Top of the Morning: Iraq’s Bloody Election

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A Bloody Election as Iraqis Go to the Polls...Iraq is holding its first nationwide elections since American forces withdrew in 2011. A twin bombing attack targeting Shia civilians killed at least 24 people on the eve of the vote, the latest in a series of attacks this year that has killed thousands. The expected result? Nouri al-Malaki will likely win a third term as prime minister. The voting will largely fall along sectarian lines, and Malaki has positioned himself as a shi’ite willing to take a hard line against sunni terrorism.  The violence will not stop. Consider this stat: “In April 2010, one month after the elections, some 1,288 Iraqis had lost their lives, at the same stage in 2014, that number has risen almost four-fold.” Deeper Dives…Behind Iraq’s Upsurge in Violence. Al Jazeera  and Iraq’s al-Malaki facing discontent. ABC

So long, George Clooney...First, he gets engaged to a high profile international humanitarian law scholar and practitioner. Next, he resigns from his post as UN Messenger of Peace! The Independent