* Thousands dead in Chinese quake A powerful earthquake has killed at least 8,500 people in China's south-western Sichuan province, up to 5,000 of them in just one county.
* Putin announces cabinet line-up Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is proposing the names of ministers in his new government, which will work with President Dmitry Medvedev.
* Heavy fighting breaks out in northern Lebanon Heavy fighting broke out Monday between supporters and opponents of the Lebanese government in the second-largest city, Tripoli, where the two sides battled with rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns and mortars, security officials and residents said.
* Rightist rabbis urge Bush not to meet Olmert during Israel visit Right-wing rabbis across the nation on Monday urged U.S. President George W. Bush, who is scheduled to arrive in Israel this week, not to meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in light of the criminal allegations against him currently being investigated.
* Olmert: 'We'll Give Up a Large Part of the Territories' Newsweek's Lally Weymouth talked with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert about important issues facing Israel in an exclusive interview published on Thursday, Israel's Independence Day.
* Israel on alert as sectarian clashes rage across Lebanon for sixth day Israel's defense establishment has raised its intelligence alert in case Hezbollah decides to exploit its hold on Lebanon to wage an armed conflict south of the Litani River, Army Radio reported on Monday.
* Holy See asks Israel to help protect Christians in Mideast Pope Benedict XVI urged Israel on Monday to help the dwindling Christian community in the Middle East by assuring them of a secure future in the region
* Serbia's pro-Europe forces claim election win The European Union is set to breathe a sign of relief as the pro-Western alliance led by President Boris Tadic won Sunday's parliamentary elections, but the country's nationalists have warned that they too can hammer out a coalition government.
* 'Livni would beat Netanyahu, Barak' If Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni were to replace Prime Minsiter Ehud Olmert as Kadima's leader she would win a future election against Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud and Defense Minister Ehud Barak's Labor party, according to a poll published by Yediot Aharonot on Monday.
* Strange bedfellows On a pleasant Thursday in December 1948, Emilio Traubner, a correspondent for The Palestine Post, found himself near Abu Kabir, not far from Jaffa.