Iraqi government

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Iraq Breaks Political Deadlock

Maliki will return as PM under tentative deal

(Newser) - Eight months after the country went to the polls, Iraqi politicians have reached a tentative deal to form a government. The Sunni-backed Iraqiya alliance has agreed to support a unity government headed by Nouri al-Maliki, who will return for a second term as prime minister, the New York Times reports.... More »

Iraq to Pay $400M to Saddam's US Victims

Deal will help lift UN sanctions

(Newser) - Iraq has quietly agreed to pay $400 million to Americans who say they suffered at the hands of Saddam Hussein’s regime after the invasion of Kuwait. The settlement will resolve an almost two-decade legal battle, and will allow the US to help Iraq emerge from UN sanctions dating back... More »

Anti-US Cleric Pushes for New Iraqi Government

Al-Sadr meets with Maliki's main rival

(Newser) - Muqtada al-Sadr took a rare step into Iraq’s political fray yesterday, meeting with Ayad Allawi in Syria to discuss the formation of a new Iraqi government. Allawi leads the Iraqiya coalition, one of two major factions vying for control of Iraq’s parliament. Sadr is nominally aligned with the... More »

Biden Struggles to Break Iraqi Deadlock

VP urges rivals to form new government

(Newser) - Joe Biden spent his surprise visit to Iraq trying to prod Iraqi politicians into forming a new government, 4 months after elections finished in a stalemate. The vice president, keen to avoid a power vacuum as US combat troops exit, also stressed that the US has no intention of abandoning... More »

Iraqis Swear by Pricey, Useless Bomb Detectors

US forces say handheld device is no better than a magic wand

(Newser) - Go through any checkpoint in Iraq, and someone will probably wave a small, hand-held device over your vehicle. Dubbed the ADE651, it’s supposed to detect bombs. But in reality it’s totally useless, US military and technical experts tell the New York Times, with one retired officer saying it... More »

Iraq Militias Kill Gays With Impunity

Government's unwillingness to protect gays points to a bleak future for all Iraqis

(Newser) - Iraq's militias have switched from slaughtering rivals to killing men they suspect of being homosexuals, and the Iraqi government is turning a blind eye, Rasha Moumneh writes in Foreign Policy. Gay men have been kidnapped, tortured, and murdered in rising numbers since the start of this year, but not a... More »

Death Squads Ramp Up Killings of Gay Iraqis

(Newser) - Hundreds of gay men have been executed in Iraq in the last few months, CNN reports. Though homosexuals are stigmatized in Iraq, and honor killings by family members have been reported, some of the recent murders have been carried out by government security forces, Human Rights Watch says. “The... More »

Brit Kidnappings Linked to Iraqi Officials

(Newser) - The kidnapping of five British men in Baghdad two years ago appears to have been masterminded by Iraqi officials instead of insurgents, a Guardian investigation finds. Technology specialist Peter Moore and his bodyguards were seized from Iraq's Finance Ministry by 40 men in police uniforms. Interviews with Iraqi and British... More »

Maliki Not Above Arresting Rivals as Iraq Election Looms

(Newser) - PM Nouri al-Maliki looks a lot like a strongman these days, using every lever at his disposal to influence Iraq’s January elections, the Washington Post reports. His men have arrested or threatened political rivals in Diyala province and Basra; last month they even arrested a councilman from the Iraqi... More »

Iraq PM Influenced Obama Torture Photo Decision

(Newser) - “Heavy pressure” from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki helped convince President Obama to oppose the release of Abu Ghraib torture photos sought by the ACLU, McClatchy reports. “Baghdad will burn,” Maliki reportedly told military officials. The administration cited objections from generals as the reason for the change... More »

Former Iraqi Trade Minister Arrested on Graft Charges

Authorities order his plane to turn around

(Newser) - Iraq’s erstwhile trade minister has been arrested on charges of corruption, the BBC reports. Abdul Falah Sudani resigned his post earlier this month after allegations emerged that he and other officials in his department were embezzling government funds. The dramatic capture today occurred after police requested Sudani’s flight... More »

Sunni Fighters Say Iraq Will Never Hire Them

(Newser) - The US turned over tens of thousands of Sunni fighters to Baghdad this weekend to take government jobs and mend fences with ruling Shiites, but many Sunnis are skeptical, the New York Times reports. After helping tame al-Qaeda in Iraq, the militiamen say few jobs are being offered in return.... More »

Maliki Charts Post-Sectarian Politics in Iraq

Shiite PM teams with secular Sunnis and even militant cleric

(Newser) - The Shiite party of PM Nouri al-Maliki has allied itself with Sunni political figures and even Moqtada al-Sadr, a major departure from earlier politics that followed ethnic and sectarian lines. writes Anthony Shadid in the Washington Post. All support a strong central government and advocate a united Iraq over a... More »

Iraqi Women's Minister Resigns in Protest

Budget cuts rob her of resources to help 'army of widows'

(Newser) - Iraq's state minister for women's affairs has quit to protest a lack of resources for a daunting task—improving the lives of "a full army of widows" and other women left poor or abandoned by war. Nawal al-Samarraie told the AP how her office's budget was so tight that... More »

Iraqis Wrap Up Voting Amid Relative Calm

That this is worth reporting is deeply sad and also deeply funny

(Newser) - Iraq’s first provincial election went off more or less smoothly today. Though three mortar shells landed near one polling place, no one was injured or killed, Reuters reports, and polls closed without any other major incidents. Turnout appeared strong, even in places like Anbar province, a Sunni-dominated area that... More »

Iraqi Women Pressured to Run for Office, Fill Quota

Many candidates in Anbar are wives of tribal leaders

(Newser) - Iraq has new rules to boost women's rights, but it may take a while for the nation's culture to get up to speed, Time reports. In this month's provincial elections, for instance, 25% of newly elected council members must be female. But in provinces such as Anbar, the idea of... More »

Green Zone Turned Over to Iraqis

US transfers control of Baghdad's fortified enclave

(Newser) - The heart of the US occupation in Iraq was returned to Iraqi control at midnight last night, the Washington Post reports. Iraqi soldiers now control checkpoints leading to the heavily fortified Green Zone enclave in Baghdad. American troops and workers have moved out of many buildings, including the former palace... More »

US Moves to Boost Cases Against Key Iraqi Detainees

Accord will shift jurisdiction to Baghdad, and officials want evidence to stand up in trial

(Newser) - The US military has begun assembling evidence against 5,000 Iraqi detainees it deems most dangerous, USA Today reports, hoping to file charges that will stand up in court once Baghdad gains legal jurisdiction. Some 15,800 detainees remain in military custody, but when the Status of Forces Agreement kicks... More »

Contractors in Iraq Could Be Charged for Old Incidents

Charges Could Loom for Contractors in Old Iraq Disputes

(Newser) - Iraq may be able to prosecute US contractors for misdeeds committed when they were thought to be operating under American immunity, McClatchy reports. The new security pact doesn’t block such retroactive legal action, news that came as a surprise to Blackwater, whose contractors have been involved in the most... More »

Iraq Firing Corruption Watchdogs

Up to 17 officials dismissed as cost of fraud hits $13B

(Newser) - After the invasion of Iraq, the American transitional administration installed dozens of anticorruption officials to bring order to the nation's bureaucracy. But in recent months the Iraqi government has systematically fired these inspectors without making any public announcement, reports the New York Times. Only recently a senior Iraqi official testified... More »

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