Top news: The U.N. General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine's status to nonmember observer state against strong opposition from Israel and the United States. 138 voted for the motion with 8 opposed and 41 abstentions on the 65th anniversary of the vote that divided the British mandate of Palestine, creating the state of Israel.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas personally addressed the meeting, saying, “the General Assembly is called upon today to issue a birth certificate of the reality of the state of Palestine.” Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor accused the president of failing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, saying, "the Palestinian leadership has never recognized that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people.”
Canada, Panama, the Czech Republic and four small Pacific island countries joined the United States and Israel in opposition to the measure. The vote also showed increasing support for Palestinian statehood in Europe.
Syria: Syria's internet was shut down while the Damascus airport was closed because of nearby fighting.
- Egypt's Islamists approved a new draft constitution.
- At least 33 people were killed by car bombings in the Iraqi cities of Hilla and Karbala.
- A Qatari poet was sentenced to life in prison for insulting the emir.
- Myanmar security forces violently broke up a protest over the expansion of a copper mine.
- A Chinese government delegation reportedly met with Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang.
- ASEAN is protesting a plan by China to board ships within what it considers its territorial waters.
- German lawmakers approved a new round of aid for Greece.
- A Moscow court banned an online video of Pussy Riot's church performance.
- The Eurozone unemployment rate hit a new high.
- Farc and the Colombian government concluded the first stage of peace talks.
- Cuban dissidents report increased harassment from authorities.
- New Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will be inaugurated tomorrow.
- Congo's M23 rebels have delayed their withdrawal from Goma.
- Britain has suspended aid to Rwanda.
- Botswana may ban commercial hunting.
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