Nov 23, 2019

Mike Pence makes surprise visit to Iraq

Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

Vice President Pence made a previously undisclosed visit to Iraq on Saturday, "the highest-level American trip since President Trump ordered a pullback of U.S. forces in Syria two months ago," AP's Zeke Miller reports from Erbil.

The state of play: "Flying in a C-17 military cargo jet to preserve the secrecy of the visit to the conflict zone, Pence landed in Erbil to meet with Iraqi Kurdistan President Nechirvan Barzani," AP writes.

Why it matters: The visit was intended to reassure U.S. allies fighting against the Islamic State, "after Syrian Kurds suffered under a bloody Turkish assault last month following the Trump-ordered withdrawal" of U.S. troops, per AP.

Karen Pence, the VP's wife, joined along for the trip, just days before the Thanksgiving holiday. While there they served up turkey to U.S. troops.

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Death toll in Iraqi protests reaches 350 over last two months

Iraqi demonstrators gather as flames start consuming Iran's consulate in the southern city Najaf on Wednesday night. Photo: Hairda Hamdani/AFP/Getty Images

Iraqi security forces killed 27 anti-government protesters in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll from the past two months to 350, AP reports.

Why it matters: The country remains engulfed in its worst protests since 2016, with protesters calling for the government to resign over corruption and lack of government services. And as the violence continues to escalate, protesters are calling on the government to investigate.

Go deeperArrowNov 28, 2019

Deadly car bomb blasts bus terminal in Syrian town held by Turkey

Turkey said at least eight people were killed and more than 20 wounded during a car bomb attack on Nov. 10. Photo: Zein Al Rifai/AFP/Getty Images

At least 10 people have died after a car bomb exploded on Saturday in the northern Syrian town Al-Bab, per a post from the official Twitter account of the Turkish Defense Ministry.

Why it matters: The community has been held by Turkey-backed opposition fighters since 2016, AP reports. Violent attacks have increased following Turkey's offensive into northern Syria in October.

Go deeperArrowNov 16, 2019

Read Jerry Nadler's opening statement in debate over articles of impeachment

Rep. Jerry Nadler. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) opened Wednesday night's hearing to debate the two articles of impeachment against President Trump by urging his colleagues to hold the president accountable.

The big picture: Nadler outlined the evidence he believes warrants the impeachment of Trump, and he insisted the country "cannot rely on an election to solve our problems" because Trump threatens the integrity of that very election.