Top news: Syrian state television reported that rebel fighters assassinated Gen. Abdullah Mahmud al-Khalidi, a top air force commander, on Monday in Damascus. The Free Syrian Army claimed responsibility for the attack, but there are unsubstantiated reports that the regime was behind the killing. Rumors abound that the general was preparing to defect.
Meanwhile, as the widely ignored Eid al-Adha ceasefire came to a close on Tuesday, Syrian warplanes bombed suburbs of Damascus and Homs as well as the town of Maarat al-Numan, located between Aleppo and Damascus. According to activists, at least 38 people were killed, many of them civilians.
Despite the failure of the holiday truce, U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said he will continue working for a peace agreement between rebel fighters and the government of President Bashar al-Assad. "I am terribly sorry ... that this appeal has not been heard to the level we hoped it would," he said after meeting with the Russian foreign minister in Moscow. "[B]ut that will not discourage us. It will not discourage us because Syria is very important and the people of Syria deserve our support and interest."
Iran: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told a British newspaper Tuesday that Iran had averted a showdown between the two countries earlier this year by diverting more than one third of its medium-enriched uranium to civilian projects. The decision by Iranian authorities, he said, "allows contemplating delaying the moment of truth by eight to ten months." Also on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued to campaign for military action, saying that a preemptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would benefit the country's Arab neighbors."Five minutes after, contrary to what the skeptics say, I think a feeling of relief would spread across the region," he said.
- Protesters stormed Libya's national assembly on Tuesday before the body could vote on Prime Minister Ali Zeidan's new cabinet.
- Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi ordered his interior minister to investigate more than 700 sexual assault complaints made during the Eid al-Adha holiday.
- Clashes between Tunisian police and Salafi Muslims left one man dead.
- A Rwandan court sentenced opposition leader Victoire Ingabire to eight years in prison on charges of treason.
- International donors pledged more than $2 billion in development aid to Burundi.
- German police arrested a suspect in a 2003 bombing in Casablanca.
- The Afghan Election Commission announced that the country's next presidential election will be held on April 5, 2014.
- Japan and the United States will hold joint military exercise in November amid heightened tensions in the South China Sea.
- An independent audit revealed that funds promised to communities devastated by last year's nuclear crisis in Japan have been diverted to a number of unrelated projects.
- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the EU will "lose Turkey" if it is not granted membership by 2023.
- The European Union may send roughly 200 troops to train Mali's army.
- Speaking in Sarajevo, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Bosnian leaders to work together to meet NATO and EU membership criteria.
- The death toll from Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast has reached 48.
- Masked men attacked and set fire to Bolivian radio journalist Fernando Vidal while he was on air.
- Hurricane Sandy caused extensive crop damage in Haiti, according to the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture.
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