Associated Press/Photo by Felipe Dana

Iraq reconstruction effort looms large

International | Nations pledge $30 billion, but many needs remain
by Julia A. Seymour
Posted 2/20/18, 02:40 pm

A recent conference held to raise funds for Iraq’s reconstruction secured about $30 billion in loans and investment pledges, a start toward the financial needs of a nation devastated by war and terrorism. But it will take more than money to rebuild after Islamic State (ISIS) beat down Iraqis through persecution and genocide.

“Recovery and reconciliation will be vital to prevent a new cycle of public frustration, radicalization and the risk of new violent extremism,” wrote Ahmed Twaij with the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Read more

Associated Press/Photo by Andrew Harnik

Threat level ‘high’ for great-power conflict

International | National intelligence director says risk greater ‘than at any time since the Cold War’
by Mindy Belz
Posted 2/14/18, 02:55 pm

UNITED STATES: The risk of conflict among great powers “is higher than at any time since the Cold War,” according to the worldwide threat assessment delivered to Congress Tuesday by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. Contrary to statements by President Donald Trump about the defeat of ISIS in Iraq, the Coats report indicates ISIS “probably will maintain” its insurgency in Iraq and Syria “as part of a long-term strategy.”

Read more

Associated Press/Photo by Bayo Omoboriowo/Nigeria State House

Boko Haram releases hostages in Nigeria

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 2/12/18, 09:14 am

Boko Haram released three university lecturers and 10 women kidnapped during different raids in Nigeria last year, the Nigerian government said on Saturday. In July, the extremist group kidnapped the lecturers as they worked on oil prospect evaluations in the Lake Chad area for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. That same month, Boko Haram kidnapped 10 women during an attack on a military and police convoy in northeast Maiduguri.

Read more