Top news: At a press conference in Cairo on Wednesday, U.N. and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi announced that the Syrian government had agreed to a ceasefire during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which begins Thursday evening. "Other factions in Syria that we were able to contact -- heads of fighting groups -- most of them also agree on the principle of the ceasefire," Brahimi added, without specifying how long the truce would last. Syrian officials say they will make a final decision on Thursday about whether to embrace the truce.
Reuters points out that a ceasefire could prove difficult to implement, since a previous truce in April collapsed, a fierce battle is underway in the northern town of Maarat al-Numan, and international observers won't be monitoring and enforcing the deal. Brahimi hopes to use the temporary halt in hostilities to negotiate a long-term ceasefire and launch political talks.
On Tuesday, the Syrian military shelled a bakery in the flashpoint city of Aleppo, killing at least 20 people.
Immigration: A new report by Mexico's Colegio de la Frontera Norte and the University of Southern California's Tomas Rivera Policy Institute has found that the "recession-induced decline of undocumented migration from Mexico appears to have stopped in the first half of 2012 amid tentative signs of a renewed northbound flow."
- An Israeli airstrike in Gaza killed a Palestinian militant as militants fired a barrage of rockets into southern Israel.
- Iran's oil minister threatened to halt all oil exports if Western sanctions against the country are
- An Egyptian court referred a case on the legality of the country's constitutional committee to a higher court.
- An HSBC report suggested that Chinese manufacturing rebounded in October.
- Four children died in a firefight between the Taliban and coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan.
- Japan's prime minister appointed a new justice minister following a political scandal.
- The chairman of the BBC Trust defended the BBC's independence in the face of a sex scandal.
- The head of Italy's disaster commission resigned to protest the sentencing of seven colleagues over a 2009 earthquake.
- EU ministers struck a deal to overhaul Europe's Common Fisheries Policy.
- The South African gold mine Gold Fields fired more than 8,000 striking workers.
- A state prosecutor in Benin said the government had foiled a plot to poison the president.
- An explosion rocked an arms factory in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.
- Panama's president canceled plans to sell state-owned land in the Colon region after deadly clashes between protesters and security forces.
- A Guantanamo detainee accused of organizing the USS Cole attack boycotted a pretrial hearing.
- Sweeping labor reform legislation suffered a setback in Mexico's Senate.