Bush, Iraq leader talk, try to ease rift

Embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and

President Bush agreed Saturday to expedite the hand-over of full control of Iraq’s army to the government as they seek to quell the insurgency and sectarian bloodshed. The two leaders spoke for nearly an hour a day after al-Maliki declared he was a friend of the U.S., but “not America’s man in Iraq,” leading to talk of a growing rift between Washington and the Iraqi leader. The U.S. military, meanwhile, announced the death of a Marine in restive Anbar province west of Baghdad on Friday, raising to 98 the number of U.S. military personnel killed in October, already the fourth deadliest month since the Iraq war began in March 2003. Full Story

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