Top news: On Sunday night, as anti-austerity protests raged outside parliament, Greek lawmakers approved a 2013 budget that includes additional cuts to pensions and wages. The budget, along with a tough austerity package passed last week, will help Athens secure the $40 billion in EU and IMF loans that it needs to avoid bankruptcy.
Still, eurozone leaders meeting in Brussels on Monday suggested that they weren't prepared to release the money just yet. "Greece is on track to meet its commitments step by step," Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker noted, but "[t]here won't be any definitive decisions today." He added that an EU and IMF report on Greece's precarious debt situation had yet to be finalized.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is visiting Portugal, another country at the center of the European debt crisis, to express support for the government's fiscal reforms.
Syria: After three days of talks in Doha, Qatar, Syrian opposition groups agreed to create an umbrella organization and to elect Sheikh Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib, a former imam in Damascus, as its president.
- Japan's GDP shrank by 0.9 percent in the third quarter, raising concerns that the country is headed for recession.
- An assailant wearing an Afghan Army uniform reportedly killed a British soldier in southern Afghanistan.
- The Sri Lankan military defended its soldiers for allegedly killing 27 inmates during a prison riot.
- New details have emerged about the FBI investigation that exposed former CIA Director David Petraeus's extramarital affair.
- Paraguayan police seized almost 3,700 pounds of cocaine and arrested several top drug traffickers in northeastern Paraguay.
- Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa announced that he will seek a third term in February.
- Two BBC News executives stepped aside amid controversy over the organization's reporting of a sexual abuse scandal.
- A British court ruled that the Muslim cleric Abu Qatada should not be deported to Jordan.
- Polish police clashed violently with right-wing protesters during the country's independence day celebrations.
- West African leaders agreed to send more than 3,000 troops to northern Mali to drive out al Qaeda-linked groups.
- Gunmen assassinated Guinea's treasury chief, who was investigating an embezzlement plot.
- At least 29 Kenyan police officers died in an ambush in northern Kenya.
- Israel fired into Syria after a Syrian mortar shell hit an Israeli military post on the Golan Heights.
- Iraq backed out of a $4.2 billion arms deal with Russia, citing possible corruption among Iraqi officials.
- Iran launched military drills across the country.
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