Top news: The U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday passed a non-binding resolution calling for an "inclusive" political transition to end the civil war in Syria. The measure, introduced by Qatar, passed by 107 votes to 12, with Iran, China, and Russia all voting "no" on the pretext that it could scuttle peace talks planned by the United States and Russia for June.
Meanwhile, Israel hinted at further military action in Syria to halt the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, warning the Syrians not to retaliate in the event of a strike. "Israel is determined to continue to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah," an Israeli official told the New York Times. "If Syrian President Assad reacts by attacking Israel, or tries to strike Israel through his terrorist proxies, he will risk forfeiting his regime, for Israel will retaliate."
Also on Wednesday, the U.N. raised its death-toll estimate for the Syrian crisis to more than 80,000.
War on Terror: Following revelations that the U.S. Justice Department seized phone records of journalists employed by the Associated Press, President Barack Obama has asked Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to reintroduce legislation that would shield members of the press from subpoenas. Meanwhile, the administration on Wednesday released 100 pages of emails revealing the internal debate about how to characterize the Sept. 11 consular attack in Benghazi, Libya.
- A series of bombings in heavily Shiite areas of Baghdad killed at least 14 people on Thursday.
- With Iran's presidential election fast approaching, conservatives aligned with the country's Supreme Leader appear unable to unite behind a single candidate.
- A court in Bahrain on Wednesday sentenced six people to a year each in prison for insulting King Hamad bin Issa al Khalifa on Twitter.
- Nigeria launched a "massive" military campaign on Wednesday against the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, targeting strongholds in three different states.
- International donors on Wednesday pledged $4.22 billion to help Mali rebuild after the international operation that ousted Islamic extremists from the northern part of the country.
- Authorities in Chad arrested Mahamat Djibrine, chief of police under former President Hissene Habre, on charges of torturing and killing hundreds of opposition members in the 1980s.
- A suicide bomber killed two NATO troops in Kabul on Thursday. Another suicide bomber, targeting foreigners, meanwhile, killed six Afghans.
- Japanese authorities said Wednesday that a nuclear reactor in the western city of Tsuruga is situated on a seismic fault line, a revelation that could potentially necessitate the plant's closure.
- Authorities ordered thousands of people to evacuate low-lying areas in Bangladesh and Burma ahead of Cyclone Mahasen, predicted to make landfall on Thursday.
- Peruvian Foreign Minister Rafael Roncagliolo resigned on Wednesday for "health reasons," shortly after being criticized over a dispute with Venezuela.
- Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto sacked his attorney general for consumer protection, Humberto Benitez Trevino, over an abuse-of-power scandal involving Trevino's daughter.
- Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla's top spokesman resigned on Wednesday amid allegations that the president improperly travelled on a private jet to Hugo Chavez's funeral.
- The IMF's executive board on Wednesday signed off on a three-year $1.3 billion loan to Cyprus as part of a larger bailout deal.
- France's economy shrank by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013, plunging the country into its second recession in four years.
- Bulgaria's center-right Gerb party called for the results of Sunday's election to be cancelled because of a "gross violation of the [election] law."