Culture Minister Ali Jannati has been questioned in the Iranian parliament by a hard-line lawmaker over some of his comments regarding the closure of newspapers and the solo singing of women.
The leader of an Al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria has called for a cease-fire with other rebel groups in a bid to end several days of fighting among opposition forces.
Turkmenistan's new multiparty parliament has reelected Akdzha Nurberdyeva as speaker at its first session.
The Iraqi Army says it is delaying an all-out attack on the center of the city of Fallujah -- which is held by Al-Qaeda-linked militants -- in order to avoid civilian casualties.
A Kyrgyz labor migrant has been found dead in Moscow -- the second such incident in as many days.
The Russian research vessel "MV Akademik Shokalsky" has broken free of Antarctic ice that had kept the ship trapped since last month.
In Pakistan, police say the bodies of six men have been found with their throats slit at a Sufi Muslim shrine in the city of Karachi.
A delegation of British lawmakers has arrived in Iran -- the first such visit since diplomatic ties between London and Tehran collapsed in 2011.
A second suspect in November arson attacks against two Orthodox churches in Tatarstan has alleged police torture.
A Pakistani court trying former President Pervez Musharraf says it is examining a medical report on his condition to decide whether he can be excused from hearings while he remains in hospital.
In his Christmas address to the nation, Georgia's Orthodox Patriarch Ilia II said that children born by surrogate mothers or through artificial insemination will be "problematic" in their adulthood.
Azerbaijan's oldest existing political party, Musavat (Equality), has decided to withdraw from the National Council of Democratic Forces, the country's major opposition alliance.