* Iran leader in landmark Iraq trip Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has received a warm welcome in Baghdad on the first ever visit to Iraq by an Iranian president.
* Barak mulls strikes on civilians With casualties mounting from IDF operations aimed at stemming the ongoing Kassam and Katyusha rocket fire into southern Israel, Defense Minister Ehud Barak asked Justice Minister Daniel Freidmann to examine the legality of attacking residential neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip, if those areas are being used to launch rockets.* Strong turnout in Russian polls Russia's presidential election has seen a turnout of nearly 60%, officials say.
* Jordanian king calls for US help Jordan's King Abdullah II warned Friday that unless a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian agreement is reached during the Bush administration's final months in office, the chances for a lasting Middle East peace could be "set back".
* Turkey urges PKK to end struggle Turkey's prime minister has called on Kurdish PKK rebels to lay down their arms and embrace democracy.
* Barak: Hamas will bear consequences "Hamas is responsible for the deteriorating [security] situation and it will bear the consequences".
* Hezbollah says US ship is threat A Hezbollah MP has condemned the deployment of the USS Cole warship off the coast of Lebanon as a threat to Lebanese sovereignty and independence.
* Medvedev Win Assured, So Focus Is on Size of Turnout With Dmitry Medvedev the runaway favorite in Russia's presidential election tomorrow, the focus will be on whether he'll do better than Vladimir Putin did when he was reelected.
* Ashkelon Katyushas Came From Iran Via Egypt Israel’s Foreign Ministry says the Grad-type Katyusha rockets fired at Ashkelon came from Iran and may lead Israel back to Gaza.
* Hamas slams 'int'l silence' over Gaza; Abbas urges UN debate Hamas officials on Saturday condemned what they called "international silence" over Israel Defense Forces operations in Gaza.
* Oil price surges to all-time high Crude oil has surged for a fourth day as the feeble dollar and lacklustre stock markets increased the appeal of commodities for investors.
* Iraq violence jumps in February The number of Iraqis killed by violence rose in February for the first time in several months, official figures show.* Hamas says it's improving rockets Hamas is improving its rocket technology, and will soon be able to "any target in Israel".