* Mexico shuts down to control flu Mexico has begun a five-day shutdown of parts of its economy in a bid to slow the spread of swine flu.
* Workers rally in European cities to mark May Day Workers rallied Friday in European cities to mark May Day, with tens of thousands of demonstrators across Russia supporting or slamming the government amid growing unemployment and economic troubles.
* UN: Freeze Jerusalem demolitions The UN has asked Israel to freeze all pending demolition orders in East Jerusalem and to do more to provide for the housing needs of Palestinians.
* Pope's visit sparks high hopes Religious leaders representing the local Muslim, Catholic, Jewish and Protestant communities met at the Notre Dame Cultural Center in Jerusalem on Thursday to voice their expectations of the pope during his visit to the Holy Land.
* China database to track children China is setting up a national DNA database to help trace missing children, as the authorities struggle to tackle people trafficking.
* PA court: Death to man who sold land to Jews In the first case of its kind, a Palestinian Authority "military court" on Tuesday sentenced a Palestinian man to death by hanging after finding him guilty of selling land to Jews.
* 'Syria-Turkey ties tighter because of Gaza war' Turkey has tightened its relations with Syria as a result of Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip earlier this year.
* Iraq launches project to renovate Ezekiel's shrine The Iraqi government has launched a project to renovate the interior of the prophet Ezekiel's shrine in the small town of Kifl, south of Baghdad.
* EU still 'digesting' 2004 enlargement five years on On 1 May 2004 the EU marked its biggest ever enlargement, accepting 10 new countries and bringing the number of member states to 25.
* Religious Affairs: Jesus's Zionists Like most religious Zionists, Aryeh Bar-David sees the hand of God in the establishment of the Jewish state.