1. Iraq presidency claims progress in stroke recovery
    BAGHDAD (AP) — The office of Iraq’s ailing president says he is making progress in a German hospital recovering from a stroke last month.
  2. Don’t go to Syria to fight, warns Carr
    Foreign Minister Bob Carr says he doesn’t believe the war in Syria will lead to tensions within Australia’s ethnic communities.
  3. Chances of a breakthrough in Iran nuclear talks look bleak
    Iran and six global powers are gearing up for another round of nuclear talks, whose outcome is far from certain, despite the positive spin that is being imparted in the media to the dialogue that is expected later this month.
  4. Syria fights off rebel advance on Damascus
    Syrian government forces have bombarded several rebel strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus to quell the fighters battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad from reaching the capital.
  5. Saudi spy chief calls for al-Qaeda leadership of anti-Syria militants
    The Saudi Arabian spy chief has ordered al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front, to take leadership of the foreign-backed militants in Syria through assassinating the members of the so-called Free Syrian Army.
  6. Terrorist fire kills Syria journalist
    A journalist working for Syria’s Dunya TV has been shot dead by terrorists while reporting on clashes in the northern Syria city of Aleppo.
  7. Iraq: UN mission condemns wave of attacks during Arba’een commemoration
    4 January 2013 – The United Nations political mission in Iraq (UNAMI) today strongly condemned the wave of attacks over the past days which killed and wounded dozens of worshippers participating in the religious Shia Muslim commemoration of Arba’een.
  8. Fugitive Saddam deputy lends support to Iraq Sunni protesters
    (Reuters) – The most senior member of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s entourage still at large has encouraged Sunni Muslim anti-government protesters to stand their ground until Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is toppled.
  9. Iran building software to control networking sites
    TEHRAN – Iran’s police chief says the Islamic Republic is developing new software to control social networking sites.
  10. Families of prisoners protest in Saudi Arabia
    The families and relatives of prisoners in Saudi Arabia have protested outside a government building in Eastern Province, Press TV reports.