* Post-Soviet nations to form military force A Russian-led bloc of post-Soviet nations has agreed to establish a rapid-reaction military force to combat terrorists and respond to regional emergencies.
* Hamas officials leave Cairo without ceasefire A senior Hamas official said his group is leaving Cairo without an agreement on a long-term truce with Israel.
* Abbas wants EU peacekeepers in the Middle East The president of the Palestinian Authority urged Europe to play a bigger role in the Middle East.
* The political logic of Erdogan's attacks on Israel When Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan very publicly condemned President Shimon Peres at the World Economic Forum in Davos and then stalked off the stage in a huff, the incident was blamed on his short temper.
* Iran says US must accept nuclear program A senior adviser to Iran’s president says dialogue with the US will succeed only if the Obama administration accepts Tehran’s right to have a nuclear program.
* What Does Ethiopia's Withdrawal Mean for Somalia's Future? Ethiopian efforts in Somalia began with an unexpected intervention in December 2006 that rapidly reversed many territorial gains made by the Islamic Courts Union (ICU).
* Iran blocks more int'l news Websites Iran is furthering its efforts to block international news websites from delivering their reports to the country.
* Poll: Gaza war boosts Hamas support Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza, which killed more than 1,300 people and left large swathes of the territory in ruins, has boosted the popularity of the Islamists.
* Lebanese Gaza aid ship taken to Ashdod Israel Navy forces boarded a cargo ship carrying activists and supplies from Lebanon to Gaza on Thursday and escorted it to the port of Ashdod.* Google Latitude keeps tabs on friends' locations Just because the Internet has broken down geographic barriers, don't assume that Google doesn't care about geography.