* 'Obama asks for 2-month building moratorium' US President Barack Obama has requested that Israel extend the West Bank settlement construction moratorium by two months.
* PA official: Israel to be blamed if talks breakdown Palestinian officials on Wednesday expressed skepticism about the resumption of peace talks and signaled they would accept nothing less than an extension of the West Bank settlement construction moratorium.
* US backs Ashton mission to save Middle East talks US secretary of state Hilary Clinton has firmly endorsed an EU mission to salvage Middle East peace talks amid internal EU division on the peace process.
* NYT links Iran worm to Bible Computer specialists charged with examining the Stuxnet computer virus, which has reportedly infected Iranian nuclear infrastructure, have found that one of its files was named 'Myrtus', a moniker used to refer to Esther.
* EU's Ashton: Israel must extend settlement freeze to give talks a chance Israel must extend its recently expired West Bank building moratorium if stalled peace talks with the Palestinian Authority can have any chance of resuming.
* Al-Qaida group releases tape of French hostages A tape released Thursday on a jihadist forum shows the first images of a group of hostages including five French citizens since they were seized two weeks ago.
* EU responds to threat of 'zombie computers' The EU's anti-cyber-crime agency Enisa will in future work with Europol to help track down hackers and the creation of botnets or "zombie computers" is to be made illegal.
* EU holds anti-terrorist exercise amid reports of al-Qaeda plot The EU has tested its crisis co-ordination capabilities in a simulated bio-terrorist attack on a European football championship.
* Arab League postpones meeting with Abbas on talks The Arab League meeting with Palestinian Authority Mahmud Abbas to consult on the peace talks.
* Obama won't stop Israeli attack on Iran Leading U.S. analysts have concluded that the administration of President Barack Obama would withhold military and other equipment from Israel that could be used in any air strike on the Teheran regime.