* Syria Chooses: Assad to Visit Iran; Israel Continues Talks Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is to visit Iran this weekend, even as Syrian and Israeli negotiators are slated to continue talks in mid-August.
* 'No chance of peace deal by 2008 end' Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's decision to step down after the Kadima primaries in September means the chances of reaching an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians before the end of this year are non-existent,.
* Be firm with Iran, Mofaz urges U.S. leaders Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz raised "strong concerns" on Thursday during his meeting with senior U.S. officials in Washington over the administration's recent diplomatic overtures to Iran.
* EU awaits Iran nuclear response The clock is ticking for Iran to respond to an offer by major powers on its nuclear program.
* EU hails Turkish court decision not to ban ruling party The EU has welcomed a decision by Turkey's Constitutional Court on Wednesday (30 July) not to ban the country's ruling party.
* Lowest US monthly deaths in Iraq The US military has announced the death of a soldier in northern Iraq, which brings the toll for July to 12, the lowest since the 2003 US invasion.
* Leaders arrive for SAsian summit overshadowed by tensions South Asian leaders on Friday began arriving in Sri Lanka ahead of an eight-nation summit where heightened tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have seized centre-stage.
* Seal of King Zedekiah's minister found in J'lem dig A seal impression belonging to a minister of the Biblical King Zedekiah which dates back 2,600 years has been uncovered completely intact.
* Hamas arrests more Fatah leaders in Gaza Hamas forces seized the leaders of Fatah in Gaza early Friday.* Bashir Pending Arrest Too Close for Cairo's Comfort A request by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for an arrest warrant to be issued against Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has left Egypt.