• Explosions rocked a number of sites around the suburbs of Damascus today, a grim backdrop for the United Nations announcement that the death toll in Syria was higher than expected. During the 22-month-long conflict, 60,000 people have died, 15,000 more than originally thought. [NYT]

• Today in strange bedfellows, Al Jazeera, the Doha-based Arabic news channel, is said to be acquiring Al Gore’s Current TV. The deal could provide Al Jazeera with a way into American homes, bringing it into competition with other U.S. news channels. [NYT]

• Following treatment for a blot clot, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was released from the hospital today. She is expected to make a full recovery. [Reuters]

• If your new year’s resolution is to read more books, then consult this impressive and exhaustive list by D.G. Myers, which covers the best of Jewish literature—fiction and nonfiction—from 2012. [Jewish Ideas Daily]

• This week: A Downton Abbey-themed ‘Not Your Bubbe’s Recipe’ [Jewcy]