Today's Crop of Baghdad Gossip
These are the rumors circulating among the political class. Remember, these are only rumors at this point:
-The arrest warrant on former Deputy Prime Minister Salam Zigem al-Zoba'i is real: he's wanted on charges of terrorism and corruption, and his case has been kicked up to the Higher Judicial Council to determine whether his official immunity as Deputy PM (...he recently resigned from the government along with the other Sunni ministers but their resignations were not acknowledged by PM Maliki) still stands or not.
-Ahmad Chalabi has been tasked by PM Maliki to take on al-Zoba'i's duties, as well as some of those of the other Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih. This is not an official appointment, and it is still unknown how long this arrangement will last.
-Gen. Mohammed Abdullah al-Shahwani, chief of Iraq's Intelligence Service (mukhaberat), was arrested by American forces two days ago at his office over corruption charges. He was led away in handcuffs.
-An initial investigation into an illegal antiquities shipment that was uncovered leaving Iraq by the port authorities in Basra seems to have an Ayad Allawi connection. He's somehow involved in trying to sell Iraqi historical artifacts to a Persian Gulf collector.
These are some of the things that the Iraqi political class is chattering about. We'll know soon enough if there's much merit to them.