— Syrian opposition activists said government forces killed more than 200 people in a village near Hama. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that the capital Damascus is “no longer” immune from the ongoing violence in Syria.
— Reuters reports: “A coalition of retired U.S. military officers defended the Pentagon’s plans to boost the use of more expensive biofuels, telling senators and their staff on Thursday that reduced dependence on oil from the Middle East would ultimately reduce costs and improve national security.”
— U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker expressed optimism about a peace forum in Japan between Taliban and Afghan officials and said it’s unlikely Afghanistan will plunge into civil war when the U.S. leaves in 2014.
— The Washington Post reports: Congress sent the White House a bill to promote faster hiring of veterans by generally crediting relevant military training toward occupational licenses issued by the federal government.