* 'Israel must freeze talks with Syria' "A scenario in which S-300 or Iskander type missiles reach Syria is a dangerous scenario."
* Rice in surprise visit to Baghdad US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Baghdad to discuss the future of American forces deployed in Iraq.
* Medvedev phones Olmert to affirm ties In an atmosphere of heightened tensions, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday night to affirm the ties between the two countries.
* Oil rises on US-Russia tensions, sliding dollar Oil prices jumped above $119 Thursday as rising antagonism with Russia underscored the possibility it could affect energy shipments.
* Russia blocks Georgia's main port city Russian forces blocked the only land entrance to Georgia's main port city on Thursday.
* Assad wants Russia to cut ties to West Syrian President Bashar Assad is keen to see a wedge driven between Russia and the West.
* EU to pay Palestinian authority wages The European Union has announced it will boost its financial aid to the Palestinian Authority by €40 million.
* Jordan acknowledges meetings with Hamas Jordan acknowledged Wednesday that it held clandestine meetings with the militant Palestinian Hamas.* EU neighbours seek help in post-Georgia climate The presidents of Romania and Moldova on Wednesday (20 August) urged greater EU involvement in resolving Moldova's frozen conflict.