* Holy Ark Announcement Due on Friday An Ethiopian church leader says Friday, June 26, marks the right time to unveil the Biblical Ark of the Covenant, which he says has been hidden in his church for centuries.
* G8 urges Israel to halt W. Bank settlement construction Foreign ministers of Group of Eight countries urged Israel to halt all settlement construction in the West Bank Friday.
* Hamas leader: Obama must do more for peace Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal on Thursday called on the United States to take a more active role in the Mideast peace process "so that America and the rest of the world can take a break from the headache of the region."
* Lieberman slams Obama's Iran policy Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman lambasted American policy of engagement with Iran and the US demand that Israel halt natural growth in the West Bank settlements.
* U.S. providing weapons to Somali government, officials say The United States is providing weapons and ammunition to Somalia's transitional government as it fights al Qaeda-linked Islamic militants.
* US hopes to start Mideast talks soon US envoy George Mitchell said on Friday that the United States hoped Israelis and Palestinians would soon begin "meaningful and productive" peace negotiations.
* Iranian Cleric: Protesters at War With God A senior Iranian cleric has called on the government to punish the leaders of the country's post-election protests cruelly and without mercy.
* Palestinians want to build settlements The last thing that Abu Mohammed al-Najjar wants is for Israel to succumb to US and European pressure and halt construction in the West Bank settlements.
* Kurdistan prime minister rejects Iraq oil auctions The prime minister of Iraq's largely autonomous Kurdistan region condemned on Friday plans by the Oil Ministry to auction six fields in a June 29-30 tender for service contracts.
* Hariri set to become Lebanon PM, meets with Nasrallah A majority of Lebanon's parliament will nominate U.S.-backed Saad al-Hariri for the post of prime minister.