Top news: The violence in Syria spilled over into neighboring Lebanon on Wednesday as Lebanese Shi'ites kidnapped more than 30 people in an area of Beirut controlled by Hezbollah. The abductions were aimed at securing the release of a family member who was detained by the Free Syrian Army in Damascus. Among the hostages, though, are Turkish and Saudi Arabian nationals, sparking fears that foreigners from countries backing the Syrian rebels could be at risk in Lebanon.
In response, the governments of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Kuwait all advised their citizens to leave Lebanon. Air France also diverted a flight from Paris because protesters were blocking the road to the airport in Beirut.
Tensions mounted further when Lebanese television reported that shelling and airstrikes by Syrian forces north of Aleppo had killed some of the 11 Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped by rebels earlier this year. Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have increasinly deployed airpower against rebel forces as they attempt to take back Aleppo, the country's financial hub.
Israel: Michael Oren, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, said that the Jewish state would be willing to launch airstrikes against Iran even if the attack would only temporarily delay its ability to produce nuclear weapons. "Diplomacy hasn't succeeded," Oren said on Wednesday. "We've come to a very critical juncture where important decisions have to be made."
- A UN report said that both the Syrian government and rebel forces have committed war crimes.
- U.S. authorities said they had intelligence suggesting the Iranians detained by Syrian rebels are members of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
- Authorities detained a prominent South Yemen secessionist leader when he flew into the southern city of Aden.
- Gunmen attacked a Pakistani air base in Kamra, sparking a firefight that left two soldiers and six militants dead.
- Japanese officials will deport the 14 pro-China activists who were arrested on disputed islands, easing tensions between the two countries.
- More than 250 Hindus have fled Pakistan in the last two weeks because of religious persecution.
- A festival was cancelled in northern Nigeria, possibly because of security concerns related to Boko Haram.
- South African President Jacob Zuma called for Zimbabwe to speed up political reforms.
- Roughly 60 people died in a mining accident in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- The UK threatened to arrest Wikileaks founder Julian Assange while he takes refuge in Ecuador's embassy.
- Prince Philip, the 91-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, is in the hospital because of a bladder infection.
- A study linked the economic downturn to 1,000 suicides in Britain.
- Brazil announced a major economic stimulus package.
- Suspected members of a criminal cell admitted to killing five journalists in Mexico.
- Squatters, some raising livestock, have begun to encroach on Peru's historical Nazca lines.