

Maliki Demands Recount as Party Lead Slips

Iraq boss accuses election panel of tampering

(Newser) - Iraq's prime minister accused the country's election commission of manipulating national vote results and ordered a recount as a rival coalition edged into the lead over his bloc with 79% of of the tally in. Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition is still ahead in the province-by-province count, but challenger... More »

Iraqi Candidates Woo Voters With Gifts

With election days away, 'Iraqracy' in full swing

(Newser) - With Iraq’s parliamentary election fast approaching, the candidates are vying for voters' affections by showering them with gifts. One candidate recently handed out frozen chickens in a poor village near Baquba. Another in Babil Province doled out sports equipment and running shoes from China. Voters have also scored phone... More »

US Gives Iraqis Gear It Needs in Afghanistan

Hard-up commanders irked by millions in equipment left behind

(Newser) - Struggling US commanders in Afghanistan urgently need passenger vehicles and generators—the very same items their counterparts in Iraq are leaving behind as hand-me-downs for the Iraqis. As the military scales back its presence in Iraq, the Pentagon has raised the cap on equipment they're allowed to leave behind from... More »

Call-In Show Lets Iraqis Grill Their Leaders

Popular program cuts red tape, gets results, frightens politicians

(Newser) - Iraqi politicians are starting to fear a prime-time television in show that gives ordinary citizens a direct chance to berate them. Hosted by portly TV vet Ala Mushin, Hotline will never be mistaken for American Idol, yet it’s become one of the most popular shows in Iraq, NPR reports.... More »

In Its First Estimate, Iraq Says 85K Killed Since '04

(Newser) - At least 85,694 Iraqis lost their lives from 2004 to 2008 in violence, the Iraqi government said today in its first comprehensive tally released since the war began. Another 147,195 were wounded during that four-year period, says the Human Rights Ministry. The number includes Iraqi civilians, military, and... More »

US Commanders Chafe at Iraq's Tight New Restrictions

(Newser) - The Iraq government has tightly restricted the movements and activities of American troops remaining in cities, and some commanders blame the restrictions for a rise in attacks, the Washington Post. The day after Iraqis celebrated the pullback of US troops to outside cities, Iraq ordered the US military to cease... More »

Shoe-Chucker Gets Reduced Sentence

Iraqi journalist faces only 1 year in prison on lesser charge

(Newser) - Muntadar al-Zaidi, famous for throwing his shoes at former President Bush, has been granted an appeal that cuts his prison time from 3 years to 1, the BBC reports. A court of appeals agreed with Zaidi’s lawyers that the Iraqi journalist deserves a charge of insulting—rather than assaulting—... More »

This Time, Iraq Gets Politics With Its Elections

Stability gives candidates chance to compete more in Western democratic style

(Newser) - If Iraq’s tumultuous 2005 elections were a trial run at democracy, the current provincial race has main-event flavor, the Washington Post reports. Greater stability has allowed town-hall gatherings, where voters grill some 14,000 candidates running for 440 seats on everything from housing to militarization. And campaign posters, T-shirts... More »

Iraq Officials Busted in Coup Plot

Generals, old regime members arrested in Ministry of Interior sweep

(Newser) - Iraq has arrested up to 35 Ministry of the Interior officials over the last three days for their part in a plot to revive Saddam Hussein's Baath party, the New York Times reports. Some being held were in the early stages of planning a coup, say officials. Four generals were... More »

Bush Helps Shield Iraq From Gulf War Legal Claims

Compensation could bankrupt country, it says; Americans hurt by Saddam differ

(Newser) - President Bush has wedged himself between Americans and Iraq by supporting a UN measure that stops financial claims against the fledgling democracy. Iraq faces bankruptcy if claims are added to $26 billion it already owes companies and individuals who suffered in the first Gulf war. But the temporary plug keeps... More »

Obama Victory Triggers Positive Shift in Iraq Politics

New optimism signals future cooperation

(Newser) - A wave of optimism in the wake of Barack Obama's victory is causing a shift in Iraqi politics, the New York Times reports. Shiite politicians are signaling that they're more prepared now to sign a new security agreement with the US. They believe Obama will speed the pace of withdrawal,... More »

US Agrees to Leave Iraq in 2011

Bilateral pact, which gives Iraq control over troops, must be approved by parliament

(Newser) - Iraq's government could soon be in charge of US troops for the first time, a prelude to their full withdrawal by 2011 under a deal now awaiting approval by Iraqi politicians, Reuters reports. The deal sets a firm timeline, and lets the Arab nation prosecute American soldiers for some serious... More »

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