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Violence against Iraqi women continues unabated
Report, IRIN (Dec 1, 2008)
"Iraqi women have seen their rights eroded in all areas of life while the world observes from afar," warns the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Yakin Ertuerk, on the International Day on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. "The ongoing conflict, high levels of insecurity, widespread impunity, collapsing economic conditions and rising social conservatism are impacting directly on the daily lives of Iraqi women and placing them under increased vulnerability to all forms of violence within and outside their home", says Ms. Ertuerk. GO

An Initiative to Create the Federal Region of Basra Is Launched
Reidar Visser, Historiae (Nov 12, 2008)

Iraqi politicians ponder Obama strategy on Iraq
Basim Al-Shara, Zaineb Naji, Frman Abdul-Rahman, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (Nov 10, 2008)
Political leaders here do not see substantial near-term changes in United States policies toward Iraq despite president-elect Barack Obama's pledge to withdraw American forces and curb development assistance. GO

Is the U.S. Pushing Arab capitals on ambassadors?
Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani, Inter Press Service (Nov 10, 2008)
More than five years after the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, Arab capitals are beginning to send ambassadors to Baghdad. But some Egyptian commentators question the timing of the move, which they attribute to pressure from Washington. GO

Christians trickling back to their homes in Mosul
Report, IRIN (Nov 6, 2008)
About 400 Christian families have returned to their homes in the northern city of Mosul after a spate of threats and killings led them to flee in early October, according to officials. "We have so far registered nearly 400 Christian families who have returned to their houses and jobs, and resumed normal lives thanks to the deployment of security forces," said Jawdat Ismaiel, head of the Ministry of Displacement and Migration in the province. GO

Iraqi refugee women and girls in Jordan: “Rape is a death sentence”
Report, Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children (Nov 4, 2008)
The Iraqi doctor looked us straight into the eyes and said "I would rather be dead than tell anyone I have been raped." If this woman—a highly educated, successful doctor working for the UN— wouldn't speak out, who would? GO

The Map of Electoral Coalitions South of Baghdad Is Taking Shape
Reidar Visser, Historiae (Oct 31, 2008)
After a long series of extensions, it now seems as if the final deadline for forming coalitions for the next local elections in Iraq will be on November 2, 2008. The first announcement of coalitions among the Shiite Islamist parties is one of the indicators that suggest the coalition-forming process could be coming to an end. GO

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