In June, it was noted that Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi would be traveling to the United States to meet with US President Donald Trump. Yesterday, the White House released more details:
President Donald J. Trump will welcome Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi of the Republic of Iraq to the White House on August 20, 2020. The visit comes at a critical time for both the United States and Iraq as we continue our collaboration to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS and address the challenges from the coronavirus pandemic. As close partners, the United States and Iraq will look to expand our relations across a range of issues, including security, energy, health care, and economic cooperation.
It is a critical time for both. For Iraq, there's the lack of dependable electricity in the midst of a pandemic. Omar Sattar (AL-MONITOR) reports:
The heat wave in Iraq has raised the ire of citizens in the central and southern areas, pushing many to take to the streets once again. The popular protests in the squares had settled down due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the searing hot weather and declining hours of electricity supply have forced the new government to once again face the protesters.
Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s government was only formed less than three months ago and is now in the middle of the process of activating electricity interconnection agreements with Gulf countries and speeding up the cooperation agreement with Germany's Siemens AG.
Although he inherited a mess, and is taking action to fix it, there is no quick fix and the political blocs opposed to Kadhimi have tried to harness the protests to undermine his government and drag it into a bloody confrontation with the protesters, especially in Baghdad, Dhi Qar and Basra.
Clashes between protesters and security forces have resulted in three deaths and 21 injuries, according to the Iraqi Human Rights Commission.
And with that backdrop, temperatures soared even higher in Iraq today -- in fact, Baghdad set a new record. Natalie O'Neill (NEW YORK POST) notes,
Folks in Iraq aren’t hot on this weather trend.
Temperatures soared to a scorching 126 degrees in Baghdad last week — the hottest ever recorded in the city, according to a report.
The sweltering heat, which comes during the country’s hottest summer ever, sparked power outages that forced locals to endure the weather without air conditioning, Bloomberg News reported.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom's INDEPENDENT is known for publishing the 'facts' from Paddy Cock-Burn. He's seen as anti-Arab -- for good reason -- and he misses so much. Including this article at the Arab edition of THE INDEPENDENT written by Ghufran Younes. She notes the area near Falluja is infamous for its number of missing people -- missing as a result of the militias liquidation operations in Anbar Province. In June of 2016, Faiz al-Rikan explains, approximately 735 residents were abducted. A man whose three sons, ages 16 to 26, were abducted speaks of his sadness over his missing children. They are among The Disappeared. Since 2017, the High Commission for Human Rights has received complaints of at least 8,615 Iraqis being disappeared. Professor Anas Akram Muhammed sits on that commission and states that a national database is needed to track the disappeared and their numbers. The Commission works with the United Nations Development Program. The Iraqi Center for Documenting War Crimes' Omar al-Farhan states that Iraq is the top ranked in the world when it comes to the number of people who have been disappeared by government forces (including the militias).
It's a major report. It has clear news value -- certainly more pertinent than anything 'Middle East expert' Paddy Cock-Burn has filed recently as he's restyled himself to become a US 'resistance' 'fighter.'
We should all be asking why THE INDEPENDENT has elected to publish this very important article only in Arabic?
Friday evening, it went up at THE INDEPENDENT's Arabic site and it's been talked about non-stop on Arabic social media. But, for some strange reason, THE INDEPENDENT -- a British publication -- feels no compulsion to publish the article in English.
It's no where to be found at their English site -- not in the news of the world and not in Middle East news. Someone needs to answer why that is.
In other news, MENAFM reports, "The cumulative number of the confirmed COVID-19 cases that have been recorded in Iraq since it has been hit by the pandemic has raised to 144,064, as 3,461 more patients tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours ending on Saturday, the country's ministry of health announced."
Lastly, THE DAYTONA NEWS-JOURNAL covers the tally of the US fallen in Iraq, "In operations related to Iraq, a total of 4,603 members of the U.S. military and Department of Defense civilians have died. Another 32,523 U.S. service personnel and DOD civilians have been wounded in action."
The following sites updated: