IRAQ SEEKS TO RECLAIM LEADERSHIP ROLE, STATUS IN ARAB WORLD
Iraq is seeking to reclaim a leadership role and status in the Arab world with a centrist policy and a determination among the country’s top leaders to maintain good relations with both Iran and the United States.
The Shiite-majority country lies on the fault line between Shiite Iran and the mostly Sunni Arab world, led by powerhouse Saudi Arabia, and has long been a theater in which Saudi-Iran rivalry for regional supremacy played out. The Saudi delegation’s visit followed a trip to Baghdad last month by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during which the two sides signed several agreements designed to boost bilateral relations.Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi in his first foreign trip last month traveled to Cairo to meet with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. They were joined by Jordanian King Abdullah II for a tripartite summit on measures to strengthen economic cooperation. On Tuesday, Abdul-Mahdi announced he will soon be visiting Saudi Arabia to sign several agreements.
Watheq al-Hashemi, an Iraqi political analyst, said it’s an opportunity for Iraq to again become an important regional player. But for that to happen, Iraqi politicians “need to put country before sect and act as statesmen,” something he says they’ve had trouble doing for a long time.
MAINSTREAM RETAILERS EMBRACE CBD DESPITE MURKY STATUS
Mainstream retailers are leaping into the world of products like skin creams and oils that tout such benefits as reducing anxiety and helping to sleep.
Authentic Fitness is planning to sell CBD foot creams, oils and soaps under the Nine West brand starting this fall. And CVS Health is beginning to sell CBD-infused creams, sprays, lotions and salves at more than 800 stores in seven states; drug store rivals Walgreens and Rite Aid are now following suit.Matthew Mazzucca, creative director at Barneys New York,
Acknowledged the huge opportunity for expansion, however, the legal hurdles are still hard to navigate and companies should take it slow. Amy Nichols, a former food scientist from Indianapolis, reflects that distrust. Nichols, 46, who’s been battling symptoms from autoimmune illness, has been using CBD oils by a brand called Recept that she sticks under her tongue.
Whitt Steineker, a Birmingham, Alabama, attorney who advises the hemp industry said Bigger players like CVS and Walgreens are sticking with skin creams and lotions where the FDA hasn’t specifically expressed concern. Others are “rolling the dice” and selling CBD-infused drinks and supplements anyway in hopes of a profit.
NEW RULING SUDAN MILITARY COUNCIL PROMISES CIVILIAN CABINET
Sudan’s new ruling military council announced Sunday that it will name a civilian prime minister and Cabinet but not a president to help govern the country following the coup that removed longtime leader Omar al-Bashir.
An army spokesman, Lt. Gen. Shamseldin Kibashi, also said in televised remarks that the military had begun to overhaul security organizations and would not break up demonstrations that have continued outside the military headquarters since Thursday’s coup.Omer el-Digair, leader of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party, told protesters at a sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum that the atmosphere had been “positive.” He said that the talks would focus on submitting the organizers’ demands and transition plan and that they are calling for dissolving al-Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party.Saudi Arabia said it “stands by the Sudanese people” and called on all Sudanese “to give priority to the national interest” of their country. The UAE urged Sudanese “to work for protecting legitimacy and ensuring a peaceful transfer of power.”
Those earlier uprisings have left a mixed legacy, with only Tunisia emerging as a democracy. In Egypt, the military overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013 and authorities have since cracked down hard on dissent. Yemen slid into civil war, and Libya is on the verge of another major conflict as militias fight for control of the capital, Tripoli.