– The U.N.’s envoy for the Syria crisis, former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, acknowledged that “serious violations” of the plan he designed to end fighting could cause it to falter. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), an influential voice on foreign affairs, said the U.S. had to “change the calculations” and perhaps consider safe zones and arming the Syrian rebels.
– The suicide bomber dispatched to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner was actually an intelligence agent for Saudi Arabia who infiltrated the Yemen branch of al Qaeda and volunteered for the mission, American and foreign officials tell the New York Times.
– A GOP-led House subcommittee released its 2013 appropriations legislation yesterday that proposes to cut 12 percent from President Obama’s request for foreign aid and international programs.
– House GOP members are pushing to include a $100 million plan in the defense authorization bill to set up a missile defense site on the East Coast but Democrats say Republicans are making a political play to undercut President Obama’s national security credentials and that such a project would actually cost $4 billion.
– The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) reports that commercial satellite imagery shows “new activity” at the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran, suggesting Iran may be “washing” a building the U.N. nuclear agency wants to inspect.
– According to an Afghan parliamentarian, the Iranian ambassador to Kabul is urging lawmakers not to ratify a new security pact signed by Presidents Hamid Karzai and Barack Obama last week.
– Absent a robust reconciliation efforts aimed at taking Taliban fighters off the battlefield and without any meetings between the U.S. and the insurgent group since January, hopes are dimming for a political solution to the Afghan war before U.S. withdrawal in 2014.
– A Justice Department lawyer said the Obama administration has not decided whether to delist the Iranian dissident group Mujahedin-e Khalq from the government’s list of terrorist organizations saying questions still remain whether “hard core” elements of the group harbor weapons inside the base and thus retain the “capacity” to launch attacks.