Summary: The surging unrest in numerous countries in the Middle East and northern Africa is a complex and fast-moving story. To help make sense of it, msnbc.com asked experts to share their insights on the protests, answer readers’ questions, and explain why what happens in that volatile region matters. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 31, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that Iraq’s political disarray had deepened, with potential kingmaker Muqtada al-Sadr withholding his support from the two biggest election winners — the blocs of Ayad Allawi and Nouri al-Maliki — and saying he would ask his supporters to make their choice in a referendum.
Summary: President Barack Obama signed a so-called presidential “finding” authorizing clandestine CIA operations in Libya. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 30, 2010, Aubrey Immelman provided his weekly report of U.S. military deaths in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Summary: Gunmen wearing military uniforms over explosives belts held a Tikrit, Iraq government center hostage in a grisly siege that ended with the deaths of at least 56 people, including three Salahuddin province councilmen who were executed with gunshots to the head and set fire. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 29, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that nine alleged members of a Midwest Christian militia group, the Hutaree, had been charged with plotting to kill a police officer and slaughter scores more by bombing the funeral, with the intent of inciting an uprising against the U.S. government.
Summary: In a nationally televised address from the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama said the U.S. military action in Libya “stopped [Moammar] Gadhafi’s deadly advance,” fulfilling what he said was a U.S. responsibility not to “turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries.” … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 28, 2010, Aubrey Immelman featured reporting of a “Welcome Home” event for the Minnesota National Guard’s 34th Infantry Division Red Bulls and other Central Minnesota military veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, organized by the St. Cloud Times and St. Cloud-area civic organizations and businesses.
Summary: Three suicide bombers killed 20 people in an attack on a construction firm in southeastern Afghanistan, with the Taliban claiming responsibility for the assault. … The Taliban claimed that it kidnapped 50 Afghan policemen in northeastern Afghanistan — part of the insurgents’ murder and intimidation campaign against anyone affiliated with the U.S.-backed government. … A provincial governor in southern Afghanistan said that seven civilians were accidentally killed when a NATO helicopter fired on two vehicles believed to be carrying Taliban fighters. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 27, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that the U.S. and Russia sealed the first major nuclear weapons treaty in nearly two decades, agreeing to slash the former Cold War rivals’ warhead arsenals by nearly one-third and talking optimistically of eventually ridding the world of nuclear arms altogether.
Summary: Latest news and images from the conflict in Libya. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 26, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that former U.S.-backed prime minister Iyad Allawi and his secular, anti-Iranian coalition narrowly won Iraq’s parliamentary elections, edging out the bloc of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and a coalition that includes anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, which finished a strong third and could end up playing the role of kingmaker.
Summary: Weekly report of U.S. military deaths in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, compiled from U.S. Department of Defense news releases and iCasualties.org. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 25, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that unrest over sweeping federal health care legislation had turned to vandalism and threats, with bricks hurled through congressional Democrats’ windows, a propane line cut at the home of a congressman’s brother, and menacing phone messages left for lawmakers who supported the bill. In that context, I noted that U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s longstanding pattern of incendiary rhetoric — such as calling on citizens to be “armed and dangerous” — was particularly disturbing, considering its potential for proliferating violent extremism and inciting acts of domestic terrorism in a time of festering economic uncertainty.
Summary: Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann is running for president. She is forming a presidential exploratory committee and will likely make an official announcement in June 2011. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 24, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that St. Cloud Times political reporter Mark Sommerhauser did what good reporters are supposed to: fact-check the public assertions of elected officials — and his preliminary finding is that “independent experts … are disputing [Michele] Bachmann’s abortion claims.”
Summary: Jared Lee Loughner, the accused in the January 8 shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona, that killed six and wounded 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, has been transferred to a federal Bureau of Prisons medical facility in Springfield, Missouri, to undergo a court-ordered mental evaluation to determine his competency to stand trial. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 23, 2010, Aubrey Immelman provided his weekly report of U.S. military deaths in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Summary: Did President Barack Obama violate the U.S. Constitution or federal law when he ordered the U.S. military to participate in enforcing a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing “all necessary measures,” including strikes by air and sea, to protect civilians from attacks by Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s forces? … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on March 22, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that Republican delegates at Minnesota’s Sixth District GOP convention in St. Cloud on Saturday, March 20, 2010 voted unanimously to return politically paranoid conspiracy nut Michele Bachmann to Congress for a third term.