- Iraq: al-Maliki rejects Iran's urging to step down
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki rejected an attempt by Iran to persuade him to step down, senior Iraqi politicians said Wednesday, underlining his determination to defy even his top ally to push for a third term in office and further exacerbating the country's political crisis.
- US pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The United States announced signs of progress in cease-fire talks Wednesday, but prospects for a quick end to the fighting were dim as Palestinian families fled fierce battles in southern Gaza and the death toll rose to more than 700 Palestinians and 34 Israelis.
- UN says civilians make up most of Gaza deaths
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Shopkeepers say they were sitting outside their shuttered businesses Wednesday, catching a break from being cooped up during wartime, when an Israeli missile struck a nearby mosque, killing a truck driver and wounding 45 people.
- Egypt judge: Al-Jazeera team did "devil's" work
CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian judge released his reasoning for harsh sentences issued against three Al-Jazeera journalists, saying they were brought together "by the devil" to destabilize the country.
- Bloomberg lands in Israel in show of support
JERUSALEM (AP) — Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg landed Wednesday in Israel in spite of a U.S. flight ban amid the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip, offering the country support amid growing international frustration over the violence.