U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has said he was prepared to offer Iran economic incentives to stop its nuclear program, but he also warned that sanctions could be toughened if it refused.
People smugglers are thriving on both sides of the Afghan-Iranian border, a United Nations report has said, running operations that are costing some $200 million a year in lost visa revenue.
Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar has urged Western forces to take a "golden opportunity" to leave Afghanistan before thousands of their troops were killed in the Islamist group's renewed insurgency.
An Iranian court has sentenced to jail and lashes 16 former Central Bank staff for taking bribes including 35 billion rials ($3.5 million) in cash as well as gold and foreign currencies, state radio reported.
Russian Orthodox believers have joined in worldwide tributes to the deceased patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, as thousands paid their respects at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.
India's foreign minister has accused Pakistan of trying to divert attention from the fact the Mumbai attacks were launched from its soil by leaking a story about a hoax call to Pakistan's president.
Hordes of Pakistani militants set on fire 96 trucks carrying Humvees and military vehicles for Western forces in Afghanistan in a raid in the northwestern city of Peshawar, police have said.
Iran's military test-fired a new surface-to-surface missile from a warship as part of exercises along a strategic shipping route, state media have reported.
Most of the additional U.S. troops heading to Afghanistan early next year will be deployed near Kabul, reflecting worries about the capital's vulnerability, "The New York Times" has reported.
Some influential figures -- including Ali al-Sistani, the top Shi'ite cleric in Iraq -- have expressed reservations about the deal.
Russian Orthodox bishops pick their man to lead the church -- at least for now. Their choice is a potentially divisive figure and a believer in greater independence from the state.
Pilgrims from all over the world are converging on Mina, a valley close to the Islamic holy city of Mecca, for the first day of the annual rites of the hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.