– Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, while warning of a wider crackdown on protests, said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “gave a signal” and provided funding encouraging his opponents to protest election fraud.
– Former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev said the results of Russia’s disputed elections should be scrapped. “With every passing day, more and more Russians are ceasing to believe that the results of the elections were honest,” Gorbachev said.
– A pipeline carrying oil to the Syrian city of Homs was blown up on Thursday, an incident government officials were quick to blame on an “armed terrorist group” but activists in Homs suggest the attack may be part of an attempt to besiege the rebellious city.
– State Department spokesman Mark Toner said yesterday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assadis either disconnected from reality or “crazy” after he denied responsibility for his regime’s violent crackdown on the pro-democracy movement there.
– Egypt’s ruling generals — the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) — announced that newly elected MPs will not have final say over the drafting of a new constitution and that those appointed to write the constitution must be approved by the interim cabinet and an “advisory council” controlled by the SCAF.
– The White House is placing new limits on war spending by pushing the Pentagon to fund more activities through its base budget, an attempt to shut off a potential loophole to the Budget Control Acts passed in August.
– The Hill reports that “the Marine Corps plans to shed troops, not weapons programs, next year in order to meet the budget cuts mandated by the August debt-ceiling deal.”