Top News: Syria will be on the agenda as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Ankara, though the meeting has been overshadowed by recent comments about Israel made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After several stops in Europe, Kerry is beginning his first visit to the Middle East.
Kerry pledged in Rome on Thursday that the United States would more than double its aid to the Syrian opposition and directly provide them with non-lethal aid, but stopped short of announcing military assistance.
Turkey, which is hosting an increasing number of Syrian refugees and has traded fire on several occasions with Syrian forces during the ongoing conflict, would like more active support for the rebels, including the creation of a buffer zone. Turkey is thought to be providing the Free Syrian Army with arms. Turkey is also hosting a NATO Patriot missile defense battery to prevent a spillover of violence.
Kerry has also said that he will criticize Erdogan for recent comments comparing Zionism to fascism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia.
North Korea: Former NBA star Dennis Rodman attended an exhibition basketball game in Pyongyang with Kim Jong Un, becoming the first high-profile American to meet with the North Korean leader.
- At least 42 people were killed in violent protests over a cleric's conviction for war crimes in Bangladesh.
- South Korea has pledged to support an investigation into human rights abuses in the north.
- Malaysian security forces clashed with an armed Filipino group.
- Iraq's finance minister resigned in support of more than two months of Sunni protests.
- A Bahraini pro-democracy activist was sentenced to three months in prison.
- Muslim-Chritian fighting has reportedly broken out in a town in Southern Egypt.
- Croatia is withdrawing its troops from the Golan Heights after reports that it is selling weapons to Syrian rebels.
- Pope Benedict XVI has left the Vatican. The College of Cardinals will meet on Monday to decide the date of the conclave to select the next pope.
- Italy's center-left leader ruled out forming a coalition with Silvio Berlusconi.
- Pfc. Bradley Manning admitted providing diplomatic and military files to WikiLeaks.
- Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier appeared in court to answer charges of human rights abuses.
- Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro says Hugo Chavez is "battling... for his life."
- South Africa suspended eight police officers accused of killing a man by dragging him from the back of a police van.
- Two suicide bombers struck a restaurant in Mogadishu.
- The Ethiopian Orthodox church has elected a new pope
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