Top news: The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a vicious air assault on the Gaza Strip, hitting at least 20 targets on Wednesday and killing Ahmed al-Jabari, Hamas' top military commander. The assault, which was announced via Twitter, came after a surge in Palestinian rocket and mortar fire. "We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead," read one Tweet from the IDF. At least 80 more rockets and mortars were fired at Israel Wednesday following Jabari's death, and three Israelis were killed by rocketfire overnight.
The fighting continued unabated on Thursday, with the Gaza health ministry reporting that at least 13 Palestinians have been killed, five of them militants. In Cairo, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy condemned the attacks and warned that they could destabilize the region. Yesterday, Egypt withdrew its ambassador to Israel and called an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council in response to the Israeli offensive. Morsy's Muslim Brotherhood has called for Egypt to sever all diplomatic relations with the Jewish state and open its border with Gaza.
China: China completed its decennial leadership transition on Thursday, unveiling a new leadership slate led by Xi Jinping, the new general secretary of the Communist party. Xi also replaced outgoing leader Hu Jintao as the chairman of the Central Military Commission.
- Six bombings across Iraq killed at least 17 people on the eve of the Islamic new year.
- President Barack Obama vowed to push ahead with negotiations to bring Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program to a halt.
- One man was killed and dozens of police officers were injured in Jordan as protests over increased gas prices erupted for the second day in a row.
- Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara dissolved his government after members of the coalition opposed a new law that would make wives joint heads of households.
- Rebel groups have killed at least 260 people in eastern Congo since April, according to a new U.N. report.
- An Ebola outbreak in Uganda killed at least two people in a district near Kampala.
- Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as part of her first visit to India in almost 40 years.
- Myanmar announced that it will free 452 prisoners, at least some of whom are political prisoners, ahead of President Barack Obama's visit next Monday.
- Pakistan released at least seven Taliban prisoners in a show of good faith that could revive peace negotiations.
- Workers demonstrated and struck in 23 countries across Europe to protest austerity and rising unemployment.
- Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Radimir Cacic resigned after he was sentenced to 22 months in prison over an automobile crash that killed two people in 2010.
- Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgia's new prime minister, pledged to cooperate with his bitter political rival, President Mikheil Saakashvili.
- Argentina appealed to the United Nations for help returning a navy ship currently impounded in Ghana over a debt dispute.
- The United States broadened sanctions against Guatemalan drug lord Waldemar Lorenzana Lima.
- Mexico said it will hold off destroying ballots from the disputed 2006 presidential election after the United Nations requested that they be preserved.