Iraqi Cabinet approves general amnesty draft

Iraq's Cabinet has approved the draft of a general amnesty bill for detainees being held in Iraqi prisons, a measure that could go a long way toward reconciling Iraq's warring sects and factions. But the measure approved Wednesday will not be brought to parliament for debate until March at the earliest, said Sami al-Askari a key adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Many key draft laws - including measures to share oil revenue and to allow some members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party to hold government jobs - have remained mired for months in Iraq's gridlocked parliament. There was no immediate reaction from Sunni lawmakers who have in the past called for such a bill. Al-Askari, who is a parliament member, said the amnesty would not cover those convicted of terrorism, corruption, crimes against humanity and kidnapping.