1. Hazara Shiites flee Pakistan to Australia in growing numbers: report
    A growing number of predominantly Shiite ethnic Hazaras have been fleeing persecution by radical Sunni Muslims in Pakistan’s Balochistan and seeking asylum in Australia, according to a U.N. report on recent trends in migrant smuggling from Pakistan released Thursday.
  2. Pakistani counter-terror funds spent on luxury gifts
    Pakistani officials used a secret counter-terrorism fund to buy wedding gifts, luxury carpets and gold jewellery for relatives of ministers and visiting dignitaries, according to documents seen by AFP.
  3. 21 killed in Turkish bus crash
    ANKARA, Turkey — News reports and officials say a passenger bus in Turkey has veered off a snow-covered highway and tipped on its side, killing 21 people and injuring some 20 others.
  4. Iraq executes 11 prisoners for terror crimes
    Iraq’s Ministry of Justice said it executed 11 convicts for terror crimes Thursday, two days after it announced the execution of 26 convicts, despite international calls for Baghdad to abolish the death penalty.
  5. Iran woos global investors; says no desire for nuclear weapons
    Davos: Energy-rich Iran on Thursday sought to allay fears over its controversial nuclear programme and invited global investors to visit the nation to explore opportunities in its bid to normalise relations with the West.
  6. Kin of Pakistan suicide blast victims refuse to bury dead
    QUETTA: A Pakistani police officer says relatives of Shiites killed in a suicide bombing this week are rallying for the third straight day, refusing to bury their kin and demanding a crackdown on militants in southwestern Baluchistan province.
  7. Shi’ite Minority Protests After Deadly Pakistani Bombing
    Members of Pakistan’s minority Shi’ite Muslim community have staged demonstrations in several cities, demanding authorities crack down on militants blamed for deadly attacks targeting Shi’a.
  8. Car bomb kills six at auto repair shop in Pakistan
    PESHAWAR, Pakistan — At least six people were killed and nine injured Thursday in the suburbs of Peshawar when a bomb exploded in a vehicle at an auto workshop.
  9. Sunnis fleeing Fallujah find refuge in Shiite holy cities
    KARBALA, Iraq — The plush accommodation halls on the outskirts of this southern Iraqi city, normally reserved for visiting Shiite pilgrims, now teem with displaced Sunnis fleeing violence in the Western province of Anbar.