Iraq Reaches Tentative Power-Sharing Deal

Iraqi leaders have reached a tentative agreement for a power-sharing deal between the country’s four political parties, ending an eight-month impasse. Under the agreement, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki will stay on as prime minister, and his main rival, Ayad Allawi—whose party won a majority in parliament in the March election—will join the new government with a newly created position for his party, called speaker of the parliament. The exact composition of the new government is unclear as of Wednesday evening, but the body is scheduled to meet Thursday to ratify the agreement. Hours before a deal was reached, a series of bombs exploded outside of Christian homes across Baghdad—the first attacks on Christian homes since the American-led invasion. The home attacks came only two weeks after an assault on Our Lady of Salvation, a Syrian Catholic Church, leading to fears of increasing violence against Christians.