An Israeli airstrike Monday (Dec. 25) in a Damascus neighbourhood killed a high-ranking Iranian general, Iranian state media said. Iranian officials and allied militant groups in the region vowed revenge for the killing but did not immediately launch any retaliatory strike. The killing of Seyed Razi Mousavi, a longtime adviser of the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in Syria, comes amid ongoing fears of the Israel-Hamas war sparking a regional spillover. Iran-backed groups in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq have launched attacks on Israel and its allies in support of Hamas.

Clashes along the Lebanon-Israel border between Hezbollah and Israel have continued to intensify, with daily exchanges of missiles, airstrikes and shelling across the frontier. In the Red Sea, attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen against ships they believe to be connected to Israel have disrupted trade and prompted the launch of a U.S.-led multinational naval operation to protect shipping routes.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held talks with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, as a growing migration crisis causes chaos on their shared border. The high-level meeting came as pressure grows on the White House to stem the influx of migrants to the US. US officials said last week that up to 10,000 people were crossing the southern border every day. López Obrador is willing to limit people crossing Mexico towards the US.

Mexico's president gave a positive assessment of the talks in his country's capital, Mexico City, but gave little details as Blinken left. Speaking ahead of the summit he had called for more efforts to address the root causes of migration and warned that it could become a key issue in the 2024 US election. Former president Donald Trump has taken an increasingly hard-line stance on the border and will reportedly unleash a massive crackdown on undocumented migrants if returned to office next year.

Poland's political battle over state media continued as the president filed a revised spending bill in defiance of the new pro-European Union government 's goal of freeing the media from political control. President Andrzej Duda, an ally of the previous right-wing government, had vetoed the new government's bill that provided 3 billion zlotys ($762 million) for the public media. His proposed bill strips that funding out.

Poland's state-owned media have become the first battleground between the coalition government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk and the conservative Law and Justice party, which held power for eight years until Dec. 13 and whose members and allies retain a presence at state TV, radio and news agency headquarters. Tusk said his Cabinet would submit a new bill that takes Duda's views into consideration and shifts the funding in question from state media to children's health care. He also said that untangling the former ruling party's grip on state media would take time.

India's foreign minister met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said relations between the countries are progressing even amid turbulent times. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar's meeting was part of a five-day visit. At the start of the meeting, Putin said he would inform the Indian diplomat about the fighting in Ukraine, on which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held a neutral stance. "I know about his desire to do everything to resolve this problem through peaceful means," Putin said.

India is increasingly important to Russia as a market for oil exports, the backbone of its economy, as Western sanctions curtail oil shipments. "It is very important to make our trade interaction more sustainable. We need to think about how to achieve this," Jaishankar said, according to a Kremlin transcript of the meeting's opening. Jaishankar also met with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, who said they discussed "the prospects for military-technical cooperation, including the joint production of modern types of weapons."

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