Western nations have indicated to the Syrian opposition that peace talks next month may not lead to the removal of President Bashar al-Assad and that his Alawite minority will remain key in any transitional administration, opposition sources said.

December 17, 2013

During the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela, as tens of thousands gathered in the FNB stadium in Johannesburg and millions more watched on television, an entirely different story emerged: the ten-second interaction between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro.

The Central African Republic, already one of the poorest nations in the world, is descending into chaos. In the capital city of Bangui alone, hundreds have died and nearly 200,000 people have been driven from their homes as a result of continual clashes between government forces, civilian militias, African peacekeepers, and the French military.

An influential Saudi prince blasted the Obama administration on Sunday for indecision and a loss of credibility with allies in the Middle East, saying that American efforts to secure a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians would founder without a clear commitment from President Obama. “We’ve seen several red lines put forward by the president, which went along and became pinkish as time grew, and eventually ended up completely white,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia.

December 14, 2013

For three weeks, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian protesters have been flooding the streets of Kiev, occupying government buildings and taking over the city's Independence Square. Initially, the demonstrators were expressing discontent at President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to pull out of a deal that would bring Ukraine closer to joining the European Union.

Egyptians will vote on a new constitution on Jan. 14 and 15, pushing on with the army-backed government's plan for transition back to democracy after its overthrow of elected Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. The new document is designed to replace one passed by Morsi, deposed by the army in July after mass protests against his rule. It should pave the way for new parliamentary and presidential elections to take place next year.

It’s hard to say something new to Israelis about Syria's Bashar al-Assad after more than two years of civil war in the neighboring country. But contemporary artists Yanay Geva and Lilac Madar have tried to do just that in an exhibition that features everything from a gas canister to a family photo of the Assads, placed on a lace-covered side table with a bowl of Arab sweets.

Members of congress representing countries across the world, converged on Bogota for the 35 Annual Parliamentary Forum, showing support for ongoing peace talks between Colombia’s government and FARC rebels. At the start of the event, Ross Robertson, president of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), said, “to fight for peace, we are here to give positive energy. We sustain peace. We are legislators and we can make the difference, we can alert our institutions to support the Colombian peace process.”