– The assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the leader of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council and a former president, “may be the most significant of the war,” says the New York Times. Former presidential candidate and Northern Alliance leader Dr. Abdullah Abduallah said the lesson of the attack is that “we shouldn’t fool ourselves” that the Taliban “are willing to make peace.”
– The U.S. and other donors funded 90 percent of Afghanistan’s total public expenditure from 2006 to 2010 according to a new analysis by the Government Accountability Office.
– The U.S. is constructing a network of secret airstrips to launch unmanned drone planes across East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, particularly targeted at surveilling and attacking targets in chaotic Yemen and Somalia.
– U.N. sources told Haaretz that the Palestinians do not have a majority in the Security Council to vote in favor of granting them full U.N. membership.
— Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki called on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to resign and Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told journalists in New York that the Turkish Foreign Ministry has cut all ties with the Syrian government and would work with the U.S. State Department to determine possible sanctions against Syria.
– Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen said a U.S. military with openly gay troops was “a stronger joint force, a more tolerant joint force, a force of more character and more honor, more in keeping with our own values.”
– A deal to release American hikers Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, who have been jailed in Iran for over two years, appears to have been reached after Iran’s judiciary confirmed that the two men would be released on $1 million bail.
– Attorney General Eric Holder said yesterday that the Obama administration aims to close the Guantanamo Bay prison before next year’s presidential election.
– President Obama held a formal meeting with the head of Libya’s new government, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, on the sidelines of meetings at the United Nations this week.