1. More reports of disagreements and Iraqi opposition on Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). Reports will likely continue until the 11th hour (December 31) as sides hedge positions to maximize input. Little actual risk of falling through.
2. NATO forces set to patrol Indian Ocean, particularly off Somalia coast to combat rampant piracy. Somali transitional federal government, lacking maritime forces, welcomes move.
3. Rumors circulate on the demise and replacement of Kim Jong-Il in North Korea, either by death due to failing health or coup. At this point, no one knows anything and all reports are speculative.
4. In Afghanistan, the Taliban attacked a pair of buses in the south and killed 30 or more. 25 bodies found away from the bus hijacked, while another six were found separately, beheaded.
Al Qaeda is global, fluid and unpredictable: Sherpao - Daily Times
Al-Qaeda Web Forums Abruptly Taken Offline - Washington Post
Al -Qaeda terror suspects set for Saudi trial - Culture & Society - Arabian Business
Terror suspect Jack Thomas fooled al-Qaeda, trial told - The Australian
Press report fuels rumors over North Korea's Dear Leader - UK Guardian
South Korea skeptical about reports of major changes in the North - Canadian Press
North Korea holds rare cabinet meeting on economy - Reuters
US Says North Korea Reverses Steps to Restart Reactor - VOA