* Syria confirms assassination of top military officer last week Syria's government confirmed the assassination of a senior military officer last week believed to have been a close aide to President Bashar Assad.
* Troops stage coup in Mauritania Troops in Mauritania have overthrown the government and say they have formed a state council to rule the country.
* US threatens to punish Iranian 'delay' Israel expects that a fourth round of UN sanctions against Iran likely won't be in place until the beginning of 2009.
* Mofaz: Iran is the root of all evil, threat to world peace Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, a contender to succeed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, denounced his native Iran on Wednesday as "the root of all evil."
* Hamas warns of uprising in W. Bank A senior Gaza Hamas official warned Tuesday that his Islamic terrorist group could overrun the West Bank, just as it took over Gaza, if provoked by its rivals in Fatah.
* Why Iran Won't Budge on Nukes When U.S. officials appeal to the Iranian people over the heads of its regime, they like to assume that Tehran's defiance on the nuclear issue reflects only the extremist position.
* Security Cabinet to mull 'new Lebanon reality' The Security Cabinet is expected to discuss on Wednesday the ramifications of a Lebanese cabinet policy statement giving Hizbullah the right of "resistance" to "liberate Lebanese territories."
* Can our TV signals be picked up on other planets? A television company has joined forces with a social networking site to send a message to the nearest theoretically inhabitable planet.
* UK minister: Keep settlers out of official events British Foreign Office minister Kim Howells has vowed to ensure that settlers will not be invited to future events hosted by the British embassy in Israel.* Iraqi Army willing, but not ready, to fight alone Ahmed Mahmoud, a lieutenant in the Iraqi Army, lost one leg fighting the insurgency and says he would not quit his job even if he lost the other.