Iraq takes control of Green Zone from US

Iraq's prime minister says the handover of the heavily fortified Green Zone and the presidential palace is the most visible sign his country has regained its sovereignty. Nouri al-Maliki spoke Thursday during a ceremony marking the takeover by Iraqi authority of Saddam Hussein's large palace. The takeover is part of a security deal with the United States. The palace served as US Embassy and headquarters of the US military in Iraq until a new American embassy was built nearby. Al-Maliki says he will propose January 1 as a national holiday to commemorate what he described as "Sovereignty Day" - the day Iraq took the lead in security from US forces, including of its airspace, and reclaimed a wide swath of downtown Baghdad's "Green Zone."