Top news: Deadly clashes between Syrian forces and opposition fighters are continuing in Damascus and elsewhere in Syria after a suicide attack in the capital on Wednesday killed the country's defense minister, deputy defense minister, and former defense minister. Anonymous opposition sources tell Reuters that Bashar al-Assad, who has not appeared in public since the incident, is in the coastal city of Latakia, while an unnamed Syrian official claims the Syrian president is still in Damascus.
As the fighting rages, the U.N. Security Council is preparing to vote on a resolution to end the 17-month-old Syrian crisis, with Russia opposing a Western effort to threaten the Syrian government with sanctions if it fails to abide by a peace plan.
The United States, meanwhile, is making its own preparations. The New York Times reports that "Obama administration officials worked on contingency plans Wednesday for a collapse of the Syrian government," with a focus on Syria's chemical weapons stockpile.
Bulgaria attack: Bulgarian authorities are trying to identify the suicide bomber who killed several Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver in an attack on a tour bus in Burgas on Wednesday. Investigators have discovered that the bomber was carrying a fake Michigan driver's license, and Israeli officials have blamed the attack on Hezbollah and Iran. Iran has denied involvement in the incident.
- Chinese President Hu Jintao announced that China will lend Africa $20 billion for agriculture and infrastructure.
- At least 34 people are dead after a ferry sank off the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar.
- Islamist rebels in Mali released three European aid workers who had been kidnapped from a refugee camp in Algeria.
- The relatives of American citizens killed by drone strikes in Yemen filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Obama administration officials.
- Mexican police arrested 17 people in connection with an attack on a Christian youth camp.
- Colombian police clashed with indigenous Colombians in Cauca province.
- British authorities charged five people with terrorism offenses but insisted that the allegations were not linked to the Olympic Games.
- A giant iceberg broke away from the Petermann Glacier in Greenland.
- A top Muslim cleric was fatally shot and another wounded in a bombing in Russia's Tatarstan province.
- Omar Suleiman, Egypt's former intelligence chief under Hosni Mubarak, reportedly died in an American hospital.
- Yemeni authorities arrested participants in an alleged spy ring led by a former member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard.
- A bombing in the southern Yemeni city of Aden killed a top security official.
- Indian lawmakers are voting for a new president, with the country's former finance minister emerging as the frontrunner.
- The Taliban killed eight Afghan civilians and two NATO soldiers in a series of bombings.
- A French architect linked to disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai and his wife returned to China from Cambodia.
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