– A cyber security bill to broaden information sharing between companies and the government passed the House yesterday 248 to 168, setting up a clash with the White House, which promised to veto the bill for failing to ensure privacy.
– The Syrian government is “clearly” not meeting its obligations under a ceasefire brokered by United Nations special envoy Kofi Annan, said Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
– Syrian opposition sources said there are “several countries that are talking frequently behind closed doors” in the Middle East about supplying the rebels with arms as a U.N.-brokered ceasefire faltered amid continuing civilian deaths at the hands of the Assad regime.
– In a show of force, the Taliban insurgency closed or restricted about 50 schools in southeastern Afghanistan, flexing their muscles in response to a motorcycle ban designed to prevent mobile attacks.
– Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said yesterday that the chances “appear low” that the Iranian government would bow to international pressure to stop its nuclear program, a view which contradicts statements from Israeli military chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz earlier this week that economic and diplomatic pressures on Iran were beginning to succeed.
– Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told the AFP that he hoped Gantz was “correct” in assessing the Iranian regime was rational and hoped “that because of the leadership of the United States, the international community and the leadership of Israel, they can make the right decision.”
– The U.S. and Japan have reached an agreement that will reduce the number of U.S. Marines on Okinawa by 9,000 and begin returning land to the government there.
– The arraignment for Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and the alleged co-conspirators of the 9/11 attacks will be broadcast by closed-circuit television to eight sites in the eastern United States, a military judge ruled Thursday.