Syrian rebels are battling to seize an army base close to the main north-south highway and say its capture would be a big step towards creating a "safe zone" allowing them to focus on Bashar al-Assad's southern strongholds.
Libyan government forces launched fierce attacks on the western rebel stronghold of Zawiyah, while in the east, rebels advanced on Muammar Gaddafi's home town of Sirte.
Ivory Coast rebels have seized a third town in the west of the African country, forces loyal to incumbent leader Laurent Gbabgo said, while at least six died in violence around the main city Abidjan.
Germany has recognised the rebel council based in Benghazi as the legitimate representative of Libyans, a rebel official said during a visit by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.
Bolivia's left-wing president, Evo Morales, accused political rivals of being behind a violent three-day uprising by police over wages but said he would not deploy troops to restore order.
Colombia's peace talks with leftist FARC guerrillas to try and end Latin America's longest-running insurgency will begin next month in Norway before moving to Cuba, President Juan Manuel Santos said.