* China seen basing troops in Mideast this decade to secure oil access China is expected to deploy military forces and bases in the Middle East in the coming decade as part of an effort to protect its access to valuable resources like oil.
* US sending 10,000 troops to earthquake-hit Haiti Up to 10,000 US troops will be on the ground or off the coast of Haiti by Monday to help deal with the earthquake aid effort.
* Russia, Turkey sign pact on nuclear station, increased trade The warming trend in Russia-Turkey ties increased as the two nations signed a nuclear energy cooperation accord.
* Erasing Ezekiel's Jewish identity For centuries Jews, Christians and Muslims came to Al-Kifl, a small town south of Baghdad, to visit the tomb of the Prophet Ezekiel and pray.
* Arrests made in Israeli diplomat attack Jordanian security forces have arrested several suspects in connection with an apparent assassination attempt on Israeli diplomats.
* 'Erdogan will speak differently now' A day after Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon was forced to apologize for his undiplomatic treatment earlier this week of Turkish Ambassador Oguz Celikkol, sources in his office said on Thursday Ankara would be more careful in the future.
* Iraqi election commission bans 500 candidates Iraq's election commission has barred almost 500 candidates from running in national elections on 7 March.
* Gay pageant 'cancelled by police' in China A Chinese gay pageant, said to be the first held in the country, was ordered by police to close an hour before opening.
* PA Chief Says Israel Trying to Kill Him Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas, current chairman of the Palestinian Authority, claims that Israel is trying to assassinate him.
* Austrian nominee promises to be tough but fair on EU regions Austria's commissioner nominee for regional affairs, Johannes Hahn, told MEPs on Thursday he saw himself as a father-figure for the regions.