* Netanyahu: No plans to strike Syria Netanyahu tells Likud faction meeting, 'There is no truth to hints that Israel is planning move against Damascus'.
* Iraq Political Crisis Worsens as Court Bars Candidates A special electoral court in Iraq disqualified a winning candidate in last month’s election on charges he once was a member of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party, two officials said.
* President Omar al-Bashir declared winner of Sudan poll Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has been declared the winner of this month's landmark elections, despite facing war crimes charges over Darfur.
* Diplomatic Coup for PA: Obama Invites Abbas PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has scored a diplomatic coup with an invitation from U.S. President Barack Obama to visit Washington as media analysts conclude that the president is toning down his criticism of Israel.
* Don’t talk to aliens, warns Stephen Hawking The aliens are out there and Earth had better watch out, at least according to Stephen Hawking.
* Who’s afraid of a nuke-free zone in the ME? Without Iran’s participation in a regional arms-control process, Egypt’s proposal is meaningless.
* Nationalist Protesters: Netanyahu Is Not Mitchell’s Clerk Nationalist activists Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir proclaimed at the end of their hour-long march in the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem.
* Obama Hosts Muslim Entrepreneurs U.S. President Barack Obama began a two-day summit Monday bringing together entrepreneurs from dozens of countries, most of them primarily Muslim.
* East Jerusalem construction frozen De facto freeze proceeds despite Netanyahu's disapproval.