UNITED NATIONS -- A senior U.N. relief official said Thursday that the overwhelming financial and political costs of rebuilding Iraq after the war would force the United States to eventually grant the United Nations and the international community a broader hand in shaping the country's future.
Mark Malloch Brown, the administrator of the U.N. Development Program, said Iraq's oil earnings would be woefully inadequate to fund a reconstruction bill that experts say could reach as high as $100-billion. He also said the persistence of armed opposition to coalition forces could severely limit the capacity of U.S. authorities and companies to work in large sections of the country that are not pacified.
He also said a U.S.-run administration in Iraq will not have the authority under international law to award American companies major contracts to modernize and run Iraq's vast oil industry.
"Until there is a new Security Council resolution, you are only as the occupying power able to deal with day-to-day administrative decisions," Malloch Brown said.
CNN reporter steps in
Sanjay Gupta went off to war knowing the lines might blur between his assignment as a CNN medical correspondent and his other job as a neurosurgeon.
On Thursday, it happened in a dramatic way.
While reporting on a Navy medical unit in Iraq, Gupta tried to save the life of a 2-year-old child with a severe head injury.
The child was in a taxi that drove through a U.S. Marine checkpoint south of Baghdad. When the taxi didn't stop, Marines opened fire, according to CNN.
Gupta performed emergency surgery on the child, who died a few hours later.
Speaking by phone from Iraq, Gupta said that he was "medically and morally obligated" to help.
Report: Ex-Soviets aided Iraq
MOSCOW -- A Russian news Web site has published a report claiming two former top Soviet military officers visited Iraq less than two weeks before the war to advise the Iraqi military leadership.
The report, posted Wednesday on the www.gazeta.ru Internet site, showed three photographs of the two former Soviet generals receiving an award from Iraq's defense minister, Sultan Hashem Ahmed.
Gen. Vladimir Achalov, a former Soviet deputy defense minister and a former commander of airborne and rapid-reaction forces, and Gen. Igor Maltsev, a leading expert in air defense systems, left Baghdad only six days before the war began, U.S. officials confirmed.