Britain hacking arrests — British police investigating computer hacking and privacy offenses by the media on Wednesday arrested six people alleged to be involved in intercepting voice mails for the defunct News of the World tabloid. Authorities said the six former journalists for the tabloid were arrested in a new line of inquiry to the ongoing investigation in Operation Weeting, which is one of three investigations into press wrongdoing.
Syrian rebels gain — Syrian rebels brought tanks, mortars and homemade rockets to bear Wednesday in their offensive to seize the international airport in the city of Aleppo and a nearby military airport, a day after making other strategic military gains in the northern region. The opposition fighters, seeking to cut off supply lines to President Bashar Assad’s forces guarding the airports, were able to gain partial control of railroads in the area, activists said. Taking the international airport would be one of the most significant gains for the rebels in the north and could solidify the opposition’s hold on the province of Aleppo.
Crippled cruise ship — Carnival Cruise Lines has canceled a dozen more planned voyages aboard the Triumph and acknowledged that the crippled ship had been plagued by other mechanical problems in the weeks before an engine-room fire left it powerless in the Gulf of Mexico. The company’s announcement on Wednesday came as the Triumph was being towed to a port in Mobile, Ala., with more than 4,000 people on board.
Treasury confirmation — Treasury secretary nominee Jack Lew on Wednesday defended his work at Citigroup and argued that his long career in government and business qualified him to become President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser. After more than three hours of questions at his confirmation hearing, Lew appeared unruffled by grilling from Republicans about a wide range of topics, from his investment in a fund registered in the Cayman Islands to his thoughts on comprehensive tax reform.
Tribunal testimony — The top security officer at the detainee compound on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, testified Wednesday that prison cells for high-value inmates and a special visitation room include monitoring equipment that the FBI had installed and later turned over for use by U.S. intelligence officials. The testimony was elicited by defense attorneys for five alleged Sept. 11 plotters to bolster their complaints that law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been monitoring their confidential meetings with the defendants.
Cybercrime arrests — Europol, the European police agency, said Wednesday that it had dismantled one of the most efficient cybercrime organizations to date, led by Russians who had managed to extort millions of euros from online users across more than 30 countries — mostly European — by persuading them to pay spurious police fines for abusive use of the Internet. The Russian head of the crime network was arrested in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in December. This month, the Spanish police arrested 10 other people — six Russians, two Ukrainians and two Georgians — along the Costa del Sol, a popular vacation destination in southern Spain, where the criminals are believed to have had their main base of operations.
Mexico rape arrests — Mexican officials announced Wednesday that they had arrested six men on suspicion of raping a group of Spanish women who were vacationing this month near the violence-plagued resort city of Acapulco — an incident that sparked international concern about the safety of the millions of foreign tourists who visit the country each year.
— From wire reports