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Monday, December 24, 2018

TNT UPDATE, 24 DEC

TNT:

Sunday UPDATE for December 23, 2018

Earlier today:
PARLIAMENT MEETS ON SUNDAY (SUPPOSEDLY) TO VOTE ON THE REMAINING 5 CABINET MEMBERS, SAYING THEY WANT IT ALL DONE BY YEAR'S END.

Later this evening:
All headlines are indicating the cabinet vote and the 2nd reading of the budget were moved to Monday at 1:00.

Article 140 implementation and completion is being discussed.

Chevy:  THERE IS NO BAD NEWS - JUST WAITING TO HEAR THE GOOD NEWS

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Tishwash:  MEE: 'This year is special': Baghdad comes together to celebrate Chris​tmas (12/23/18)

Iraq's capital is throwing itself into the spirit of Christmas, with shops and restaurants festooned with decorations, trees and effigies of Santa Claus

BAGHDAD - Baghdad residents are approaching Christmas with an enthusiasm that defies increasingly outdated international perceptions of Iraq as a perpetually war-torn country often at the mercy of armed groups.

Market stalls are piled high with Santa Claus cuddly toys or lined with an impressive range of plastic Christmas trees in multiple shades, while whole shop aisles are dedicated to selling seasonal items - coloured baubles, glittery fir cones, miniature plastic snowmen and white-trimmed bright-red children's outfits.

Across the capital, many hotels, cafes and restaurants have trees and decorations, mostly featuring images of Father Christmas rather than Nativity scenes, with such Christian symbolism largely confined to churches.

This year is special, and we're celebrating in a bigger and wider way, ringing the church bells and singing - Iraqi nun
"We haven't had any threats or problems this year, and the situation for us is nice and stable," said a nun in the Dominican Convent in Baghdad's Karrada district who preferred not to give her name.

Standing beside an illuminated Nativity scene and richly decorated Christmas tree in Baghdad's Christ the King Church, she told Middle East Eye that Iraq's Christians have previously tempered their celebrations, as the holiday has sometimes coincided with the Islamic month of Muharram, when many Muslims mourn the killing of the Prophet's grandson, Imam Hussein.

"We respect Muslims' sadness at this time," she said.

This Christmas the two do not overlap, however, and security in the Iraqi capital is at a recent high, "so this year is special, and we're celebrating in a bigger and wider way, ringing the church bells and singing".

The nuns here play an important role in the local community, running a school and supporting a nearby hospital.

"There is no problem between Christians and Muslims in Baghdad. We love them, we work with them and we live with them in solidarity," the sister said. "And all the children here are very excited about Christmas."

Read Full Post here:   https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/year-special-baghdad-comes-together​-celebrate-christmas-1178714823

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