Today marks 20 years since the United States invaded Iraq, taking out then-dictator Saddam Hussein. I’ll tell you what’s changed since then. Plus – why you maybe shouldn’t make plans for Valentine’s Day 2046.
Those stories and more today on… Notice News Daily.
The Iraq War – 20 Years Later
Hey guys and happy Monday, I’m Angie here at Notice D.C. Our top story today – it’s now been 20 years since the United States invaded the Middle Eastern country of Iraq.
At the time, the oil-rich nation was run by this man, dictator Saddam Hussein. Hussein was a bad guy – even known for using chemical weapons against his own people at one point.
After 9/11, a newly-aggressive United States led by President George W. Bush feared Hussein getting nuclear weapons – weapons of mass destruction – and laid out the case for military action.
SOT: “We have very convincing evidence that Iraq maintains an extensive program for the production and weaponization of weapons of mass destruction and long range ballistic missiles.”
On March 20, 2003, America and its allies invaded Iraq – chasing Hussein out of power— but never found those “weapons of mass destruction.” Iraq, however, fell into violence and chaos – with rival groups vying for power.
In 2011, President Barack Obama pulled most troops out of the country – but was forced to send more back in 2014 after the terrorist group ISIS made gains in the northern part of the country.
Reuters recently interviewed then Under-Secretary of State, John Bolton, who you saw in the previous clip. He said despite the mistakes, the war was worth it.
SOT: “It was worth it because the decision was not simply: ‘Does Saddam pose a WMD threat in 2003? Another question was: ‘Would he pose a WMD threat five years later?’ To which I think the answer clearly was ‘yes.'”
Over 4,000 American troops died in the war – while experts put the number of Iraqis dead at over 300,000.
Here’s what else is making news right now.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to Russia this week to meet with Vladimir Putin. The trip comes as our country faces deteriorating relations with both of their countries.
Riots broke out in Paris and other French cities last week after French President Emmanuel Macron overrode parliament to push through an unpopular new law. The law raises the retirement age from 62 to 64.
And, according to a new survey, more than 1 in 10 Americans believe there will be a zombie apocalypse and have already started preparing for it. The same survey, by looking at Google searches, found that Wyoming was the “most prepared” state for such an event.
Asteroid Headed for Earth – In 2046
When it comes to romantic gestures, many turn to roses, chocolates, or candlelight dinners to express their love.
But a giant asteroid plunging into the Earth? Well, that’s not so romantic.
Nevertheless, NASA’s tracking a new giant asteroid that’s headed towards us — and might even strike our planet in 23 years, on Valentine’s Day.
The asteroid, dubbed 2023 D-W, is 165 feet long, just 21 feet shorter than the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Today, it’s about 13 million miles away from Earth, or roughly 54 times farther away than the moon.
Government space organizations like NASA and the European Space Agency’s Planetary Defense team have entire groups dedicated to studying the paths of asteroids moving throughout the solar system.
Scientists say asteroid paths are incredibly predictable, and they keep watch in order to calculate the risk that one comes close to striking the Earth.
But asteroid orbits change over time, and come February 14, 2046, NASA scientists originally gave this rock a 1 in 560 chance of hitting the Earth when it was first discovered.
Don’t worry, though — after further study, NASA’s downgraded the chances of impact to 1 in 3,000, meaning they’re 99.97 percent certain it’s not going to strike the planet.
So, go ahead and keep those restaurant reservations.
That’s it for today – but let’s see how closely you were paying attention. Go take the Notice News quiz on our website noticenews.com.
Jonathan will be back tomorrow with more from us, Notice News.