Iraq has threatened to fine journalists covering the January 31 local elections if they report inaccuracies or back any candidate, a move journalists' groups said could hurt the country's already beleaguered media.
Five Bosnians were injured in a natural gas blast at their home in the capital Sarajevo on January 10, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek has met in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in an effort to mediate an agreement between Ukraine and Russia that would allow the resumption of natural gas supplies to Europe.
Somali pirates have released an Iranian-chartered ship which was seized off the coast of Yemen in November, Iran's biggest shipping firm said on January 10, a day after a Saudi supertanker was freed for a $3 million ransom.
Israeli aircraft, tanks, and ships have pounded the Gaza Strip for a 15th day and militants from Hamas fired rockets back at Israel, both sides defying international efforts to put a stop to the conflict.
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama said on January 9 he views Iran as a "genuine threat" but still favors initiating a dialogue with the Islamic republic.
U.S. Vice President-elect Joe Biden arrived in Afghanistan on January 10 to meet political and military leaders in the war-torn country, which will become a top foreign policy priority of the new administration.
The European Union will hold talks with Russia on January 10 to finalize a gas monitoring deal to allow the resumption of gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine, which have been cut off for days over a pricing row.
Last week's sharp devaluation of the Belarusian currency, a shock to many in the ex-Soviet republic, was a condition of a $2.5 billion IMF loan, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said on January 9.
U.S. and Georgian officials have signed a bilateral charter on strategic partnership. The document is aimed at enhancing defense and security cooperation between the two countries.
The head of Russia's Gazprom says it could resume gas shipments through Ukraine to Europe on January 9 if an agreement on the deployment of international monitors is signed.