Top news: Police in Istanbul clashed with protesters in Taksim Square overnight as the embattled government of Prime Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued its effort to clear the city's center of a nearly two-week old protest movement, which has seen nearly 5,000 protesters and 600 police injured. Three people have been killed.
Though it is likely protesters will seek to return, Taksim Square was largely cleared overnight after on and off battles with police, who deployed tear gas and water cannons in attempting to disperse protesters, some of whom fought back against police, others of whom called for non-violent resistance. Protesters remain in Gezi Park, where the protests began over a proposed development.
Erdogan is set to meet today with a group of mediators -- including an actress and a columnist -- in the hopes of bringing an end to the stand off, which has presented the prime minister with the most serious political crisis of his 10-year-rule and rattled markets. As the mediators' connection to the protesters remains highly unclear, it is unlikely that the talks will produce a breakthrough.
Afghanistan: A powerful bomb targeting Afghanistan's supreme court killed at least 17 and wounded another 39. The blast came shortly after the United Nations announced that the Taliban had indicated to them that they were willing to work to reduce civilian casualties in the country. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, which killed at least nine women and several children and no police or military personnel.
- Talks to re-open the Kaesong industrial park hit a snag over the seniority of officials sent to negotiate, and North Korea refused to answer phone calls to a newly re-established hotline.
- Two days after checking out of his Hong Kong hotel, Edward Snowden remains in the wind, though he is thought to still be in Hong Kong.
- China launched its fifth manned mission into space.
- Syrian rebels attacked a mostly Shiite village in the country's east, killing at least 60.
- Iranian presidential candidate Mohammad Reza Aref announced that he would be dropping out of the race to bolster the moderate candidate Hassan Rowhani.
- Egypt's largest opposition group rejected reconciliation talks with the government as "too late."
- The Greek government's decision to close the state broadcaster prompted calls from the country's two largest labor unions for a 24-hour strike.
- A bill banning the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" overwhelmingly passed in the lower house of the Russian parliament.
- Pope Francis reportedly confirmed the existence of a "gay lobby" inside the Vatican.
- The U.S. Senate voted to begin debate on a measure, which now has President Obama's support, to overhaul the country's immigration laws.
- Venezuela's electoral body confirmed in an audit the razor-thin electoral victory of President Nicolas Maduro.
- An effort to clean up the scandal-ridden Honduran police force has stalled.
- Documents obtained by the Associated Press indicate that al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has obtained SA-7 surface to air missiles.
- Vigilante groups in Nigeria have begun fighting against extremist groups targeted by the government in a crackdown.
- Nelson Mandela spent a fifth straight day in the hospital battling a lung infection.
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