1. Pakistan bomb: 21 die in Hangu Shia suicide attack
    At least 21 people have been killed and dozens injured in a suicide bomb attack outside a Shia mosque in the north-western Pakistani town of Hangu, reports say.
  2. Iraq death toll spikes in January
    January was Iraq’s deadliest month since September, AFP data showed on Friday, as militants shattered a relative calm and the country grapples with a political crisis and anti-government rallies.
  3. Al-Qaeda calls on Iraq Sunnis to take up arms against Shia govt
    Baghdad: Tens of thousands of Sunni protesters blocked a major highway in western Iraq on Friday, as an al-Qaida-affiliated group called on Sunnis to take up arms against the Shiite-led government.
  4. Prolonged absence of ailing president, a father figure, leaves hole in Iraqi politics
    BAGHDAD — President Jalal Talabani’s unexpected exit from Iraqi politics couldn’t have come at a worse time for his nation, threatened by mounting antagonism among Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites.
  5. Deaths of prisoners in British custody in Iraq to be re-investigated, court told
    MoD faces legal challenge to its refusal to hold public inquiry into alleged human rights violations following 2003 invasion
  6. Soldiers in Lebanon Die in Raid Near Syria
    BEIRUT, Lebanon — At least three Lebanese Army soldiers were killed Friday in a shootout as they tried to arrest a resident of a village that has become a hub of refugees and where Syrian rebels often cross the border. Their target was also fatally shot.
  7. UNHCR reaches rebel-held area of North Syria for first time
    (Reuters) – The United Nations refugee agency said on Friday that for the first time it had reached the opposition-held Azaz area of northern Syria where it found an estimated 45,000 displaced people living in appalling conditions in makeshift camps.
  8. UN says 210K kids need help in Syria’s Homs, schools damaged
    GENEVA – The U.N. children’s agency says 420,000 people — half of them children — need immediate help in Syria’s western governorate of Homs.
  9. Saudi sergeant to face trial for rape in US
    Las Vegas: A Saudi Arabia air force sergeant was ordered Thursday to stand trial for the sexual assault of a 13-year-old boy on New Year’s Eve in a Las Vegas Strip hotel room.