The three-day cease-fire earlier this month is widely viewed as an unscripted moment that has scrambled the calculus on all sides, opened doors for negotiations once thought shut, won support from key outside actors, and made vague dreams of ending the conflict seem more tangible.
Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric who emerged as the main winner in Iraq’s parliamentary elections last month, campaigned on a platform to end sectarian politics and replace it with a government that puts Iraqis first.
Outside a sprawling mall in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, young single men and women walk through an open-air exhibit where Saudi women and traffic police explain the ins and outs of handling a car. Children take a lap around a makeshift course in tiny electric cars as clowns appear on a small stage, dancing for the crowd. A song with a woman’s voice blares through the loudspeakers, singing: “I love you Saudia. My love, Saudia.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford have named their baby daughter Neve and say they want her to grow up in a world in which she can make choices about her family and career based on what she wants.