1. Iraq: UN agencies welcome launch of first-ever national education strategy
    9 December 2012 – United Nations agencies have welcomed the launch by the Government of Iraq of its first-ever national educational strategy, which will help to ensure quality education for the country’s 33 million citizens, especially the most deprived children and youth.
  2. US secret comeback to Iraq
    The US has made an Iraq comeback – this time secretly, China’s Zhongguo Sinven news agency has cited Iraqi media as saying.
  3. Shia Days of Rage
    Saudi Arabia may have at first appeared untouched by the 2011 Arab uprisings, but the apparent calm belies a simmering crisis. Shia and Sunni sectarian tensions are arguably at the highest level since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and a harsh government crackdown is mobilizing radical elements in the Shia community and undercutting its pragmatists.
  4. MEA denies planes targeted in Syria
    BEIRUT: Middle East Airlines has denied a media report that two of its planes were targeted by surface-to-air missiles (SAM) while crossing Syrian airspace, a statement from the company said late Monday.
  5. Bahrain charges 8 police officers with torturing prisoners
    Bahrain’s public prosecutors say they have charged eight police officers with torturing political prisoners who were arrested during a Saudi-backed crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.
  6. Young Man Severely Injured By Direct Shot to the Face; Excessive Force During Arrests Continues in Bahrain
    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights is appalled by the growing brutality shown by the authorities in Bahrain as Security Forces have displayed an increasing amount of excessive force during recent arrests.
  7. Mosques Under Construction Re-Demolished by Authorities in Bahrain
    The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses concern over the continued attacks on religious freedom represented in the re-demolishing of Shia mosques, which have been under construction since they were initially attacked and demolished during the government crack-down in 2011.
  8. Iraq sentences seven to death
    Baghdad, Dec 11 (IANS) A court in Iraq Tuesday sentenced seven people to death for their involvement in killing 22 Shia Muslims in 2011, Xinhua reported.
  9. Sectarianism in Syria impacting refugees: U.N. official
    BEIRUT: U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said Tuesday events in Syria call for preventative measures in neighboring countries, praising the role of the Lebanese Army in restoring order in north Lebanon.
  10. U.S.: Syrian rebel group tied to al Qaeda in Iraq
    WASHINGTON The Obama administration is declaring a Syrian rebel group with alleged ties to al Qaeda as a terrorist organization. It’s an effort to blunt the influence of extremists as the U.S. steps up cooperation with the Syrian opposition.