* Iran targets the US The prevention of a nuclear Iran constitutes a top US national security priority.
* Ultra-Orthodox party joins Netanyahu's coalition Incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brought a nationalist religious party into what is shaping up to be a narrow, hawkish coalition.
* Turkish president visits Baghdad Turkey's President Abdullah Gul is on a visit to Iraq, the first by a Turkish head of state for more than 30 years.
* Obama ponders Afghan exit plan President Obama said the US must have an "exit strategy" in Afghanistan, even as Washington sends more troops to fight Taleban militants.
* With counterterror program, Saudis have turned the tide Near the guard tower outside this country's main counterterrorism training center, some of the concrete barriers are still scarred with shrapnel.
* Egypt won't boycott peace anniversary The Egyptian ambassador will attend a Foreign Ministry reception marking three decades of peace between the two countries, ending speculation as to whether Egypt would forgo this week's celebrations.
* Clean up banks to tackle dire world crisis The world is in a dire economic crisis, but no recovery is possible until the financial sector is cleaned up.
* Obama met Gorbachev in run-up to Medvedev talks President Obama has held talks with Mikhail Gorbachev in the latest sign of Washington's efforts to "press the reset button" on ties with Russia.
* EU expanding its sphere of influence The Eastern Partnership is an EU attempt to expand its "sphere of influence" in the quest for hydrocarbons, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said.
* IDF most moral army in world "I can say that the IDF is the most moral army in the world, with high values," Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said.