* Thousands of Foreigners Have Fought in Syria Between 3,300 and 11,000 fighters from more than 70 nations, including a rising number from Western Europe, have joined the struggle in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad.
* Hamas and the Palestinian Authority in talks to form unity government Hamas and the Palestinian Authority were in talks to form a national unity government.
* Japan to bolster military, boost Asia ties to counter China Japan will boost its military spending in coming years.
* US warns Russia over deploying missiles in Kaliningrad Washington has warned Moscow not to destabilize the region after Russia announced the deployment of missiles on its western borders.
* 'Whole families murdered': Syrian rebels execute over 80 civilians outside Damascus Over 80 civilians in a town northwest of the Syrian capital of Damascus have been executed by Islamist rebels.
* Americans' Belief in God Is Strong--But Declining A new Harris Poll finds that a strong majority (74 percent) of U.S. adults say they believe in God.
* American Trust In Clergy Members Hits New Low A record number of people throughout the United States have expressed a lack of trust in clergy members.
* GAY RIGHTS MAG NAMES POPE FRANCIS 'PERSON OF THE YEAR' DESPITE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE STANCE The December issue of The Advocate features Pope Francis with a "NO H8" message photoshopped on his right cheek.
* From Hungarian Neo-Nazi to Orthodox Jew A film is being made on the life story of reformed neo-Nazi Csanad Szegedi.
* EU-Turkey relations heading for new pause The EU and Turkey on Monday (16 December) feted a new pact on migrants.