Violence has continued in Syria despite the presence of the Arab League monitoring mission in the country. Activists said more than 10 people were killed in the anti-government flashpoints of Homs, Deraa and Idlib. A video posted on the internet showed a crowd of angry mourners around the body of a small boy in Homs, as the BBC's Jim Muir reports.

The video posted on the internet by activists shows a crowd of angry mourners gathering around the bonnet of a white vehicle, which has the insignia of the Arab League emblazoned on it and appears to belong to the observers. They lay the lifeless body of a small boy on the bonnet. Activists say the violence has continued despite the presence of the observers. But despite the reservations of many activists about the Arab mission, and some glitches on the ground, the observers do seem to have got through, unaccompanied by Syrian official security escorts, to some of the worst-affected quarters of Homs.

The United States has said it won't tolerate any disruption by Iran of international shippings through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf. On Tuesday, the Iranian vice president threatened to close the strait if western nations were to put an embargo on Iranian oil. From Washington, Jonny Dymond.

The Pentagon desCRIbed the raising of the temperature on tensions in the Gulf as unhelpful. Its response to the Iranian threat was measured but clear: any attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz through which around a third of the world's tanker traffic flows would not, the Pentagon said, be tolerated. But it also said that it was aware that the Iranian navy exercised on a regular basis. Iran is in the midst of such an exercise close to the strait. And the Pentagon said that no aggressive or hostile action had been reported towards US vessels.

The main parties in Bosnia have agreed to form a central government, ending a 14-month political CRIsis. Muslim, Croat and Serb parties have been deadlocked over the issue since elections in October 2010. Janet Barrie reports.

Finally the leaders of Bosnia's three main ethnic groups have found a way of sharing power in the central government. They also agreed to pass a budget for 2011, averting a very real possibility that state institutions could grind to a halt next year. Bosnia is still a deeply divided country after the war there in the mid-1990s, in which around 100,000 people lost their lives. The European Union and United States insisted though that the communities worked more closely together in a central government to qualify for funds from the IMF and European Commission.

Church leaders in Nigeria say their members will defend themselves if the country's security forces are unable to protect them. The statement by coalition of Pentecostal churches came as tension continued to rise, following a series of attack by an Islamist group targeting churches across Nigeria.

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A campaign group in Venezuela says the country suffered a record number of murders in 2011. The Venezuela Violence Observatory said there have been more than 19,000 killings this year, an average of 53 a day. CRIminal violence is said to be a major issue in next year's presidential elections. More from James Read of our America's desk.

These figures suggest Venezuela's murder rate is now four times that of Mexico where drug-related violence has made headlines around the world. It's also four times higher than when President Hugo Chavez took power in 1999. But while few Venezuelans would deny that violent crime is soaring, explaining why is much harder. Experts pointed a social breakdown, enduring inequality, drug trafficking and the easy availability of illegal fire arms.

Environmentalists in Tanzania say they are strongly opposed to the proposed construction of a new railway that would cut through the world famous Serengeti National Park. A spokesman for Tanzania's Lawyers' Environmental Action Team * there told the BBC that the railway would have a serious impact on the annual migration of wild beast and destroy the ecosystem.

Serengeti is not only a national park, it is a complete migration of animals. If the railway or road, or highway is going to be constructed, will have very very severe effects to the migration of animals.

Palestinian police armed with batons and shields have broken up a brawl between rival priests at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. About 100 Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic clerics fought with brooms as they cleaned the church in preparation for the Orthodox Christmas. There've been frequent scuffles in the past between the various Christian denominations which share the administration of the church. It was built over the spot where Christians believe which Jesus was born.

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