Iraq

The State Department has ordered all "non-emergency" U.S. government employees to leave Iraq right away.

The travel advisory specifically orders the departure of employees at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and consulate in Irbil (sometimes spelled Erbil), noting that "normal visa services will be temporarily suspended at both posts."

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unscheduled visit to Baghdad after canceling a planned meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany. The visit comes as the U.S. is stepping up pressure on Iraq's larger neighbor, Iran, and claiming that Iran could be planning threats against U.S. forces in the region.

The White House and departments of State and Defense have not been specific about what those threats might be.

President Trump has granted a full pardon to former Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, who was convicted by a military court in 2009 for killing an Iraqi prisoner suspected of being part of al-Qaida. Behenna was initially sentenced to 25 years; he was released on parole in 2014.

WikiLeaks was already established as an online outlet for posting secret documents from anonymous leakers well before its massive disclosure of U.S. government and military information in 2010. That was the year WikiLeaks' Australian founder, Julian Assange, faced allegations that led to his seeking asylum in Ecuador's London embassy.

Here is a timeline of WikiLeaks' key disclosures and related developments.

Mazen looks like he wants to disappear into his gray hoody as he sits in the corner of a tent in a camp for displaced Yazidis in Iraq. The 13-year-old boy's eyes are haunted and huge in a face still gaunt from not getting enough to eat.

After almost five years held captive by ISIS, Mazen says he wants to talk about what happened to him but he doesn't have the words.

"How do I feel?" he says as if bewildered by the question. "Really I don't know how to feel."

President Trump renewed his call for border wall funding and accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of "rigid" opposition, in an interview airing two days before Trump's State of the Union address.

The tone of the president's remarks in an interview taped Friday with CBS calls into question whether Trump will actually use Tuesday's primetime speech to appeal for compromise, as advertised.

The call came Sunday afternoon.

"Can you come to the White House?"

I was still wearing running pants and had my hair up in a plastic scrunchy, but figured there wasn't time to change.

I was called to the office of White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who had me leave my purse and cellphone outside before sitting down. This was sensitive.

Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State, has announced his resignation, reportedly in protest of President Trump's decision this week to withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria.

McGurk, a veteran diplomat with more than a decade of experience in Iraq, had worked with the 79-member global coalition led by the U.S. to reclaim territory seized by the Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq.

His resignation is effective December 31st. McGurk was originally planning to leave his job in mid-February.

Naser al-Shimary is waiting at the arrivals gate at Baghdad's international airport. He says he's so nervous his "heart is skipping beats."

"Last time I held my wife and son was May 2017," says Shimary, 29, speaking English with an American accent. "That was the last time I got to kiss them and hold them."

Mohaned Ahmed is standing on scaffolding at the ancient site of Babylon, dipping water into a bucket and sponging the bricks around a stone relief showing a dragon with a serpent's head.

The image is so well defined it looks as if it might have been made yesterday instead of more than 2,000 years ago. But below it, the bricks and mortar of one of the ancient world's grandest cities are disintegrating.

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