* 'Iran smuggling arms into Gaza by sea' Iran has stepped up its efforts to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip by using floatable devices that it drops near the waters off the Gaza coast.
* Rice: Syria 'most certainly an issue in nuclear proliferation' U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters on Thursday that "Syria is most certainly an issue in proliferation."
* Bibi: If PM can't fix Gaza, he should go Israel will ultimately have to "bring down" the Hamas regime in Gaza.
* Israel closes off West Bank and Gaza for duration of Passover Israel has imposed a complete closure on the West Bank and Gaza for at least a week, the duration of the Passover holiday.
* Al Qaeda declares 'failure and defeat' for U.S. troops in Iraq Marking the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, al Qaeda's media arm released an audio recording, purportedly from the group's second-in-command.
* Carter: Gaza blockade is an atrocity Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip is an "atrocity," former US president Jimmy Carter said.
* Hesder Yeshiva Boys to Run Passover Seders In a joint, first-time initiative of the IDF Chief Rabbinate and the Union of Hesder Yeshivot, hundreds of army soldiers currently studying in yeshivot have been recruited.
* Abbas turns to Russia for help As fighting continues to rage in the Gaza Strip and progress bogs down in the U.S.-sponsored peace negotiations with Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has turned to Russia for help.
* EU to sign energy security pact with Iraq European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki announced on Wednesday (16 April) their intention to develop an energy security partnership.* After Assimilation: The Pope Works To Bring Back Catholic Culture Call Pope Benedict XVI a "cultural Catholic" and you're likely to get puzzled looks if not angry rejoinders.