December 5, 2012 High-level diplomacy helped avert a disaster last month, in a dispute over the unpaid water bill of one of Christendom's holiest sites. The water company that supplies the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem said it owed $2.3 million. Eventually, the bill was waived — but the church now promises to pay going forward.
December 5, 2012 The persistent fighting near Damascus has created a growing sense that there could soon be a major battle for the capital. Activists have made a video telling Damascus residents how to prepare.
December 4, 2012 Israel's ambassadors to Britain, France, Denmark, Spain and Sweden were summoned to hear criticism of the plan. The criticism in the U.S. was more muted.
December 4, 2012 There is a growing sense that the rebels will soon launch a major assault on the Syrian capital. Many extended families are already crammed into small apartments in areas that have been relatively safe so far.
December 4, 2012 Islamist rebels are among the groups fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, raising concerns in the West about what their role would be in a Syria without Assad. NPR's Kelly McEvers recently spent some time with these Islamist fighters in the embattled city of Aleppo.