• Tough Call: For today's story on Moqtada al-Sadr's call to disarm most of his Shiite militia, staff writer Tom Peter got a tempting invitation. His interviewee, a prominent supporter of Mr. Sadr, invited Tom to come to Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood – the site of fierce clashes with US troops several months ago – to see for himself that it had become safer.
"This sheikh swore on his life that not only would I be welcomed, but that he would offer me his personal protection should I want to visit," says Tom. "It seemed like a great offer and an opportunity to see the supposed new face of the Mahdi Army."
But when Tom and his security team looked into it, everyone said the trip was a horrible idea and not worth the risk. US reporters are still targeted and criminal gangs are a major issue, they said, so Tom decided not to make the trip. "It goes to show you that even though there are signs that the security situation is improving in Iraq, it still has a long way to go."
– Christa Case Bryant
• Tuesday, Aug. 12:
Worldwide – International Youth Day.
• Sunday, Aug. 17:
Global – World Water Week begins.