From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Mheibes: Iraq’s Ramadan ring game returns after ISIL’s defeat

A traditional Arab game is making a welcome return for players in northern Iraq.

Known as the ring game or Mheibes, it has been played by Iraqis for decades during Ramadan.

However, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) banned the popular pastime in Mosul when it took over the city five years ago.

Now, with the ISIL gone, it’s game on again.

Al Jazeera‘s Rob Matheson reports from Baghdad:

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Could Iraq be pulled into a conflict between the United States and Iran?

The United States is raising the stakes against what it calls threats from Iran.

President Donald Trump is sending an extra 1,500 troops to the Middle East.

He’s also bypassing Congress to sell billions of dollars’ of weapons to Iran’s rivals, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Iran’s neighbour, Iraq, is vowing support and offering to mediate.

At the same time, Iraq is wary of straining relations with the Americans.

How should leaders in Baghdad handle this balancing act?

Presenter:

  • Hashem Ahelbarra

Guests:

  • Andreas Kreig – Assistant Professor, Defence Studies Department, King’s College London
  • Sami Nader – Director, The Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs
  • Robert Gutsche – Associate Professor, Lancaster University

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

An apparent rocket attack has hit the high-security Green Zone. The area houses key government buildings and the United States embassy.

Iraq’s state-run news agency says a Katyusha rocket crashed in the area without causing any casualties.

Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford joins us from Baghdad to discuss the latest updates:

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq is looking to strengthen its economy after decades of war, sanctions, sectarian division and the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

It has achieved some progress in recent years thanks to its oil industry; Iraq is the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and oil provides roughly 85 percent of the government’s revenue.

As the country enters a period of relative calm, Iraq’s oil minister, Thamer Ghadhban, says the government is working to expand its oil industries and improve infrastructure, which includes building more refineries and investing in southern gas fields and export routes.

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq to expand Karbala shrine for growing number of pilgrims

The Iraqi city of Karbala is planning a major expansion of a key religious site to cope with a growing number of pilgrims.

More than 30 million people visit the shrines of Imam Hussein and Abbas each year.

Al Jazeera‘s Dorsa Jabbari reports from Karbala:

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Women in Iraq push to Criminalise Domestic Violence

Domestic violence has been on the rise in Iraq, with women’s groups blaming instability and the break down of law and order.

However, there has been a growing awareness of the issue at the highest levels of government and the women’s rights groups are hopeful that the legislature will finally pass a law criminalising what they see as a “national crisis”.

The penal code currently has a provision allowing husbands to discipline their wives and does not criminalise domestic violence.

Al Jazeera‘s Natasha Ghoneim reports from Baghdad:

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

How will US sanctions affect Iran-Iraq economic relations?

The Trump administration is giving Iraq a few more months to continue buying oil and electricity from neighbouring Iran before the United States enforces sanctions against Tehran.

After years of conflict, Baghdad now relies heavily on Iran for goods and services.

And Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is visiting Iraq to solidify ties between the neighbours, trying to convince them to defy the US president.

Al Jazeera‘s Natasha Ghoneim reports from Baghdad:

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

In Iraq, reconstruction remains a daunting obstacle to displaced people returning home.

The government has allocated money and established commissions for people to file for assistance.

But there is little sign of that money being used for reconstruction after years of war that devastated the country.

Al Jazeera’s Natasha Ghoneim reports from Mosul:

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has been in power since last October.

When he was appointed, he gave parliament 100 days to end its deadlock and begin implementing much-needed reforms.

That deadline has come and gone and some Iraqis say Abdul Mahdi hasn’t done enough.

Al Jazeera’s Rob Matheson reports from Baghdad: