* Thousands of pilgrims converge on Jerusalem to mark Good Friday The cobblestone alleyways of Jerusalem's Old City became moving forests of wooden crosses as Christian pilgrims and clergymen commemorated the day of Jesus' crucifixion, Good Friday.
* Obama to 'ratchet up' Iran pressure over nuclear plans US President Barack Obama has vowed to "ratchet up the pressure" on Iran over its controversial nuclear program.
* Likud MK: Not even 'Hussein Obama' will remove us from Hebron Thousands of Israelis gathered Thursday at the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron to celebrate the addition of the location to Israel's list of national heritage sites.
* China buys air defense systems from Russia Russia has delivered 15 batteries of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to China, Interfax news agency reported on Friday, under a contract analysts said could be worth as much as $2.25 billion.
* Iran Plays Host to Delegations After Iraq Elections Iran may seem an unlikely place to turn for guidance when it comes to putting together a democratic government.
* Priestly Blessing – Video Tens of thousands of people turned out this week for the Priestly Blessing (Birkat Hakohanim) at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
* Filipinos mark Good Friday with crucifixions More than a dozen Filipinos were nailed to crosses and others whipped their backs until they were bloody in a re-enactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday.
* Thousands Celebrated 'Heritage' Status at Patriarchs' Cave Thousands of people took part in a festive ceremony at the Cave of Patriarchs (Cave of Machpelah) in Hevron Thursday.
* Palestinian PM to Haaretz: We will have a state next year Next year, "the birth of a Palestinian state will be celebrated as a day of joy by the entire community of nations," says Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
* Moqtada Sadr holds referendum on Iraq prime minister The Iraqi political grouping of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr is holding its own referendum on who should be the country's prime minister.