Syria's military has withdrawn from cities but security forces continue to kill protesters despite the presence of foreign monitors in the country, the Arab League's Secretary General Nabil Elaraby said on Monday.
Two leading Syrian opposition parties have signed a deal charting a road map to democracy if the ongoing unrest ends up in the fall the Assad regime, as activists are increasingly pessimistic about the Arab League mission.
François Picard and his panel discuss the Arab revolutions, the financial crisis and other important events of 2011 and their implications for 2012. Also on the agenda in this new year are elections in France and the US - can Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy be re-elected?
Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad killed at least 22 people on Friday as hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets across the country to show the strength of their movement to Arab League observers.
The violence in Syria during a visit by an Arab League mission dominates. Comment writers also look more broadly at the Arab Spring as we head in to the New Year. There's a preview of the Iowa Republican caucus on Tuesday, and two Italian "centenarians" head to the divorce court after 77 years as Mr and Mrs. That's the focus for Friday, 30th December 2011.
Syrian anti-government activists are calling for mass popular protests Friday, to show visiting Arab League observers that oppression in Syria continues. This comes a day after government forces reportedly killed 25 protesters.