Thousands of homeless Iraqis squatting in former government buildings since the fall of former president Saddam Hussein's regime have dug into their new lodgings and are vowing not too move out. \nNot only are they turning a deaf ear to marching orders by the US-led Provisional Coalition Authority and its hand-picked interim Iraqi Governing Council, but they are also protesting outside their doors. \n"We are only defending our right to a home," said Hasna, 37, who has been deserted by her husband and left alone to care for five daughters. \n"My husband fled to Iran because he was being hounded by the former regime for belonging to a banned Muslim Shiite party," Hasna said. \nAfter the collapse of Saddam's government last April, she packed her meager belongings and moved the family from their one-room home in the impoverished Shiite neighborhood of Saddam City to the relative comfort of an abandoned prison. \n"In my circumstances it is only fair that I should have the right to choose my home, even if it is only a prison cell," she said. \nA veteran of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, Ismail Hammadi, 45, was forced to move his wife and five children to a building once occupied by the former ruling Baath Party when his landlord decided to increase his rent two-fold. \nGreedy landlords and cramped, crumbling lodgings have contributed to swell the number of homeless people in the Iraqi capital and force people like Hasna and the Hammadis to search for alternative solutions. \nThey have found them in the dozens of deserted army camps and former government buildings, which were devastated in the bombing of the Iraqi capital during last year's 20-day war. \nToday they live in 83 public buildings scattered across Baghdad, in addition to hundreds of camps, barracks and offices which once belonged to Saddam's army and its security services, said Sheikh Ahmad Laaybi. \nThe cleric heads a self-styled "league of squatters" whose purpose is to defend the homeless against evacuation orders. \n"I hope that the Governing Council will turn its attention to these people and solve their problems," said Laaibi, who helps the squatters organize frequent protests outside the headquarters of Baghdad's new rulers. \nAli Zahi Zubaidi warns that unless a solution is found the squatters "could be tempted to find another form of resistance" to make their voices heard. \nIraq's interim construction and housing minister Bayan Bakir Solagh blames the inadequate policies of the former regime for the plight of these people. \n"Saddam Hussein did not build one single public housing unit since 1980," he said.
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A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete