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June 30, 2009
Posted: 1805 GMT

iraq

Today is the big day for Iraqis, one that will change their country either for the better, or for the much worse: the day Western oil companies lined up to place bids on the exploration of Iraq oil fields.

What is at issue in Iraq today is as much about securing the country, as it is about dividing its riches. Today, American troops leave urban centers in Iraq and retreat back to their bases, leaving Iraqi security forces to patrol the streets and try to keep the peace. It will be tough: today, yet another deadly suicide bombing killed dozens in Northern Iraq.

As Iraqis celebrated "sovereignty day," Iraqi television broadcast live images of BP, Shell, Total and Exxon, among others, dropping bids on folded pieces of paper into a large plexiglass box and then waited for the thumbs up or thumbs down from Iraq's oil minister Hussein Al-Sharistani.

In the end, only one group agreed to lower its price enough to win a contract for the Bai-Hassan oil field. And the process will continue. Whether the proceeds will be perceived as being fairly divided among the Kurds, the Sunnis and the Shiites (Parliament has not yet passed an oil bill) will go a long way in determining how peaceful Iraq can be.

We will be going live to Michael Ware in Baghdad for the latest on the day's news.

Also today, we'll be looking in to the coup that brought down Honduras' civilian president and forced him into exile. The United Nations condemend the military putsch and called on Manuel Zeleya to be re-instated. Some of you have written comments and emails supporting the military coup. Others say forcibly removing a president from power and ejecting him from the country is not what Central American democracies should be doing anymore.

We're live in Honduras with the latest on what people are saying on the ground.

We'll also bring you the latest on that downed Yemeni airliner that crashed into the Indian Ocean with more than 150 people aboard. initial reports that a child may have survived the crash are now being questionned. We'll cross over live to our reporter David McKenzie.

Plus, we'll take you live to the Apollo theatre in Harlem, New York. Stephanie Elam is there and will talk to fans gathered at the historic venue to pay tribute to Michael Jackson.

See you on TV!

Hala

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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk


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Luis   June 30th, 2009 7:44 pm ET

Hala, the world has got it all wrong: there was no coup in Honduras. The military acted upon the civilian order of the Supreme Court to inmediatly proceed to detain Zelaya because he had commited several acts against the Constitution and the law, including treason. It had to be the military because part of the local police was in favor of Zelaya (after he had paid them and many others a lot of money to support him).
Whay you see in TV is people who are happy that the civilian power acted promptly to erradicate a govenment led by one of the puppets of Hugo Chavez. Like anything, there's people in favor and other against but the vast majority of hondurans are happy that Zelaya and his gang is finally gone.

Victor Velasquez   July 1st, 2009 12:22 am ET

Hello Hala: Please investigate the last three and a half years of Zelaya's govenment, to see how he has been violating and ignoring our laws, justifiying his actions in the " defence of the poor" . In the short term, our new authorities , will show evidence of all his wrongdoing especially on how he has benifited personally from the poor's money, with his extensive luxury properties and Swiss bank accounts. Maybe now we can finally put an end to the 38 small twin engine planes that have landed in Honduras just this year , with Venezuelan registration, loaded with cocaine, but which Zelaya has not been able to seize the drug or the pilots.

Carlos   July 1st, 2009 12:32 am ET

It is amazing that the will of the Honduran people keeps being ignored and trampled by the governments of so many countries. May be the mean well (which is tragic for what it represents of their vast ignorance of the situation), or may be they are just defending their economic interests, which are tied, in this matter, to the big players of the region, such as Venezuela (that would be understandable, but for the fact that they are being so hypocritical about it). Scores of people have posted testimonies on blogs, stated opinions and volunteered information the average American cannot hear about in their media. However, no TV anchor, or press columnist, has acknowledged any of it and the voices of the overwhelming majority of Hondurans, who are convinced they avoided another bloody dictator ruling their country.

What right has the UN, the EU and the US to impose a president the vast majority of Hondurans, their representatives in the National Congress, including Zelaya’s party, and all other institutions, don’t want? Get it through your thick, myopic, arrogant skulls, “leaders of the free world”: HONDURANS DON’T WANT ZELAYA. What was done, was done to avoid bloodshed and to avoid putting the democratic institutions in peril of takeover by Zelaya and his thugs. Honduras transitioned into a new government and nobody was killed. If they are successful in reinstating Zelaya they will cause hundreds, if not thousands of dead in Honduras and, for what? They don’t want this guy back! Stop railroading a country you don’t care about and know even less.

These international leaders want the rule of law, but they don’t realize the rule of law is limited by your ability to enforce it. Honduras could not have stood through a normal impeachment process of Zelaya; he is too well backed by Chavez with money and hitmen. A judgment was made by Honduran elected officials, after repeated instances where Zelaya would just ignore Honduran law and supreme court rulings, that the country could not afford to take a chance to let Chavez and his cronies influence the political process in Honduras, through Zelaya, to the point where they would turn the country into another vassal state to their anti-American alliance. That is something that should resonate with the US government, but, amazingly, it DOESN’T.

Zelaya cares so much about Honduras he is willing to ask Chavez and Ortega to invade his country to reinstate him; this, by the way, with only 5 months left in his mandate (unless he changes the Constitution, like he wanted to do). In the US such an action would be considered High Treason, but, besides that, why conspire to have your country INVADED so you can serve 5 more months? What is he really trying to achieve? As if we didn't know ...

Adnan Anwar   July 1st, 2009 9:52 am ET

Hala, lets face it violence in Iraq can never be stopped. We saw that towards the end of the US troops withdrawal violence bounced back up. If US couldn't stop the violence then how can Iraq?

Oladipo Akinyemi Omole   July 1st, 2009 5:24 pm ET

Hello,
The Kurds,Shiites and the Sunnis in Iraq just have to tolerate themselves and live together peacefully , because all of them matter in Iraq not withstanding the little population of the Kurds.The greatest threat to peaceful co-existence has been eliminated.With Sadam Hussein dead and his cohorts removed and facing trial, the schism in Iraq and the resulting violence will pale into insignificance in due course.If nobody knows this, the oil conglomerates do.Like in other states in the Middle East, the principle of one state, two or more nations is a recipe for peace and repose.
Cheers.

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