* Kremlin official confirms PM's trip A senior Kremlin official confirmed Wednesday to the Russian paper Kommersant that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did indeed make a clandestine trip to Russia on Monday.
* Gas Bonanza Investors Ready to Dive in Dead Sea for Black Gold An oil drilling consortium which includes companies that found billions of dollars in natural gas off the Haifa coast will begin in October to look for black gold in an area along the Dead Sea.
* Lebanese PM-designate resigns after failing to form cabinet Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri said Thursday he is abandoning efforts to form a new government.
* Iran: We won't discuss nuclear program Just a day after Iran presented world powers with a proposal for new talks, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, suggested on Thursday that any negotiations with Western powers would not address the Islamic republic's nuclear program.
* U.S. Says Iran Could Expedite Nuclear Bomb American intelligence agencies have concluded in recent months that Iran has created enough nuclear fuel to make a rapid, if risky, sprint for a nuclear weapon.
* 80% of Europeans against Iran strike European support for the US president's handling of foreign policy has soared since President Barack Obama took over from former President George W. Bush.
* Ya'alon: Right to build 'indisputable' Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon continued to place himself at odds with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday when he spoke in favor of settlement development and against territorial concessions.
* Afghan fraud ballots invalidated The Afghan Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) has for the first time invalidated some ballots from the presidential election because of fraud.
* Barroso Nears Second EU Term as Socialists Fail to Block Vote European Commission President Jose Barroso headed for a second term after his Socialist opponents failed to block a parliamentary confidence vote next week.
* Russia, Venezuela sign package of oil deals Russia and Venezuela signed on Thursday a package of deals, including one to develop the Latin American country's Orinoco oil belt.