NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO is ready to defend alliance member Turkey amid artillery exchanges along its tense southeastern border with Syria.

The United States and Israel are considering the possibility of a joint "surgical strike" against Iran's nuclear facilities, according to a Foreign Policy report by David Rothkopf. While Israel and the U.S. still don’t entirely agree on the "red line" which would trigger a military response, the report said that the Israelis are now suggesting a more limited attack than was previously debated.

The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported that it was Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz who leaked information to the media from a security cabinet meeting in which classified discussions on Iran were held.

Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipping company, has stopped port calls to Iran as Western sanctions pressure on the Islamic Republic mounts, a spokeswoman said.

A court in Azerbaijan has sentenced 22 people to lengthy jail terms for assisting the Revolutionary Guards in neighboring Iran in terrorist plots against U.S. and Israeli targets in the oil-rich Caspian nation.

Syrian rebels and government forces were fighting for the control of a key government-held area near the Turkish border, a rebel commander told dpa.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators defied a ban on protests and gathered in Athens to voice their displeasure with visiting German leader Angela Merkel, who many blame for forcing painful cuts on Greece in exchange for two EU-IMF bailout packages worth over 200 billion euros.

Serge Haroche, a French-Jewish physicist, has won the Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with David Wineland from the United States "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems."