June 30, 2009
Posted: 1805 GMT
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!
International Desk brings viewers into the heart of the largest news gathering operation in the world. Viewers don't come here to watch the news; they come here to be immersed in it. To feel the rush of being the first to know what's happening as stories break, and to leave knowing they've gotten the best and latest information available. The show airs Mon-Fri at 1900 CET.