* Earthquake Strikes South of Tokyo; Third Since Aug. 9 A magnitude-6.6 earthquake struck south of Tokyo at 7:49 a.m. local time today.
* Israel shuts door on Turkish-mediated Syria talks Israel under right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not resume Turkish-mediated peace talks with Syria.
* Iran seeks ban on striking nuclear installations Iran, whose nuclear facilities are under threat of possible Israeli military strikes, proposed Wednesday that a 150-nation conference convening in the fall ban such attacks.
* The Revolutionary Guard: Gaining Power in Iran? The shadowy Revolutionary Guard already oversees a 130,000-strong parallel army and run large swatches of Iran's economy.
* World population projected to reach 7 billion in 2011 The world's population is forecast to hit 7 billion in 2011, the vast majority of its growth coming in developing and, in many cases, the poorest nations.
* Huckabee to speak at east Jerusalem hotel Former Arkansas governor and US presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee will take part in a reception at the Shepherd's Hotel in east Jerusalem.
* France and Germany exit recession The French and German economies both grew by 0.3% between April and June, bringing to an end year-long recessions in Europe's largest economies.
* Out of WAC: World Archaeological Congress Excludes Israel The World Archaeological Congress (WAC), presently convening a conference of archaeologists from all over the world, has excluded Israel even though the conference is taking place in Ramallah.
* US delegates blame Palestinians for no peace talks The head of a delegation of US Democratic members of Congress blamed the Palestinians on Thursday for failing to hold talks with Israel.
* Hezbollah suspected of setting up camp in Venezuela Venezuela has become Hezbollah's major terrorist outpost in South America.