* Shares volatile on recession fear US shares have been volatile in early trading on Wall Street, after a slew of weak corporate earnings increased fears that a recession is on the way.
* EU foreign policy chief says hopes Syria-Israel talks continue The European Union's foreign policy chief said Thursday he hopes indirect peace talks between Syria and Israel will continue and bring progress.
* Iraq takes over 12th province from US Iraq took control of the central Shiite province of Babil from US forces on Thursday in what officials declared was a further sign of security gains across the war-torn nation.
* Iran, Russia, Qatar move on natural gas cartel Russians, Qataris and Iranians met in Teheran on Tuesday to discuss setting up a natural gas cartel, similar to the oil-based Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
* Financial woes to top Beijing talks Leaders from Europe and Asia have begun gathering in China for a meeting set to be dominated by talks on measures to counter the global financial crisis.
* Larijani: Iran prefers Obama Iranian parliament speaker says his country is leaning towards Democratic candidate in US presidential election 'because he is more flexible and rational'.
* Nuclear materials secretly transported Enough processed uranium to make six nuclear weapons was secretly transported thousands of miles by truck, rail and ship on a month long trip from a research reactor in Budapest, Hungary, to a facility in Russia so it could be more closely protected against theft, U.S. officials revealed Wednesday.
* Israel Prays for Rain, Thunderstorms Drench Western Galilee Up to two inches of rain drenched the Haifa area Wednesday night and Thursday morning following a light drizzle Tuesday, when Jews began adding to prayer a reminder that the Almighty "causes the winds to blow and the rains to fall."
* Livni expected to call elections if no coalition deal by Sunday Kadima Chairwoman and Prime Minister-designate Tzipi Livni is expected to announce on Thursday that she will call early elections if a deal to strike a coalition government is not sealed by next week.
* Georgia Says Russia Has 7,000 Troops in South Ossetia Russia has deployed as many as 7,000 soldiers in the separatist region of South Ossetia, leading Georgia to suspect "further provocations'' following a five-day war in August, a Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman said.