Top news: Following a string of insider attacks by Afghan soldiers against their U.S. and NATO counterparts, Gen. John R. Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, issued a new set of limits on direct cooperation with Afghan forces. The U.S. maintains that the training and advisory mission at the heart of the U.S. exit strategy remains intact, but the new guidelines sharply curtail cooperation below the battalion level, meaning that the "shoulder to shoulder" strategy for training 350,000 Afghans to take over after the U.S. withdraws has been substantially altered.
The shift in strategy comes after 51 international troops have been killed in so-called "green-on-blue" attacks so far this year, but coalition statements suggest the inflammatory anti-Muslim film that sparked riots across much of the Middle East and Asia was also a factor in the decision. "Recent events outside of and inside Afghanistan related to the ‘Innocence of Muslims' video, plus the conduct of recent insider attacks, have given cause for ISAF troops to exercise increased vigilance and carefully review all activities and interactions with the local population," the coalition said in a statement.
Arab Spring: A report published by Freedom House, a U.S.-based NGO that conducts research on democracy and human rights, says democracy declined worldwide in 2011. In the Middle East and North Africa, Tunisia was the only country to make substantial progress on good-governance indicators.
- Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, addressed an anti-American rally in Beirut.
- The Libyan government sacked the security chiefs responsible for Benghazi, following last week's attack on the U.S. consulate.
- Anti-American riots in Egypt have temporarily halted negotiations over $1 billion in proposed debt relief from the United States.
- A new rebel group calling itself the Fundamental Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace attacked three towns in the northern Central African Republic.
- The Nigerian military killed Abu Qaqa, the spokesman for Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
- ECOWAS said it needs additional military equipment in order to assist the Malian government in reclaiming the country's north from Islamist militants.
- Pope Benedict's former butler faces trial next week in the Vatican City on charges of stealing sensitive documents and leaking them to the press.
- French finance minister Pierre Moscovici said that France and the UK broadly agree on a plan for the ECB to supervise all eurozone banks.
- A series of deaths in the Czech Republic from methanol-tainted spirits prompted authorities to ban the sale of liquor with alcohol content of 20 percent or higher.
- Henrique Capriles, who is running against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, criticized his opponent for blocking a live broadcast of an opposition rally.
- The production of coca leaves in Bolivia is down 12 percent this year, according to a report by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.
- At least 130 inmates escaped from prison in Piedras Negras, Mexico, close to the Texas border.
- The Japanese Embassy in Beijing and hundreds of Japanese businesses operating in China closed their doors on Tuesday in anticipation of further protests.
- The Burmese government released more political prisoners as democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi visits the United States.
- The trial of ex-police chief Wang Lijun began on Monday in the Chinese city of Chengdu.