Top news: Shortly after Syrian opposition groups formed a new umbrella organization and six Gulf states recognized the entity as the "legitimate representative" of the Syrian people, France has become the first Western power to follow suit.
"I announce that France recognizes the Syrian National Coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people and thus as the future provisional government of a democratic Syria and to bring an end to Bashar al-Assad's regime," French President Francois Hollande declared on Tuesday, adding that he would consider arming the group.
As fighting continues to rage near the Turkish border, Britain and the United States have so far refrained from following France's lead, arguing that the coalition needs to prove itself before they can fully recognize it. As the Syrian opposition "demonstrates its effectiveness in advancing the cause of a unified, democratic, pluralistic Syria, we will be prepared to work with them to deliver assistance to the Syrian people," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted, while announcing an additional $30 million in aid to Syria.
Europe: Workers in Spain and Portugal coordinated general strikes against budget cuts and high unemployment as smaller protests cropped up in Belgium, Greece, and Italy.
- A wave of bombings across Iraq killed 17 people.
- Violent demonstrations against increases in fuel prices erupted across Jordan.
- An Israeli Foreign Ministry document suggests that the Palestinian bid for upgraded U.N. status could threaten Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements.
- China's Communist Party concluded a week-long congress ahead of announcing the country's new slate of top leaders.
- Pakistan reportedly agreed to release several Afghan Taliban prisoners as part of the Afghan peace process.
- The Sri Lankan government denied allegations in a leaked U.N. report that it intimidated U.N. staff at the end of the country's civil war in 2009.
- A U.S. military prosecutor said the death penalty should be considered for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales over his alleged killings of Afghan civilians.
- The United Nations reported that 1.5 million people in Haiti are facing a food shortage because of Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters.
- A U.S. court sentenced a Saudi citizen to life in prison for attempting to bomb former President George W. Bush's Dallas home.
- Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara dissolved his government as part of a cabinet reshuffle.
- The African Union expressed support for a West African military intervention in northern Mali.
- The Kenyan military is deploying to the northwestern Samburu region after a deadly police ambush.
- EU talks on a 2013 budget have stalled over disagreements about spending levels.
- The Greek economy contracted by 7.2 percent in the third quarter of 2012.
- A new Russian law redefining treason came into effect.
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