Iraq’s violent streak goes mostly unnoticed

Tease the day: Attackers hit a police headquarters near the northern city of Mosul
Nick Taylor-Vaisey
This Wednesday, March 13, 2013 photo shows a general view of Firdous Square at the site of an Associated Press photograph taken by Jerome Delay as the statue of Saddam Hussein is pulled down by U.S. forces and Iraqis on April 9, 2003. Ten years ago on live television, U.S. Marines memorably hauled down a Soviet-style statue of Saddam, symbolically ending his rule. Today, that pedestal in central Baghdad stands empty. Bent iron beams sprout from the top, and posters of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in military fatigues are pasted on the sides.(AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Let’s be frank. Strictly speaking, the most popular baby in the world will be big news for a long while. The little guy has a name, which he didn’t a day ago, and that’s worth celebrating, or at least mentioning, on front pages as far as the eye can see. I get it. The prince is an important fellow, because princes eventually become kings. So, yes, the prince was above the fold everywhere this morning, and prominently so, and justifiably so. But let’s not talk about George.

Let’s talk about Iraq. Remember the prison breakout at Abu Ghraib that freed 500 inmates, many of which are on the loose? Well, yesterday, in the city of Bashmaya, which is near the northern city of Mosul, attackers struck again. This time, a police headquarters was the target, and nine police officers perished in the assault. There’s more. “An ambulance rushing to the scene was hit by a roadside bomb, wounding the driver and his assistant,” reported the Associated Press. Such is the carnage in Iraq. Follow that last link and you’ll read about four other fatal attacks in Iraqi cities in just the last week.

The United Nations’ Security Council voted yesterday to extend its mission in Iraq. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke out against the violence. “I again urge political leaders from all sides to intensify their efforts to resolve the continuing political stalemate in accordance with the Constitution, through serious dialogue and with a spirit of compromise, so that no space is left to those who seek to exploit the situation through violence and terror,” he said in a report. Barely a whisper of those words in any newspaper, anywhere.

Syria is a disaster. Egypt is teetering. Turkey and Brazil have faced angry crowds. There’s no easy way to determine what, among so much unrest and violence and instability and human suffering, is worthiest of the world’s attention. Violence in Iraq requires no spotlight, however, and the situation just continues to worsen.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with TransCanada’s claims that it’s gained support for a west-east pipeline that premiers will discuss during today’s summer meeting. The National Post fronts Canadian efforts to convince the European Union to ban Hezbollah as a terrorist group. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the Islamic Society of North America’s alleged funnelling of charity funds to a militant group that hopes Kashmir can secede from India. The Ottawa Citizen leads with a potential buyer for an historic piece of land in the Ottawa River currently owned by Domtar. iPolitics fronts calls for western Canadian leadership on aboriginal issues. leads with the massive train derailment near Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. CTV News leads with the Spanish train derailment that left at least 77 dead and at least 140 injured. National Newswatch showcases .

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Arms exports. The federal government is consulting the public on plans to add Peru, Chile, Brazil and South Korea to a list of countries to which Canadian arms dealers can export guns.2. Aquatic centre. Iqaluit is set to borrow $40 million to pay for a waterslide-equipped aquatic centre that local critics say ignores other critical infrastructure needs facing the city.
3. Aboriginal protest. Demonstrators in seven cities across Canada will raise awareness about the federal government’s nutritional testing on aboriginals in six residential schools in the 1940s.4. Sexual abuse. Former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong was taken to court by two former students who allege he physically and sexually abused them while teaching in northern B.C.
5. Immigration. Australia sends asylum-seekers who arrive by boat to detention centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru. The conditions at the facilities have been heavily criticized as inhumane.6. China. Bo Xilai, a former member of China’s elite politburo who allegedly took millions of yuan in bribes, embezzled millions of yuan, and abused power, may be facing trial in coming days.