* Iran's nuclear answer 'next week' Iran will respond to a proposed deal on its controversial nuclear program by the middle of next week, the UN atomic agency (IAEA) has said
* Assad: Israel must choose between occupation, peace "Israel must choose between occupation and peace," Syrian President Bashar Assad said Thursday, adding that the two concepts "do not go hand in hand".
* EU states envisage new foreign policy giant The EU's new foreign minister will have sweeping powers to conduct foreign policy, propose his own budget and name his own staff independently of other EU institutions.
* NATO Defense Ministers Endorse Wider Afghan Effort NATO defense ministers gave their broad endorsement Friday to the counterinsurgency strategy for Afghanistan.
* After Lebanon war devastation, Hezbollah suburb now booming Dahiyah - meaning the suburb in Arabic - is the Hezbollah stronghold that was heavily targeted by Israel during its war with the militant Shiite group during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
* Israel Plans Major Excavation at Western Wall Israel is planning a major archaeological dig under the Western Wall (Kotel) plaza, opposite the Temple Mount.
* Christian donor to out haredi recipients Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, chairman of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, said Thursday that his organization was compiling a list for publication of haredi institutions that receive its donations.
* Star Fades for Blair in EU Role The odds against former British Prime Minister Tony Blair becoming the first president of the European Union appear to have lengthened.
* Klaus strikes positive note on EU treaty deal Czech President Vaclav Klaus has backed away from a major dispute with other EU leaders by indicating that he is satisfied with a proposal to modify the Lisbon Treaty following a last minute demand he made last week.
* U.S. envoy: Efforts to revive Mideast talks haven't failed The United States' special Mideast envoy George Mitchell said Thursday that it was too soon to brand his efforts to resume peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders a failure.