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Morning Reading, March 10: War widows in Iraq, and the day's top links

Safia Ismail warned her husband not to come for her and the kids. It was too dangerous.

But he came anyway.

Iraq's violence was at its peak then and her husband never made it home, was never heard from again, Michael Gisick reports today in a heartbreaking piece. Thus began Safia's new life as a war widow , a title that gets little support or sympathy in Iraq. There are by one estimate 900,000 women like Safia now, but the government and the community offer little help and too often, aid workers suggest, these women are left to survive as beggars, servants or prostitutes.

Meanwhile, Megan McCloskey is traveling with the defense secretary, and the rhetoric is flying back and forth between Robert Gates and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In Haiti, Seth Robson reports that the Marines working with locals to tackle the most critical environmental problems. But the problems predated the earthquake and the fixes are only temporary.

The Links:

Staggering number of Iraq widows left to fend for themselves (Stars and Stripes)

Gates, Ahmadinejad disagree on who's playing 'double game' (Stars and Stripes)

Marines say fixes to Haiti's environmental woes are only temporary (Stars and Stripes)

Afghan, coalition forces make gains in Bala Murghab (Stars and Stripes)

American 'JihadJane' faces terrorism charges (The Washington Post)

Dispute threatens legitimacy of Iraqi election (The Washington Post)

Internal report is black eye for U.S. Embassy in Kabul (USA Today)

 
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