In many ways, 2015 has been a transitional point for Iran and its relationship to the outside world. Iran and six world powers, including the US, inked a landmark nuclear deal this year; international sanctions against the Islamic Republic are set to ease; multinational corporations are descending on Tehran; and American and allied aircraft are coordinating with Iran-supported Shia militias in Iraq in the fight against the Islamic State.

The tiny café was set for an event: Chairs were arranged in a semi-circle, and on each table were plates of pie and cheesecake. [...] The guest of honor, Elias Zananiri, had made the trip from Ramallah on behalf of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as part of recent initiative by Palestinian officials to hold parlor meetings with Israelis.

As soon as news broke that the San Bernardino, Calif., shooters were Muslim, skilled Muslim activists took to social media platforms to denounce Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his 27-year-old wife Tashfeen Malik. But after the New York Post’s online headline “Muslim Killers: Terror eyed as couple slaughters 14 in Calif.,” the term “Muslim Killers” began trending with more than 10,000 tweets.

To celebrate the power of the volunteerism, United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon is marking the International Volunteer Day by emphasizing that volunteering fosters creativity, “draws strength from our passions and connects us to those who need us most.”

A selection of blogs and research.

In Southeast Asia, President Barack Obama has taken a softer tone on human rights and corruption in a part of the world that rights groups claim is rife with abuses.

Muslim leaders the world over are condemning the horrific terror attacks that struck Paris Friday night, expressing outrage and shock at an onslaught of shootings and bombings that left at least 120 dead and hundreds wounded. Muslim imams, scholars, commentators, and average Muslims expressed grief and horror using social media. 

Making sure a refugee child has access to a full meal is now as easy as tapping your smartphone. ShareTheMeal, a new, free app launched by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Thursday, allows users to help feed one child for a day for only 50 cents. And so far, it's proving that small actions can make a big difference.