In his Christmas message, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, has called on the faithful not to forget Syria, warned against Israeli settlement building, and revealed that Pope Francis will be visiting Israel, Palestine and Jordan next May.

Jordan was elected to serve on the UN Security Council for two-years beginning on 1 January 2014 and fill the seat that Saudi Arabia won and rejected earlier in November.

Four journalists have been assassinated in Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s Ninewa Province, since early October 2013. A local journalist told Human Rights Watch that security forces have a list of 44 journalists that armed groups in the area have targeted for assassinations. At the same time, Iraqi prosecutors have stepped up criminal prosecutions of journalists for defamation and have increased other harassment of journalists.

Iraq: the world’s forgotten war. Baghdad is a city afraid of itself. Yet despite 30 deaths a day, bombs and sectarian strife, the world no longer listens

Finally the long-delayed peace talks on Syria have a date, according to Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi. He said on Sunday international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi informed him that the talks will convene on November 23. Since may, when the conference was announced the situation has changed dramatically.

At least 53 people were killed during demonstrations of the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 40th anniversary of Egypt’s war with Israel in Cairo and across the country on Sunday, a health ministry official said.

The conflict ravaging Syria is not a civil war but a war on terror, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister said today in his turn at the rostrum at the high-level debate that opens the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, explaining the regimen view of the situation.