Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Saturday, November 19, 2005

19 November 2005 Events in Iraq and in the Region

Baghdad. Suicide bombing targets hotel in south Baghdad.

23:34 Washington A U.S. citizen charged with accepting kickbacks related to reconstruction in Iraq is a decorated military veteran with a shaky financial and criminal past, records show. Robert J. Stein Jr., 50, from Hope Mills, North Carolina, is accused of helping an American contractor illegally win bids in Iraq worth more than $13 million (├▒11 million), federal authorities said this week. He faces conspiracy, money laundering, wire fraud and other charges.

22:36 Cairo. An accusation of treason in the heat of debate brought a conference of Iraqi politicians to a halt for 15 minutes in Cairo on Saturday, illustrating the delicate task mediators face keeping them all in the same room. Members of the mainly Shi'ite Muslim United Iraq Alliance walked out of the first closed session of the three-day reconciliation meeting and threatened to leave for good if the Arab League organisers did not extract an apology.

22:10 Berlin. The German government has agreed to sell two Dauphin-class submarines to Israel for a $1 billion.

22:02 Baiji. Five US soldiers of the 101st Airborne were killed and five wounded while on patrol in Baiji. Later in the day, the US military announced the death of a US soldier wounded earlier in the week in Baiji.

20:06 Khaneqin. Suicide bombers entered a Shi'ite mosque during noonday prayers and detonated their payload, killing 78 and wounding 90.

19:59 Cairo. Rival Iraqi factions argued during the first days of an Arab League sponsored conference on Iraq. Iraqi Christian representative Minas Ibrahim al-Youssifi drew crys of outrage from Kurds and Shi'a when he called the Constitution "a fabrication dictated by the occupying forces." Sunni dignitary Hareth al-Dari said he was disappointed by the lack of sincerity. Jawad al-Khalsi, an influential Shi'a imam opposed to the occupation demanded a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops.

17:57 Rome. FM Gianfranco Fini says the Italian Embassy in Baghdad is under constant menace.

16:48 Baquba. A suicide bomber detonates payload at a funeral tent northeast of Baghdad commemorating Abu Saida, killing 35 mourners and wounding 50.

16:37 Baghdad. 18,000 bulletproof vests issued to the US military deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been recalled due to insufficiency of the anti-ballistic fabric used. The vests, manufactured between 1999 and 2001 by Point Blank Body Armour of Pompano Beach, Florida, were meant to withstand 9 mm bullets and shrapnel, insufficient for combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.

12:22 Baghdad. Iraqi authorities say they thwarted a bombing targeting the Italian Embassy.

12:04 Riyadh. 20-nation energy forum hopes to stabilize oil prices and to guarantee more transparancy to the petroleum market.

10:03 Baghdad. Fourteen are dead and 18 wounded in car bombing at an outdoor market in the Jesir Diyala quarter near the Euphrates River of southeast Baghdad. A parked car filled with explosives was left near the market stalls.

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