* US misstepped regarding settlements The current tensions between Israel and the United States might have been avoided had US President Barack Obama not taken such a harsh stance against settlement construction.
* China concerned about abortions Authorities in China have highlighted inadequate knowledge of contraception and poor sex education as major factors in the high number of abortions there.
* Stone Vessel with Priestly Inscription Uncovered In Jerusalem A rare 2,000-year-old ritual earthenware vessel inscribed with 10 lines of text has been discovered in an excavation near the Zion Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem.
* Turkey seeks active role in Hamas-Fatah reconciliation Palestinian sources tell Al-Jazeera Ankara's request part of general goal to play greater role in Arab-Israeli peace process.
* Netanyahu freezes East Jerusalem construction Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has frozen a project for the construction of some 900 apartments in East Jerusalem.
* Nigeria forces storm sect mosque Nigerian security forces have stormed a mosque where militants from an Islamic sect blamed for days of deadly violence have been hiding out.
* PA, Israeli ministers meet in Tel Aviv The first ministerial level meeting between Israel and the Palestinian authority since the establishment of the Netanyahu government took place yesterday in Tel Aviv.
* Why Iran's conservatives are airing their dirty laundry In the final days before President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's inauguration next week, splits among the country's conservative elite have become increasingly conspicuous.
* N Korea seizes S Korea vessel A South Korean fishing boat has been towed away by a North Korean patrol boat off the peninsula's east coast, South Korean officials say.