Top news: U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday, urging the Israelis to give the new sanctions regime time to thwart Iranian nuclear ambitions. Panetta reiterated that military options were on the table as a last resort.
In recent weeks, a number of top U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon, have visited Israel amid concerns that Netanyahu's government might launch a unilateral attack on Iran. The visits were also sandwiched around presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's controversial stopover in Israel.
During his visit, Romney talked tough, saying that "any and all measures" should be considered to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Syria: Fighting intensified in the Syrian city of Aleppo as U.N. observers report the use of military jets by the Syrian Army. The rebels also appear to have captured tanks and other heavy weapons.
- Hamas criticized an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for visiting an "alleged" Holocaust site in Poland.
- Egyptian state television released a partial list of names in the new cabinet formed by President Mohamed Morsy.
- President Barack Obama authorized the CIA to provide Syrian rebels with "non-lethal" support as they attempt to oust President Bashar al-Assad.
- Electricity was restored in northern India on Wednesday.
- Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng met with top U.S. lawmakers and urged the U.S. to uphold its commitment to investigate his case and protect his family.
- A series of bombs exploded in the Indian city of Pune, injuring at least one person.
- A government spokesman said that Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is in "good condition and recuperating," allaying fears that the president was critically ill.
- Eight people were killed in a protest in the Darfur region of Sudan.
- A woman convicted of adultery in Sudan has been sentenced to death by stoning.
- The Venezuelan ambassador's deputy is the prime suspect in last week's embassy killing in Nairobi.
- Peruvian police seized $2.3 million in counterfeit U.S. dollars.
- The trial of a number of officials connected to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is set to begin in Brazil.
- Greece agreed to €11.5 billion in new spending cuts needed to receive the next installment of its EU/IMF bailout.
- The European Central Bank held its benchmark interest rate constant at 0.75 percent.
- Belarussian President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko fired two generals over the "teddy bear" invasion by a Swedish advertising firm.