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Iraqi protesters gather on the capital Baghdad's Al-Jumhuriyah Bridge. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Iraqi police killed at least 42 protesters as of Saturday in Baghdad — just three weeks after the first set of deadly protests left about 150 people dead across the country, Al Jazeera reports.

Why it matters: The unrest has ended roughly two years of stability in Iraq. Early October protests were paused after violence against protesters grew, but demonstrators returned to the streets this week, again calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, per Al Jazeera.

  • Security forces against activists, including tear gas and grenades, are only deepening the divide with the government, notes the Times.
  • The turnout for these protests is growing, as more women and members of the middle-class are participating.

What's next: Legislators are expected to convene at the parliament at 1 pm to "discuss protesters' demands, cabinet's decisions and the implementation of reforms," according to Al Jazeera. 

  • Meanwhile, Mahdi has vowed to address demonstrators' grievances by reorganizing his cabinet and implementing reforms.
  • The Iraqi government plans also to prosecute more than a dozen military and police commanders for killing protesters during the first round of demonstrations, per the Times. The investigations became part of the protesters' demands after the police started killing civilians.

The bottom line: "While it was difficult to project what could happen, the fury among ordinary Iraqis at perceived and real injustices made it seem that Iraq could be facing an internal crisis as serious as anything since elected governments began in the post-Saddam Hussein era," writes the New York Times.

Go deeper

Cold December as safety nets expire

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Safety nets are likely to be yanked from underneath millions of vulnerable Americans in December, as the coronavirus surges.

Why it matters: Those most at risk are depending on one or more relief programs that are set to expire, right as the economic recovery becomes more fragile than it's been in months.

15 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

17 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.