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The US is handing over control to Iraq's own security forces as it prepares to withdraw combat troops from all Iraqi cities by June 30. But strains in political reconciliation and a new wave of bombings threaten to re-ignite simmering sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shiites. Iraqis have enjoyed a new calm in recent months. Will it hold? What will the US do if it doesn't? Also, Republican Senator Arlen Specter changes parties, and with cases of swine flu reported on several continents, we talk with a noted authority on epidemic diseases.

Banner image: The remains of an Iraqi suicide bomber lay on the street following an attack in the northeastern town of Baquba 60 kms from Baghdad on April 20. Disguised as an Iraqi policeman, the bomber killed three officers and wounded eight US soldiers and a civilian, in the third such attack on security forces in just over a week. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images