* Iran: More than 5,000 centrifuges are now up and running Iran now has more than 5,000 centrifuges operating at its uranium enrichment plant.
* Iraqi parliament delays vote on US pact Intense dealmaking among Iraq's political factions on Wednesday delayed by one day a parliamentary vote on a security pact that would allow American forces to stay in the country through 2011 under tight Iraqi supervision.
* Olmert, in Washington: Israel-PA peace still possible this year Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has asked U.S. President George W. Bush to convince Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to accept Olmert's suggestion to establish a Palestinian state and sign a peace deal with Israel by the end of the year.
* High-Seas Pirates Increasingly Working With Jihadis They are hardly the bejeweled, Jolly Roger flying buccaneers we've come to associate with of the Golden Age of Piracy (1692-1725).
* Arab foreign ministers meet on Palestinian rift Arab foreign ministers met in Cairo Wednesday to work out how to deal with Hamas after the militant group rejected reconciliation talks aimed at ending the division between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
* Europe announces 200bn-euro plan The European Commission has unveiled an economic recovery plan worth 200bn euros (£170bn) which it hopes will save millions of European jobs.
* Experts call for global network to prevent asteroid disasters Between 500 and 1,000 massive asteroids cross the Earth's path regularly and any one of them could cause a global catastrophe.
* Oil rises as Russia threatens cut Oil prices have risen after Russia said it might join producers' cartel Opec in cutting output, and following a fall in the US dollar.
* Sarkozy forever? EU uneasy on leadership bid: Paul Taylor Not content with a temporary role as first consul, Nicolas Sarkozy wants to be emperor of Europe.* 'Libyan aid boat en route to Gaza Strip' A Palestinian lawmaker in Gaza says a boat loaded with humanitarian aid has left Libya and will attempt to reach Gaza despite an Israeli naval blockade.