Top news: Just two weeks before the first round of voting in the country's presidential election, Egypt held the Arab world's first televised presidential debate on Thursday night. The four-hour event featured Amr Moussa, a former Arab League chief, and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The two top candidates discussed the economy, security, and the role Islamic law should play in government, and criticized each other's backgrounds. Moussa highlighted the oath of loyalty that Aboul Fotouh once swore to the chairman of the Brotherhood, while Aboul Fotouh noted that Moussa had long served as a diplomat under Hosni Mubarak. "Those who take part in creating the problem couldn't be part of the solution," he declared.
Friday marked the first day that Egyptians abroad can start voting in the presidential election.
Greece: Evangelos Venizelos, the leader of Greece's main socialist party, is engaged in a last-ditch effort to form a coalition government. If he fails, all parties will have one final chance to strike a unity deal before new elections, which would likely benefit a radical leftist party that opposes the country's bailout, are called.
- The head of the opposition Syrian National Council blamed a double bombing in Damascus on al Qaeda forces linked to the Syrian regime.
- Early results from Algeria's legislative elections indicate a strong showing by the ruling National Liberation Front and an Islamist alliance.
- The spy who helped foil a plot to bomb a U.S.-bound airliner is reportedly a British national, and British intelligence may have helped recruit him.
- An attacker in an Afghan Army uniform killed a NATO soldier in eastern Afghanistan.
- Protesters gathered at the Chinese embassy in Manila as a dispute between China and the Philippines over an island in the South China Sea escalated.
- Rescuers found no evidence of survivors in the wreckage of a new Russian passenger jet that crashed in Indonesia.
- The European Commission predicted that the eurozone economy will contract this year and warned that Spain could miss its deficit targets.
- Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International, testified before a British inquiry into press ethics.
- Britain is seeking to scale back a provision of the impending EU oil embargo on Iran.
- JPMorgan Chase disclosed a $2 billion trading loss.
- Peru's interior and defense ministers resigned over a botched operation against Shining Path rebels.
- Argentina passed a landmark gender rights law that will make it easier for people to change their legal and physical gender identity.
- Somali pirates hijacked a Greek-owned oil tanker off the coast of Oman.
- More than 40 people were injured in clashes between police and protesters in Guinea.
- West African mediators met with leaders in Guinea-Bissau to negotiate a return to civilian rule.
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