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United Nations increases food shipments to Iraqis fleeing extremist attacks

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Geneva (AFP) – The UN food aid agency said Wednesday that a convoy of supplies had reached 2,000 desperate families, crammed into the Iraqi city of Karbala after fleeing jihadist attacks.

It said the delivery brings to 700,000 the total number of Iraqis receiving World Food Programme assistance since June, when Sunni jihadists who already held part of Syria swept across swathes of Iraq.

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The WFP trucks travelled to the southern city from Arbil in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region, whose fighters have battled to hold off the jihadists.

The convoy used a corridor along the Iranian border, considered relatively safe compared with high risk routes deeper inside Iraq.

More trucks were set to depart daily until all 15,000 families registered as having fled to Karbala have received assistance, WFP said.

Karbala is a holy city for Shiite Muslims, who have fled in their thousands after being targeted by the Sunni jihadists from the feared Islamic State militia.

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The United Nations estimated that 1.2 million Iraqis have been displaced by violence so far this year in 2014.

Of those, 700,000 have fled since the June offensive began in the north, including Shiites and members of Iraqi religious minority groups such as Christians and Yazidi.

Another 500,000 had already fled fighting in the western Anbar region which erupted in January.

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Before the latest wave of displacement, WFP was already assisting about 240,000 people displaced from Anbar, as well as more than 180,000 refugees from the conflict in Syria who are sheltering in Iraq.

“The humanitarian situation in Iraq is extremely challenging,” said Mohamed Diab, WFP regional director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and East Europe.

Many of the displaced lack access to food, water or other basics, and are living in unfinished buildings, mosques, churches, parks and schools.

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“Our team met an Iraqi woman who arrived in Karbala from Mosul in July with her five children and three grandchildren. She said that until she got her food parcels from WFP this week, she had been living hand-to-mouth through random meal donations from citizens,” said Jane Pearce, WFP’s country director for Iraq.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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White House spokesperson ridiculed for ‘pathetic’ spin on Trump’s trade war admission: ‘Does she think we believe that?’

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Hours after Donald Trump blithely admitted that he had "second thoughts" about his trade war with China that has damaged the U.S. economy and helped set the stage for a possible recession, White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham was forced to issue a clarification about the president's comments.

Addressing Trump's G7 response about his tariffs, widely interpreted by the press as expressing some regret, Grisham issued a statement saying the president meant that he wished he had increased his market-destroying tariffs even more.

"The President was asked if he had ‘any second thought on escalating the trade war with China,'" White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham relayed. "His answer has been greatly misinterpreted. President Trump responded in the affirmative - because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher."

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Here is why Trump is obsessed with Greenland

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They say that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. Remember that President Harry Truman tried to purchase Greenland in 1946; now, in 2019, President Donald Trump is trying to do the same thing.

This article first appeared in Salon.

To be clear, Trump’s farcical, “absurd” idea — to borrow the adjective used by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen — is not happening, and was never going to happen. As Frederiksen pointed out, Greenland is “not for sale." Trump, for his part, has not backed down from the idea.

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2020 Election

Iowa’s Steve King facing ouster because his campaign is broke and his allies have fled: report

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Iowa Republican Steve King is facing losing his seat representing his district in the U.S. House of Representatives as his campaign finds itself broke and the Republican Party has turned its back on him after his latest round of controversial comments.

According to a report from the Daily Beast, his campaign is struggling to bring donors -- who once wholeheartedly supported him --back into the fold.

Even worse, his colleagues in Congress have also abandoned him.

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