* Tension high for Beirut memorials Thousands of people from rival camps are taking part in key memorials amid heightened tension in Beirut.
* Ashkenazi to IDF: Be prepared in North IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen Gabi Ashkenazi on Thursday issued a statement ordering the Navy, IAF and ground forces to be prepared.
* Putin repeats threat on missiles Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeated his threat to target missiles at neighbouring states if they site parts of the planned US missile shield.
* 'Assassination a severe blow to Hizbullah' Syria and Hizbullah accused Israel of being behind the assassination of the top Hizbullah operative Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus and vowed to avenge his death.
* UN holds special Kosovo meeting The UN Security Council will hold a closed meeting on Thursday to discuss Kosovo, which is expected to declare independence from Serbia within days.
* 'Iran's centrifuges processing gas' Iran's new generation of advanced centrifuges have begun processing small quantities of the gas that can be used to make the fissile core of nuclear warheads.
* Russian president Putin says he will have sufficient powers as PM President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that he has no reservations about becoming prime minister under Russia's next president.
* Strong earthquake strikes Greece A strong earthquake has struck southern Greece, shaking buildings over an area from the southern Peloponnese region to the capital, Athens.
* US 'not satisfied' with Egyptian efforts to scrap tunnels Egypt is falling short in its efforts to stop Palestinians from allegedly trafficking weapons to the Gaza Strip through tunnels from Egypt.* EU Kosovo mission to start Saturday morning The European Union has given its final "operational" go-ahead to the 1,800-strong mission of policemen, prosecutors and judges to be deployed to Serbia's breakaway region of Kosovo.