FROM Edmund Ghareeb
Christmas Returns to a Hopeful Baghdad In 1987 an Iraqi census counted one million Christians. Now there might be half a million or so in a country of 25 million. What's it like for them at Christmas time? Last year, an inflatable Santa Claus—or Father Christmas—stayed in a box during the Christmas season. This year, he's back on the street in front of a juice shop in central Baghdad, "one arm outstretched in a welcoming wave." That's according to Deborah Haynes, who writes for the Times of London . We also get perspective from historian Edmund Ghareeb, co-author of The Historical Dictionary of Iraq .
Saddam's Execution Raises Questions Saddam Hussein's execution was supposed to be a formal and solemn affair, but guards charged with keeping order chanted Shiite slogans and exchanged insults with the former head of state. Today, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered an investigation into the taunting of Hussein before his execution as well as into how videotape was released to the world. We hear more about the reaction to those sounds and images.
The US gets deeper into Middle East wars. What's the endgame? President Trump welcomed Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to the White House today… just one of the changes in America's approach to the Middle East since Barack Obama left office. We hear about that and the escalation of warfare as well as civilian casualties.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.