News

Iraqi Political Factions Agree to Resolve Disputed Issues

Top leaders from Iraq's Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish factions say they have agreed to resolve key issues to boost national reconciliation.

Five Iraqi political leaders announced the pledge Sunday.

Iraqi officials say they agreed to ease restrictions on members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party joining government ministries, among other measures. But the office of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said more talks are needed on constitutional reforms and a critical oil law.

The White House congratulated Iraqi leaders on the pledge, saying it was "important symbol" of their readiness to work for all Iraqis.

The pledge came ahead of a September deadline for a U.S. report on progress in Iraq. The U.S. Congress has demanded that Iraq meet certain benchmarks in exchange for continued funding of the war.

Earlier Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki rebuked U.S. politicians who have called for his removal from office. Mr. Maliki said Democratic Party Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Carl Levin need to - in the prime minister's words - "come to their senses."

Clinton is a U.S. presidential candidate.

In other news Sunday, U.S. forces bombed a house in northern Iraq after insurgents were seen entering the building following a firefight with U.S. troops. Iraqi police say the air strike in Samarra killed seven civilians, including five children.

U.S. military officials have not confirmed the casualties, but say they regret any harm to civilians.

In another incident, an Iraqi Kurdish official said a U.S. airstrike killed four Kurdish policemen and wounded eight others in northeastern Iraq. A spokesman for Iraq's Kurdish Peshmerga militia. Jabar Yawar said U.S. aircraft attacked two Kurdish police outposts, near the town of Qara Tepe in Diyala Province in a possible case of "friendly fire."

Also Sunday, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Shi'ites converged on Iraq's holy city of Karbala for a major religious festival. Iraqi officials have banned vehicles from roads along the pilgrimage route to prevent sectarian attacks.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs