* 'Al-Qaida prepares for Israel-Iran war' Al-Qaida is ready to exploit a war "by the Jews against Iran," the Sunni group's second-in-command in Yemen, Saeed al-Shehri, said.
* Obama to attend Mideast talks in Washington World powers facing a fateful deadline in the Middle East peace process will invite Israelis and Palestinians to begin direct talks on September 2 in Washington.
* 'Hizbullah should join Lebanese Army' Hizbullah forces should accept Lebanese Army command, Lebanese Forces party chief Samir Geagea proposed yesterday.
* President Apostate? Barack Obama has emerged as a classic example of charismatic leadership — a figure upon whom others project their own hopes and desires.
* U.S. Assures Israel That Iran Threat Is Not Imminent The Obama administration, citing evidence of continued troubles inside Iran's nuclear program, has persuaded Israel that it would take roughly a year - and perhaps longer - for Iran to complete what one senior official called a "dash" for a nuclear weapon.
* Iranian Nuclear Plant Opens Saturday, Russia Optimistic Russia's top nuclear official, Sergei Kiriyenko, expressed optimism Thursday over the expected operation of the first Iranian nuclear power plant beginning on Saturday.
* White House: Obama is Christian, prays daily US President Barack Obama is a Christian who prays daily, a White House official said Thursday, trying to tamp down growing doubts about the president's religion.
* Cyprus bans Gaza-bound ship from its waters A Lebanese ship carrying aid and women activists who want to "break the blockade on Gaza" will set sail Sunday.
* Floods expose civilian-military divide in Pakistan Massive flooding in Pakistan appears to be draining support for the already-weak civilian government while boosting the powerful military, a blow to U.S.
* Iraqis watch pullout with bitterness and fear Iraqis danced in the streets when US troops withdrew from their cities a little more than a year ago.