Assael with some of the pearls he popularized.(NYT)

• A U.N. report praised Palestinian moves toward statehood, which is a big deal since that is the same body that some are looking to declare such statehood. [NYT]

• Syria’s crackdown continues, with a special focus on two cities near the coast. [NYT]

• The teenage boy who was on the school bus that got hit last week has worsened. [JTA]

• Former President Hosni Mubarak, who reportedly had a heart attack in advance of official questioning yesterday, is formally being detained for 15 days. [AP/WP]

• Salvador Assael, who nearly by himself made cultured Tahitian black pearls a valuable jewel (for a time), died at 88. Really interesting obit. [NYT]

• Even Thomas Friedman can muster only so much optimism for where the Arab world is heading in the near-term. [NYT]