* UN chief urges Israel to reconsider decision on Gaza Ban Ki-moon warns that any cutoff of vital services to Strip would violate international law, punish already suffering civilian population.
* Rice says international peace conference must be 'substantive' US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday an upcoming US-sponsored Middle East conference must be "substantive," and that Israel and the Palestinians must draft a document before the meeting that lays "foundations for serious negotiations."
* Iran says it successfully tested self-produced fighter jets Iran said on Thursday it had "scared its enemies" by test flying two new generation, domestically-produced jet fighter planes and had shown its battle readiness, the latest riposte to speculation about a war over Tehran's nuclear plans.
* Defense Minister Barak: Attack on Gaza Coming Nearer Wednesday's decision by the mini-security cabinet to declare Gaza a "hostile entity" continues to make international waves - while Defense Minister Ehud Barak says a large-scale Israeli attack on Gaza is coming closer.
* Al Qaeda to declare war on Musharraf Osama bin Laden will release a new message soon declaring war on Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, al Qaeda announced Thursday.
* An uneasy military marriage in Turkey Despite the verdict at the polls, Turkey's staunchly secular military is far from caving in to the Islamic-rooted civilian authority that is now in full control of Parliament, the government and the presidency.
* Israel to launch spy satellite in India Israeli space capabilities will take a giant leap this week when an Indian missile launches the IDF's most-advanced satellite to date, capable of transmitting tiny images in all weather conditions.
* Euro Hits New High, Crests $1.40 Level The dollar fell to a new low against the euro on Thursday as the european currency breached $1.40 for the first time since its debut in 1999.
* Rep. Peter King: There are "too many mosques in this country" New York Rep. Peter King, a prominent House Republican, said there are "too many mosques in this country" in a recent interview with Politico.
* Yom Kippur Services to be Secular-Friendly In an open pre-Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) letter to synagogue sextons, communal leaders and others, Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger reminds them of their heavy responsibility vis-a-vis those who come to synagogue only once a year.