* US will try to close Israeli-Palestinian peace deal by 2009 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday the United States will try to close a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians before President George W. Bush's term ends in January 2009, but she cautioned there is no guarantee of success.
* Egypt to host Arab leaders ahead of Annapolis talks In a flurry of diplomatic activity ahead of a key US-sponsored Mideast conference, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Wednesday he will be holding talks with the leaders of Jordan and the Palestinians in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheik.
* Court upholds Musharraf election Pakistan's new Supreme Court has - as expected - dismissed the final legal challenge to the recent re-election of President Pervez Musharraf.
* Iran: Middle East security at risk Iran's chief nuclear negotiator warned on Thursday that any threat against Tehran would undermine the stability of the entire Middle East.
* PA government weak, but seeks peace, says Olmert Prime minister meets Kadima's Young Guard, says current Palestinian leadership unable to control terror, enforce its authority, but it is first government to state it's interested in peace with Israel.
* Tehran paper attacks Ahmadinejad In a rare attack on Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a hardline newspaper has accused him of behaving immorally towards his political rivals.
* Putin attacks 'jackal' opponents Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused opposition politicians of scavenging like jackals for funds from foreign embassies.
* Oil Hesitates on Drive to $100 a Barrel It didn't happen Wednesday, it may not happen Thanksgiving day, but the price of oil seems destined to burst through the $100 mark sometime soon, leaving higher pump prices and rising heating fuel costs in its wake.
* Syria: 'Thanks but No Thanks' to Annapolis Invitation Syrian officials said Thursday the country will not be sending any representatives to next week's Annapolis summit. Tuesday, it said it would.
* 'Israeli Jews classified as traditional' Jewish observance in Israeli society can be classified as traditional and this traditionalism has held steady over the past three decades, according to findings of a survey published by the Israel Democracy Institute on Thursday.