* Tight security before Iraq polls A full-scale security clampdown is being rolled out in Iraq ahead of regional elections this weekend.
* 'Obama not ruling out striking Iran' US President Barack Obama is not ruling out military strikes against Iran to stop its nuclear program.
* Turkish PM given hero's welcome Turkey's PM has received a hero's welcome on his return to Istanbul after he stormed out of a debate about Gaza at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
* 'Iran and Syria trying to replace PLO' The Palestinian Authority on Thursday accused Iran and Syria of encouraging Hamas and other radical groups to establish a new leadership.
* EU and China to fight financial crisis European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao have pledged to co-operate on tackling online piracy.
* 'New settlement info implicates gov't' A newly leaked database detailing the complicity of the government in widespread illegal construction in West Bank settlements will be used to help Palestinians file lawsuits.
* World worries how U.S. will pay for stimulus Even as the U.S. Congress looks for ways to expand President Barack Obama's $819 billion stimulus package, the rest of the world is wondering how Washington will pay for it all.
* Knesset Christian Allies Caucus marks its fifth anniversary The Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus is marking five years of operation this month by redoubling its efforts to direct Christian faith-based support for Israel to legislatures around the world.
* Peres tells Putin Russia can prevent Gaza arms smuggling President Shimon Peres met Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.* U.S. envoy Mitchell: Mideast peace process faces substantial hurdles United States Mideast envoy George Mitchell said on Friday the new U.S. administration's push for Israeli-Palestinian peace after the war in the Gaza Strip faced substantial hurdles, and he predicted further setbacks.