Top news: Tunisia's ruling Islamist Ennahda party on Thursday rejected a proposal by its own party chief, Prime Minister Hamdi Jebali, to form a nonpartisan unity cabinet following the assassination of a leading member of the opposition. "The prime minister did not ask the opinion of his party," Ennahda Vice President Abdelhamid Jelassi told Reuters. "We in Ennahda believe Tunisia needs a political government now. We will continue discussions with other parties about forming a coalition government," he said.
The killing on Wednesday of Chokri Belaid, a fierce critic of the ruling party, triggered protests across the country and led to the death of one policeman in Tunis. In response, the prime minister announced that he would replace his government with a nonpartisan technocratic cabinet until elections could be held. The apparent rebuke from his own party injects additional uncertainty into Tunisia's already fraught political environment, stoking fears that the North African country could descend into chaos like its neighbors to the east.
War on Terror: The White House on Wednesday ordered the release of two previously classified memos that discuss the legal justification for killing American citizens abroad. The announcement came on the eve of John Brennan's confirmation hearing to replace Michael J. Morell, the current acting director of the CIA.
- Iran's supreme leader on Thursday rejected a proposal for direct nuclear talks with the United States.
- Syrian rebels attacked military checkpoints in Damascus Wednesday, dimming the prospects of negotiations between the parties.
- The U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions against Iran's state broadcasting authority, cyber police, and a major electronics producer.
- Gabon reported that more than 11,000 elephants have been killed by ivory poachers in the country since 2004.
- Nigeria's four main opposition parties formed a coalition Wednesday in an effort to unseat President Goodluck Jonathan's ruling party.
- Josephy Kony's Lord's Resistance Army killed 51 people in 2012, according to a new report.
- Chinese authorities detained 70 people in ethnic Tibetan regions in an apparent crackdown on self-immolations.
- Protesters clashed with police Wednesday at the University of Delhi, where Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, was delivering a speech.
- Japan's Foreign Ministry claimed that two Russian fighter jets briefly entered Japanese airspace on Thursday near the northern island of Hokkaido.
- French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called for a U.N. peacekeeping mission to take over for African-led forces in Mali by April.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed Akhmed Bilalov, the vice president of Russia's Olympic Committee, over delays in construction for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
- The European Parliament approved substantial reforms to the EU Common Fisheries Policy, including measures to prevent overfishing.
- FARC rebels called for the legalization of coca and marijuana in peace talks with the Colombian government.
- Rights groups urged Haitian authorities not to drop criminal charges against former President Jean-Claude Duvalier.
- Canada will consider stripping dual citizens linked to terrorism of their Canadian citizenship.