Iraq’s parliament meets after protests spark political crisis Oct 09, 2019 0 155 12345 AFPBaghdadIraq’s parliament held its first session Tuesday after a week of anti-government protests that left dozens dead and sparked a political crisis the country’s president said required a “national dialogue”.Security restrictions were lifted around Baghdad’s Green Zone, where government offices and embassies are based.Morning traffic was at normal levels and an internet blackout in place for most of the past week appeared to ease. More than 200 parliamentarians arrived for an extraordinary session called by speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi, defying expectations that they would not meet quorum.MPs hosted several ministers to discuss the demonstrations, which erupted one week ago in Baghdad before spreading to the country’s Shiite-dominated south.The session followed a failed attempt on Saturday, when parliament’s largest bloc, including the 54 MPs led by populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, boycotted the session.Sadr threw his weight behind the protests last week and called on Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi to resign, but the embattled premier has held on and suggested his own string of reforms.On Tuesday, Abdel Mahdi held marathon meetings with Halbusi, the cabinet, tribal chiefs, and the country’s top justice over the demonstrations, with his office’s statements insisting life had “returned to normal” after a week of bloody demonstrations. But it remains to be seen whether Halbusi and Abdel Mahdi’s suggestions would be enough to appease protesters, who have repeatedly said they had “nothing left to lose” and scoffed at overtures by political and religious figures.The demonstrations began with demands for an end to rampant corruption and chronic unemployment but then escalated with calls for a complete overhaul of the political system.They were unprecedented because of their apparent spontaneity and independence in a deeply politicised society, but have also been exceptionally deadly -- with more than 100 people killed and 6,000 wounded in one week.On Monday night, President Barham Saleh made a televised appeal for “sons of the same country” to put an end to the “discord”. Saleh said those responsible for the violence were “enemies of the people” and proposed a cabinet reshuffle, more oversight to stamp out corruption, and a “national, all-encompassing and frank dialogue... without foreign interference.” RELATED ARTICLES Turkey ready for Syria offensive despite mixed Trump signals Oct 09, 2019 0 946 Iran opposes Syria military action, Zarif tells Turkey Oct 09, 2019 0 178 Hong Kong’s Lam says Chinese intervention can’t be ruled out Oct 09, 2019 0 544 Would welcome Kurds back into fold, says Damascus AFP Beirut Damascus is ready to welcome Syria’s Kurds back into the fold after Washington left them to face Turkish military threats alone, a senior official said in comments published Tuesday. Ankara has threatened an .. Turkey hits Kurdish militant targets in northern Iraq Istanbul: Turkish air strikes hit Kurdish militant targets in northern Iraq, Ankara’s defence ministry said Tuesday.The ministry said on Twitter that “nine terrorists were neutralised” in air strikes in the Hakurk .. Zuma’s son says not corrupt, but victim of S African political ‘storm’ Johannesburg: The son of South Africa’s ex-president Jacob Zuma, accused by witnesses of acting as a conduit in a major web of state graft, said on Tuesday he was not corrupt but a victim of political crossfire. Duduzane .. Mozambique says army killed 9 militants in restive north Maputo: Mozambican soldiers killed nine “evildoers” in the volatile north ahead of general elections next week, the government has said, in the first ever official confirmation of an attack on militants. Suspected .. German defence minister visits soldiers in north-eastern Mali Gao: German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Tuesday visited German soldiers serving with the United Nations in Mali to learn about their mission in the West African country. The soldiers are based in .. Chinese govt blasts US blacklist of 28 entities over Xinjiang as ‘groundless’ AFP Beijing China hit back at the United States on Tuesday over the blacklisting of 28 Chinese entities accused of being implicated in rights violations against mostly Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region, saying .. Iran to present regional peace plan for Strait of Hormuz ‘soon’ Tehran: Iran will be ready to present the details of its peace plan for the strategically important Strait of Hormuz “soon,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Tuesday. The plan, announced by President ..