Top news: Chinese leaders opened a pivotal party congress in Beijing as they prepared to hand over power to Vice President Xi Jinping. In a nearly 100-minute farewell address, outgoing president Hu Jintao touched on many of the challenges facing China, including environmental degradation and corruption, but strongly downplayed talk of reform and warned the Party “resolutely not follow Western political systems.” Hu will likely retain significant power even after Xi takes power next week.
Protests against Chinese rule in Tibet have intensified this week with 5 people self-immolating on Wednesday and Thursday, including three teenage monks. Dozens of Tibetans have self-immolated since March, 2011. A woman was also arrested in Tiananmen Square for throwing papers in the air and shouting "bandits and robbers" at the conference venue.
- Iran shot at* a U.S. surveillance drone in the Persian Gulf.
- Stray mortar rounds from Syria hit the Golan Heights.
- Bahrain police used tear gas to disperse Shiite protesters.
- Barack Obama will become the first U.S. president to visit Myanmar this month.
- Britain is planning to end financial aid to India by 2015.
- Sri Lanka's ruling party has moved to impeach the country's top judge.
- Vladimir Putin dismissed the chief of staff of Russia's armed forces.
- A former oil company executive was named Archbishop of Canterbury.
- An alleged member of a German neo-Nazi cell was charged with 10 murders.
- A student was killed in a protest at the largest university in the Dominican Republic.
- Dozens were killed in an earthquake in Guatemala.
- Thousands joined a mass protest against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's government in Buenos Aires.
- Rebels in Sudan's South Kordofan region say they shot down a government jet.
- Gunmen killed two Chinese construction workers in Northern Nigeria.
- Opposition parties submitted a no confidence motion against South African President Jacob Zuma.
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