Top story: The blind Chinese human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng, whose whereabouts have been a mystery since he escaped house arrest last week, left the U.S. embassy in Beijing on Wednesday and headed to a check-up at a hospital in the Chinese capital before reuniting with his family.
Xinhua, China's official news agency, reported that Chen left the embassy "of his own volition" after a six-day stay, while American officials tell the New York Times that the activist emerged only after he received assurances from the Chinese government that he would remain safe if he stayed in his country -- a deal that Reuters is calling "unprecedented."
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is in Beijing for previously scheduled talks with Chinese officials, said she spoke with Chen on Wednesday and that the dissident's understanding with the Chinese government included "the opportunity to pursue higher education in a safe environment."
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, for its part, demanded an apology from the United States for taking Chen into its embassy.
Afghanistan: President Barack Obama pledged to end the war in Afghanistan and signed a strategic partnership agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai during an unannounced visit to Kabul on Tuesday. Less than two hours after Obama left the country, however, a suicide bomber attacked a compound housing foreigners in the Afghan capital, killing seven Afghans.
- Unidentified attackers clashed with mostly Islamist protesters in the Egyptian capital, leaving at least nine people dead.
- Human Rights Watch accused the Syrian government of committing war crimes in Idlib province during ceasefire negotiations.
- The Israeli military ended its investigation into the 2009 shelling of a house in the Gaza Strip that killed 21 members of an extended Palestinian family.
- Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sworn in as a member of Myanmar's new parliament.
- Rescuers in India continued to search for bodies after a ferry accident that killed at least 100 people.
- South Korean officials accused North Korea of disrupting GPS navigation in the country.
- The unemployment rate in the eurozone rose to 10.9 percent in March -- the highest level since the creation of the euro in 1999.
- The British Sky Broadcasting Group defended its record amid criticism of News Corporation, which owns 39 percent of BSkyB.
- The credit rating agency Standard & Poor's upgraded Greek debt from "selective default."
- Junta leaders in Mali said that they had defeated a counter-coup and that a transition to civilian rule was still on track.
- A suicide attack in central Somalia killed seven people, including two lawmakers.
- The president of Chad called for a regional force to crack down on the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram.
- The Bosnian-born U.S. citizen Adis Medunjanin was convicted of plotting suicide bombings of New York subways.
- Bolivian President Evo Morales nationalized a subsidiary of the Spanish power company REE.
- A woman claiming to be a member of the FARC said the Colombian rebel group had captured a French journalist as a prisoner of war.
Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images