– U.S. and allied officials questioned whether the Turkish jet shot down by Syrian forces was on a routine training mission as Turkish officials stated but rather on a spy mission.
– The head of United Nations peacekeeping operations told the Security Council on Tuesday that that Syria is too dangerous to keep its monitoring mission in the country. Meanwhile, the U.N. said the violence has worsened since the failed cease-fire deal in April.
– Republicans in Congress are taking aim at the automatic spending cuts required under sequestration. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) said lawmakers plan to include language that would require the White House and the Pentagon to divulge information on how the cuts will be implemented while Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called on companies to issue lay-off notices.
– An Egyptian court on Tuesday suspended a recent decree giving military police and intelligence officers the authority to detain civilians, a bold ruling by a court that has played a maverick role during the country’s post-revolutionary period.
– Iran acknowledged for the first time on Wednesday that its oil exports have fallen sharply, down 20-30 percent from normal volumes of 2.2 million barrels daily.