1. Jordan replaces Saudi Arabia on Security Council
    The U.N. General Assembly voted Friday for Jordan to head the Security Council after Saudi Arabia declined the post.
  2. Iran facing water crisis: energy minister
    TEHRAN – Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian says the water shortage in Iran has turned into crisis and it is showing itself across the country, the Mehr news agency reported on Friday.
  3. ‘Govt may declare state of emergency’
    Bangladesh is entering a new phase of violence and uncertainty triggered by the opposition’s objections to elections due to be held on 5 January.
  4. Ethiopia: UN Commits U.S. $100,000 to Help Ethiopian Returnees From Saudi Arabia
    The United Nations’ Refugee Agency on Tuesday announced that it has contributed $100,000 to help support tens of thousands of Ethiopians returning from Saudi Arabia. Original projections were that some 30,000 undocumented citizens were being expelled but the number of returnees reached over 100,620 by Wednesday evening.
  5. US Congress Considering New Iran Sanctions
    WASHINGTON — As early as next week the U.S. Congress could approve tough new sanctions on Iran, a move the White House warns may undermine diplomatic efforts to curb the country’s controversial nuclear program.
  6. Pro-democracy protests in Bahrain ahead of international forum
    AFP – Demonstrators calling for democratic reform clashed with police Friday in Shiite villages near Manama ahead of an international forum on Middle East security, witnesses said.
  7. Iran, powers to meet next week on nuclear deal implementation
    (Reuters) – Iran and six world powers plan expert-level talks next week to work out details of implementing a breakthrough agreement for Tehran to curb its disputed nuclear programme in return for a limited easing of sanctions.
  8. Syria’s ‘bride of the revolution’ mourns freedom in al Qaeda’s grip
    BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrians called it the “bride of the revolution”.
  9. New Emotion, Hope, Sweeps Across Iran in Aftermath of Temporary Nuclear Pact
    TEHRAN — For years, the workers at the Iranian printing house spewed out posters with state propaganda calling for “Death to America” and resistance to the West.
  10. Gunmen kill leader of sectarian group
    Gunmen killed the provincial leader of a Pakistani Sunni sectarian group yesterday and police deployed to prevent more violence after the anti-Shia faction called for protests.