* Assad on Hariri probe: We'll stand by Hezbollah Bashar Assad sent a firm message to the international tribunal investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
* China invests $40b. in Iran oil and gas China has invested an estimated $40 billion in Iran's oil and gas sector Deputy Oil Minister Hossein Noqrehkar Shirazi said.
* U.S. denies threatening to cut PA ties unless direct talks resume The White House denied Saturday reports that the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama threatened to cut off ties with the Palestinians unless they entered direct talks with Israel.
* Long, hot summer in the Far East: War games and brinksmanship The drama over United States and South Korean war games in the seas off the coasts of South Korea is about to enter its second act.
* UN: Extend freeze to east J'lem United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Israel to extend the settlement freeze and further apply it to east Jerusalem.
* Debate Heating Up on Plans for Mosque Near Ground Zero An influential Jewish organization on Friday announced its opposition to a proposed Islamic center and mosque two blocks north of ground zero in Lower Manhattan.
* Purported audio message from Saddam regime official surfaces An audio message purportedly from the highest-ranking at-large member of Iraq's Saddam Hussein regime has been released.
* As Some Young Muslims Turn to Radicalism, Concern Grows Before Abi left her parents' house in northern Germany last year, she asked her father, "Daddy, what can I bring you from my journey?".
* Army Broadens Inquiry Into WikiLeaks Disclosure Army investigators are broadening their inquiry into the recent disclosure of classified military information.
* Our galaxy is rich in Earth-sized planets Since the time of Nicolaus Copernicus five centuries ago, people have wondered whether there are other planets like Earth in the universe.