Top news: More than 100 countries gathered in Paris on Friday for a "Friends of Syria" conference with members of the Syrian opposition, as France's foreign minister confirmed that Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass, the son of a former Syrian defense minister, had defected from the Syrian military and was headed to France, where his father reportedly lives -- in what would amount to the highest-profile defection since the Syrian uprising began 16 months ago.
It is unclear whether Tlass (pictured on right) plans to join the Syrian opposition, but the blow to the Syrian government comes as the head of the suspended U.N. monitoring mission in the country warns of "unprecedented" levels of violence in the country.
At the conference. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for tough sanctions against Syria and urged the attendees to make China and Russia "pay a price" for supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime. China and Russia are not attending the meeting.
U.S.-China trade dispute: Chinese officials issued muted responses to a U.S. complaint with the World Trade Organization over punitive Chinese duties on imports of U.S. cars.
- A court in Argentina found two former dictators guilty of presiding over the systematic theft of babies from political prisoners.
- A partial recount confirmed Enrique Pena Nieto's victory in Mexico's presidential election, but his chief rival still refuses to concede defeat.
- Colombian police released new details about the arrest of the suspected drug gang leader Camilo Torres.
- Cuban President Raul Castro signed bilateral agreements with China during a visit to Beijing.
- South Korea arrested an activist who made an unauthorized visit to North Korea.
- Chinese police disrupted two child trafficking gangs and freed nearly 200 children.
- Romanian President Traian Basescu is facing an impeachment vote in parliament.
- British police arrested seven men suspected of terrorist activities a day after detaining six other terror suspects.
- French investigators released their final report on the 2009 crash of an Air France jet.
- The U.N. Security Council called for sanctions against Islamist fighters in northern Mali but did not endorse West African military intervention in the region.
- The United States imposed sanctions on Eritrea's intelligence chief and a senior Eritrean military officer for supporting Somalia's al-Shabab militant group.
- Congolese soldiers have reportedly fled into Uganda after clashes with rebels.
- Armed federalists shut down two oil terminals in eastern Libya ahead of the country's parliamentary election.
- Lebanese gunmen blocked roads in northern Lebanon to protest the release of soldiers detained for killing a Muslim cleric.
- Iran's intelligence chief accused France and Germany of working with the United States to kill Iranian nuclear scientists.
Raed Qutena/AFP/Getty Images