Thursday, March 16, 2006

BBC News: The new Iraqi parliament has held its inaugural session, three months after the general election. The meeting had been brought forward by three days from its postponed date, but the BBC's Jim Muir in Iraq says this is not a sign of accord. Unresolved differences between the parties and wrangling over the top jobs are likely to delay a new government. The short session was held against a backdrop of increasing sectarian violence and predictions of civil war. A pianist played as representatives of the country's main ethnic and religious blocs - many in traditional Arab and Kurdish dress - filed into a convention centre behind the concrete blast walls of Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone. [...]