Sanctions imposed by the European Union on Iran's natural gas industry have unintentionally brought its exports of liquefied petroleum gas to a near halt, an industry source said.

Syrian rebels said on Wednesday they had formed a brigade of sympathetic Palestinians in a Damascus district to fight armed Palestinians aligned with President Bashar Assad. Some 150 thousand Palestinians live in a refugee camp in Damascus.

China's Foreign Minister urged the world to act with greater urgency to support the mediation efforts of the international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, state media reported on Wednesday.

 

Outgoing Likud Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon has over the past several days been looking into the possibility of establishing his own social-oriented party and running in the January 22 Knesset elections as the head of the new party. A recent pool is projecting his party would get about 20 seats in the Knesset.

Meretz has agreed to the demand of Arab party members to eliminate the reserved spot for Arabs on the party's slate for the upcoming election. "The party must decide if it wants an Arab candidate in the top five or to remain without Arab representation, not only in the Knesset but also on the candidate list," several prominent Arab Meretz members wrote.

Millions of Americans faced flooding and lengthy power outages on Tuesday after superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the U.S. Atlantic coast. The storm killed at least 45 people, including at least 18 in New York City. Insurance companies started to tally billions of dollars in losses.

Israel's Council for Higher Education has given Ben-Gurion University's political sciences department three weeks to repair perceived deficiencies before it decides whether to close the department.

An Israeli man was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion that he killed his first two wives in separate incidents in 1994 and 2009 by administering drugs to them without their knowledge. Both women died under circumstances that had indicated they had committed suicide.