Monday, February 21, 2011

Protesters assaulted, 1 dead

Al Rafidayn reports that Speaker of Parliament Osama Nujaifi has announced that forty billion dollars is missing from the Development Fund for Iraq and that the Parliament has formed two committees to investigate the disappearance.

Fang Yang (Xinhua) reports a Samarra suicide car bombing caused deaths an injuries "when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a military base belonging to a quick reaction police force". Michael S. Schmidt and Omar al-Jawoshy (New York Times) quote eye witness police officer Mohammed Hillan Athab stating, "I was standing at the front of the compound where the bar was located and suddenly a white pickup truck filled with empty chicken cages got closer to us. First, we thought, he is a farmer and lost his way. But then he drover faster, and one he got close he detonated the car." Reuters adds, "On Feb 10 a suicide car bomber attacked a group of pilgrims near the town of Dujail as they headed to Samarra for the commemoration, killing eight and wounding 30." Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) counts 12 dead and twenty injured in today's attack.

Protests continued in Iraq today. Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) drops back to yesterday to note that thirty-nine people were injured and 1 teenager male died in Sulaimaniya when the pesh merga clashed with protesters. Not identified in the report, the male was 17-year-old Sherko Mohammed. Another CNN report notes that banners named Massoud Barzani (KRG President) and demanded he apologize for the behavior of the guards last week. Kutaiba Hamid (Al Mada) reports that this morning in Bahgdad, protesters were attack by unknown assailants in civilian clothes and driving cars suspected of belonging to ministries. The assailants used electric batons and knives. Protesters are demanding that the area (Tahir Square) be returned to the protesters. Waleed Abu Tiba states that at one o'clock in the afternoon the assailants emerged from government cars and began beating protesters. Dar Addustour reports 11 protesters have been arrested in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib section and that a traffic ban has been imposed on the area in an effort to stop the demonstrations. In addition, a demostration "in" the University of Kirkuk is noted where students from Business, Economics and Science demanded better conditions at the university and better services.

Ammar Karim (AFP) reports, "Iraq scrambled to head off further protests on Monday by cutting politicians' pay and ramping up support for the needy after a teenage demonstrator was killed at a rally in the country's north." Karim notes that the tariffs on imported goods has been delayed as a result of the protests. Though it appears late in the article and is not developed, it's not a minor point. Right now Iraqis are being assured that the politicians hear them, that the prices are too high for food and unemployment is a nightmare and blah, blah, blah. But they want to impose a tariff on all imports and Iraq continues to import the bulk of its food. Which would mean that either Parliament drops the tariff proposal or they get honest with Iraqis that the high cost of food is about to go up.

A Christian recording artist (I assume American, I could be wrong) Tony Polite has new downloads at his site and, NOT WORK SAFE, the rock group Freakz Me Out has new downloads at their site. When possible, if someone e-mails about music, I will try to note it in some way here. In addition, but non-musical:

Burn Pit Summit
Monday, April 18 at 9:00am
Location: Washington D.C.

We'll note that event again several times between now and then, we'll especially promote it after the DC march on the anniversary of the start of the Iraq War.

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