Top news: The Syrian government launched airstrikes against the northern town of Maarat al-Noaman, which was captured by rebel forces just last week. Videos footage indicated that large sections of the town were destroyed and likely dozens were killed. Analysts say the attack reflects a new strategy by the Syrian government -- leveling towns captured by rebels rather than attempting to capture and govern them.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has baked calls for a four-day ceasefire for the Eid al-Adha holiday which begins on Oct. 26., a proposal by new U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.
China: Reuters reports that Chinese leaders have come up with preferred candidates for next month's leadership transition.
- At least 14 soldiers and 12 suspected al Qaeda operatives were killed during a battle in Southern Yemen.
- The West Bank is holding local elections this weekend.
- A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a mosque in Southern Iraq.
- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak visited an island shelled by the North in 2010.
- The U.S. is inviting Myanmar to a multinational military exercise.
- A roadside bomb killed at least 19 people on their way to a wedding in Northern Afghanistan.
- EU leaders have agreed to set up a banking supervisor for the eurozone.
- Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi denied ties with an underaged prostitute at his trial in Milan.
- Thousands are expected at an anti-austerity protest in London this weekend.
- Colombia has opened a new round of peace talks with the FARC.
- Honduras' Supreme Court has ruled against a plan to set up privately run cities.
- Cuba has released the first letter from Fidel Castro in months.
- Rwanda was elected to the U.N. Security Council.
- A cache of al-Shabab weapons was reportedly seized in Somalia's Puntland region.
- France has thrown its support behind a plan to create an all-African military force to fight Islamists in Northern Mali.
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