Asia

With the armed conflict between Western-backed Islamists and the Bashar al-Assad regime still raging, recent reports suggest growing unease among some rebel groups and anti-Assad activists with the surge in influence and power of al Qaeda-linked terrorists determined to enslave Syria under brutally enforced Islamic law, or sharia. The escalating fears have become so serious that some rebel leaders are reportedly considering joining forces with the Assad dictatorship to wage war on Islamic fundamentalists.

The United Nations announced on December 16 that it is asking for a total of $12.9 billion in aid, with $6.5 billion of that amount to go to refugees impacted by the ongoing civil war in Syria.

Ten years after the capture of Saddam Hussein by U.S. troops on December 13, 2003, observers have documented an Iraq that is still in turmoil, as al Qaeda militants wage an increasingly aggressive campaign to extend their influence over the country. 

India's Supreme Court has re-criminalized homosexual behavior in the nation, overturning a lower court decision to drop a 150-year-old colonial-era morality law.

During a press conference at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, on December 6, Secretary of State John Kerry said, having met with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during the past two days, that he is “encouraged by the continued commitment of both leaders to the pursuit of peace.”

 

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