* Pakistan pounds Taleban positions Pakistani helicopter gunships and warplanes have been bombing suspected Taleban militants in the Swat Valley as clashes intensify in the north-west.
* Time running out to stop Iran nuclear pursuit, investigator says A man who spearheaded financial investigations of Iran said Wednesday the Islamic republic is "deadly serious" about developing nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.
* Syria: No need to amend Arab peace initiative Syria's foreign minister says there's no justification for amending an Arab peace offer to Israel.
* 'Abbas to form new gov't without Hamas' Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas plans to ask his prime minister within the coming week to form a new government without Hamas.
* White House Official: Iranian, Israeli Nukes Unrelated Issues An Obama official’s call for Israel to declare its nuclear weapons could mean the end of a 40 year pact to keep the Israeli arsenal under wraps.
* Egypt: We have to keep Teheran in check The new US administration's engagement with Iran could be a positive move.
* EU summit text loaded with eastern tension Last minute tweaks to the Eastern Partnership summit declaration reveal EU unease over enlargement and immigration.
* Pope visit boosts Jordanian site of Jesus baptism When Pope Benedict stops to pray at a pool of still green water here on Sunday, his visit will bolster the case that Jesus was baptized at this spot on the east bank of the Jordan River.
* Few Russians believe Medvedev controls power: poll Only one in eight Russians believes President Dmitry Medvedev holds real power.
* Czech senate approves EU's Lisbon treaty The Czech Senate on Wednesday (6 May) approved the EU's Treaty of Lisbon.