Examining Iraq: News Updates from the past few days

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Quite a lot of news stories came out while we were away during the Thanksgiving break.  Take a look at some that we came across:

1. Iraq refugees’ expectations of American life shatter – Washington Post

“We had heard so much about America,” she said. “We thought that the life would be easy, easy, easy. But when we came here and faced the reality, we were shocked.”

Now, she said, family members in Iraq send her money to help her out.

2. Iraq’s troubles drive out many refugees who came back – New York Times

In a recent survey by the United Nations refugee office, 61 percent of those who returned to Baghdad said they regretted coming back, most saying they did not feel safe. The majority, 87 percent, said they could not make enough money here to support their families. Applications for asylum in Syria have risen more than 50 percent since May.

As Iraq struggles toward a return to stability, these returnees risk becoming people without a country, displaced both at home and abroad. And though departures have ebbed since 2008, a wave of recent attacks on Christians has prompted a new exodus.

3. Sadr sees star rise again in Iraq – Los Angeles Times

In recent months, Maliki’s government has freed hundreds of controversial members of the Shiite Muslim cleric’s Mahdi Army and handed security positions to veteran commanders of the militia, which was blamed for some of the most disturbing violence in the country’s civil war and insurgency against U.S. forces.

The Mahdi Army has also in effect seized control of cellblocks at one of Iraq’s largest detention facilities, Taji prison. Within months of the U.S. hand-over of the prison in March, Mahdi Army detainees were giving orders to guards who were either loyal to or intimidated by them, Iraqi and U.S. officials say.


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