Iran Navy to Hold War Games Near Crucial Sea Lanes
Rick Gladstone, The New York Times — December 22, 2011
Iran put neighbors on notice Thursday that it was about to conduct vast naval exercises in the Arabian Sea, including war games near the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping lane for international oil traffic.
Bill Clinton says US must mull all options on Iran
Associated Foreign Press — December 22, 2011
Former US president Bill Clinton said in a television interview to be shown Wednesday that President Barack Obama should not rule out military action on Iran, but there might be other ways “to skin the cat.”
North Korea Warns South to Respect Late Leader
Voice of America — December 23, 2011
North Korea accused the South Friday of an intolerable response to the death of supreme leader Kim Jong Il by expressing sympathy for the North Korean people, but deciding not to send a government delegation to Kim’s funeral next week.
Handsome accordion player is North Korea’s kingmaker
Jack Kim, Reuters — December 23, 2011
The power behind the throne in North Korea was a dashing accordion player in his youth, whose life changed when he met the daughter of autocratic founder Kim Il-Sung at university and wooed and married her despite the dictator’s opposition.
Boehner, Reid Try to Bring Tax Cut Deal Over Finish Line
Fox News — December 23, 2011
After a false finale last weekend, congressional leaders once again are trying to polish off an extension of the payroll tax cut — moving ahead with a deal House Speaker John Boehner struck with his Senate Democratic counterpart despite objections from the rank and file.
Congress passes payroll tax cut extensionM
Alan Silverleib, CNN News — December 23, 2011
Both chambers of Congress passed an amended version of the two-month payroll tax cut extension Friday, sending the measure to President Barack Obama’s desk and handing Democrats a hard-fought victory on an issue — taxes — that has historically favored their Republican counterparts.
Syria says twin suicide bombings in Damascus kill 40
BBC News, December 24, 2011
At least 40 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in two suicide car bombings in Syria’s capital, Damascus, officials say.
Arab League Delegates Arrive in Syria
Kareem Fahim, The New York Times — December 22, 2011
As violence continued around Syria, delegates from the Arab League traveled to Damascus on Thursday to start monitoring the government’s promise to end its violent suppression of the nine-month-old uprising. The visit is intended to set the ground rules for a mission that is supposed to bring hundreds of observers to Syria in the coming weeks.