An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on the stories we're following on Wednesday:
Evacuations continue: Flooding that has soaked large parts of Australia will peak Wednesday, experts say, as authorities continue to help beleaguered locals.
Ivory Coast blockade lifted: Laurent Gbagbo, self-proclaimed president of Ivory Coast, has agreed to lift a military blockade around the headquarters of rival and president-elect Alassane Ouattara. The move by Laurent Gbagbo came after talks between the nation's political rivals and African mediators.
Rare public execution: Iran executed a man in a rare public hanging in Tehran on Wednesday morning, local media reported. The man, identified only as "Yaqub," was convicted of stabbing a man to death in broad daylight in October, said the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
Egypt protests: Coptic Christians have held evening protests in Cairo, where 23 Christians were killed in a bomb attack at an Alexandria church last weekend.
Swine flu battle: Hospitals and doctors in the UK have voiced concern that a high proportion of intensive care beds are being taken up with victims of the H1N1 virus. The return to work after the festive season has sparked fears that the spread of the illness has yet to peak.
"Reservoir Dogs" musician dies: Gerry Rafferty - who scored a hit with ‚ÄėBaker Street‚Äô and whose track ‚ÄúStuck in the Middle With You‚ÄĚ soundtracked the infamous ear slice scene in "Reservoir Dogs" ‚Äď has died following a long illness.