Top news: The Egyptian military deployed tanks to the area in Cairo around the presidential palace on Thursday, following overnight clashes that left seven dead and more than 600 injured. The two-week-long crisis, sparked by a controversial decree issued by President Mohamed Morsy, has pitted Islamists against a fractious opposition of liberals, secularists, and supporters of the old regime.
So far, six members of Morsy's staff have resigned over the decree, which drastically expanded the president's powers. Al-Azhar, the country's top Islamic body, also called on the president to cancel the decree and engage in dialogue with his opponents.
Morsy's office has announced a deadline of 3:00 p.m. local time for all protesters to leave the area around the presidential palace.
Afghanistan: The Obama administration is scaling back plans for its civilian presence in Afghanistan after combat troops withdraw in 2014, the Washington Post reports. "As we saw in the Iraq exercise, you need to be very tough on the numbers going in," an anonymous administration official told the Post. "We need to have enough civilians to achieve the goals we've laid out," he said, but there is "a finite amount of money we have to spend."
- Khaled Meshaal, the exiled chairman of Hamas' political bureau, is expected to visit the Gaza Strip on Friday for the militant-Islamist organization's 25th anniversary.
- Weapons supplied to Libyan rebels by Qatar with U.S. approval fell into Islamist hands, administration officials said.
- Clashes in the Lebanese port city of Tripoli left one dead and 11 injured on Wednesday.
- Fighting on Wednesday between al-Shabab fighters and troops from Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region left 31 dead or wounded.
- A bombing in Nairobi injured at least eight people in a predominantly Somali neighborhood on Wednesday.
- The M23 rebels plan to send a delegation to negotiate with the Congolese government in Uganda on Thursday.
- The death toll from a typhoon that struck the southern Philippines on Tuesday has reached more than 270, with hundreds more missing.
- NATO issued a statement Wednesday calling on North Korea to cancel a rocket launch scheduled for later this month.
- Suicide bombers killed three Pakistani soldiers at a military base in South Waziristan.
- The Serbian ambassador to Nato committed suicide Wednesday by jumping from a multi-story building in Brussels.
- Riots in Northern Ireland left 15 police officers injured just two days before U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to visit.
- Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi hinted that he may run in Italy's upcoming election.
- FARC rebels and the Colombian government resumed peace talks in Cuba.
- Norway announced plans to close its embassy in Venezuela because of security concerns.
- Famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer died in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.