The indefinite hold on six planned executions of members of Saddam Hussein's regime could prevent a widening of political and sectarian rifts at a precarious time in Iraq.
With violence still a threat, Iraqi Christians observed Easter from behind blast walls that have turned many churches into fortresses, or at home. At St. Joseph's in Baghdad, Monsignor Casha planned to urge parishioners to stay in Iraq and try to rebuild.
Iraqi protesters burned or tried to storm government buildings from the southern port of Basra to the northern cities of Mosul and Huwaijah, where at least five were killed.
The Valentine's Day protest came amid reports of a man in northern Iraq killing himself in an apparent copycat self-immolation – the same dramatic act that galvanized popular discontent in Tunisia.
Three days after Ali Jassim Mohammed returned to Baghdad to get documents for his Swedish residency application, he was caught in a bombing on his way to the passport office.
Gober, an elderly female Sumatran orangutan who is blind in both eyes due to cataracts, lies down with her twin babies at a rehabilitation center in Sibolangit, North Sumatra, Indonesia. The twins were born on Jan. 21, from two blind parents.
The civilian death toll in Iraq this year stands at 3,976, its lowest since 2003. But almost as many Afghan civilians died in the first half of 2010 alone.
The suicide attack that murdered an Iraq police chief today is a sign that political violence remains. But such attacks are unlikely to change US plans to leave by the end of 2011.
More details should emerge later today. But there are indications that forming a new government -- presented as a done deal weeks ago -- still has major hurdles, which points to the country's uncertain future.