- Ten thousand US troops have left Afghanistan, as the first wave of a drawdown that aims to bring about a third of the 100,000 soldiers stationed there home.
- In the realm of "genuinely good news," a population of snow leopards has been found in northeastern Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor. Only between 4500 and 7500 of the cats are known to survive in the wild.
- The results of the EU stress tests on 90 major European banks are due out at 1600 GMT, and are expected to show that one bank in six has insufficient capital to withstand a prolonged recession.
- Mount Lokon, a volcano on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, has begun to erupt. A two-mile evacuation zone has been established around the volcano, but only 4400 of the 28,000 people who live within the zone have been evacuated.
- The Italian Senate has passed an austerity budget, containing some $67 billion in spending cuts over the next three years with a goal of having a balanced budget by 2014. The measure must now pass the lower house.
- Meat from eleven cows from a farm outside the Fukushima no-go zone has been found to be contaminated with up to six times the legal limit of cesium. The farmer that raised the animals has admitted that he fed them hay exposed to radioactive fallout.
- Territorial disputes with South Korea over two islands in the Sea of Japan (the Koreans call them Dokdo, the Japanese call them Takeshima), have led to the Japanese government instructing its diplomats to boycott Korean Air.
- The fourth meeting of the Libya Contact Group - aka, NATO and Arab diplomats - is being held in Turkey to discuss the next phase of operations in Libya. The meeting will look at ways to put more pressure on the Libyan government, and at a progress report on the rebel plans for making a transition to a democracy.
- As part of the pressure on the Libyan government, the UK is deploying four more Tornado fighter/bombers to the region.
- The Mexican army has found a 300 acre marijuana plantation in Baja California, the biggest ever found in that country. The street value of the crop is estimated at $160 million dollars (that's roughly $9.53 fillion dollars, or a $533,333.33 per acre).
- Credit Suisse has become the target of a US Department of Justice investigation into banks suspected of helping americans evade taxes.
- "Security forces" fired on protesters in Idlib, killing three.
- In the wake of yesterday's announcement by Moody's, Standard & Poor's has warned that there is a 50% chance it will cut the US sovereign debt rating this month if there is no agreement on the debt ceiling. Substantive agreement. "If you get a small agreement," said John Chambers, the chair of S&P's sovereign ratings committee, "that will lead to a downgrade."
- The Pentagon has acknowledged having suffered a significant breach in security as the result of a hacker attack in March. Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said they have "a pretty good idea" who launched the attack, but did not name names. Some of the stole data was "mundane, like the specifications for small parts of tanks, airplanes, and submarines. But a great deal of it concerns our most sensitive systems, including aircraft avionics, surveillance technologies, satellite communications systems, and network security protocols."