- AFRICA: AU leaders failed to choose a new chairman for the executive Commission.
- AMERICAS: Colombian President Santos said that he would consider legalizing drugs.
- ASIA: Afghan officials plan to meet Taliban representatives in Saudi Arabia.
- EUROPE: EU leaders are to sign off on a permanent rescue fund for the euro zone.
- MIDDLE EAST: Iran said it will unveil a new domestically-built unmanned aerial vehicle.
- TECHNOLOGY: Hackers supporting Syrian President al-Assad attacked al Jazeera’s English website.
- Syria: Government increased pressure amid continued attacks.
- Government troops regained control of Damascus suburbs captured by rebels.
- The suburbs mark the closest point to the capital the rebels have controlled.
- Activists called the violence the most intense since the beginning of the uprising.
- Government media blamed ‘terrorists’ on the detonation of a pipeline that supplies Homs.
- Coverage: Reuters, AP, AP-2, Telegraph, Bloomberg
- Region: AU leaders failed to choose a new chairman for the executive Commission. (AFP)
- Nigeria: Gunmen attacked a police station in Kano for the second time in three days. (AFP)
- Somalia: Ethiopian troops entered to support the fighting against al-Shebab. (AFP)
- Sudan: The military freed 14 Chinese workers ‘kidnapped’ by rebels in South Kordofan state. (AFP)
- Colombia: President Santos said he would legalize drugs in Colombia if that decision is accepted by the rest of the world. (EFE)
- Cuba: President Castro ratified the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) as the only legal political organization on the island. (DPA)
- Venezuela: President Chavez said he would consider nationalizing banks that refuse to finance government promoted agricultural projects. (AP)
- Afghanistan: Government officials plan to meet Taliban representatives in Saudi Arabia. (WSJ)
- India: The government said it will not cut back on oil imports from Iran despite new US and EU sanctions. (AP)
- Korea, South: The finance minister called for more time to diversify oil sources amid pressure to join US-led sanctions on Iran. (AFP)
- Papua New Guinea: Rebel soldiers surrendered their weapons to the government amid promises of general amnesty. (Xinhua)
- Region: EU leaders are to sign off on a permanent rescue fund for the euro zone. (Reuters)
- Belgium: A national strike called by unions in protest of EU-ordered austerity measures halted public services. (AFP)
- Greece: The Finance Minister rejected a proposal from Germany for the EU to take control over its financial decisions. (AFP)
- Turkey: Foreign Ministry officials denied claims that the country provided funds to Hamas. (Xinhua)
- Iran: Defense Minister Vahidi said Iran will unveil a new domestically-built unmanned aerial vehicle. (Xinhua)
- Iran: Foreign Minister Saleh said the visiting IAEA delegation can choose to extend its stay beyond the three days. (AFP)
- Iraq: The Obama administration is preparing to begin talks with Iraq on defining a long-term defense relationship. (AP)
- Palestinian Territories: President Abbas convened the central committee of the Fatah movement to discuss contacts with Israel. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Cyber attacks: Hackers supporting Syrian President al-Assad attacked and defaced the al Jazeera English website. (Ars Technica)
- Social media: Twitter stated the policy of withholding tweets in certain countries based on legal requests would not apply to re-tweets. (TPM IdeaLab)
- Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 09S (Iggy)
- Location: 245 NM WNW of Learmonth, Australia
- Movement: SW at 7 mph
- Winds: 63 mph
- Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
- Earthquakes: Near the Coast of Central Peru
- Magnitude: 6.3
- Depth: 39.2 km
- Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (31JAN)
- Myanmar: Parliament set to hold third session of both houses.
- Russia: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Davies visits Moscow to deepen cooperation.
- South Korea: US Assistant Secretary of State Campbell visits South Korea to discuss various issues.
- Syria: Arab League Chief Elaraby and Qatari PM al Thani visit Syria.
- United States: Republican Party primary held in Florida.