Top news: Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N. and Arab League envoy to Syria, announced a ceasefire Wednesday for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Within hours, however, the Syrian government distanced itself from the announcement, saying that it was still studying the proposal and would make a final decision Thursday. It remains unclear how the planned ceasefire, which is voluntary in nature, would be enforced since the U.N. ordered the withdrawal of its observer mission over the summer.
As of Thursday morning, less than a day before Brahimi's ceasefire is due to come into force, fighting between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad was still underway in the city of Harasta, northeast of Damascus. According to Russian officials, however, Assad has indicated that he will accept the ceasefire.
Israel: Sudan accused Israel of bombing a munitions factory in Khartoum. Israel, which has hit targets inside Sudan before, did not comment publicly on the strikes.
- Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip killed at least four militants and injured others.
- One of the suspects in the Benghazi consular attack was killed in Cairo on Wednesday.
- Militants fired 79 rockets from the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli officials.
- The African Union lifted Mali's suspension ahead of military action to reclaim the northern region of the country from Islamist militants.
- Guinea-Bissau requested the extradition of former prime minister Carlos Gomes Junior on charges of ordering the assassination of a former president.
- Nigerian authorities broke up a major kidnapping ring in the southeastern Anambra state.
- Burmese authorities imposed a curfew in parts of the Rakhine state as sectarian clashes spread.
- China ended its moratorium on new nuclear plants as part of a plan to reduce oil and coal dependence.
- Pakistan announced that it will purchase bulletproof buses in order to entice foreign cricket teams back to the country.
- Greece has been granted an extension on its austerity targets by international creditors, according to the country's finance minister.
- Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi confirmed that he will not run again in 2013.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened a memorial for Roma Holocaust victims in Berlin.
- Hurricane Sandy made landfall in Cuba early Thursday morning with winds as high as 105 mph.
- Ecuador requested that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, currently hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, be granted safe passage to the hospital.
- Panama scrapped plans to sell public land in Colon after violent protests.
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