* The ghost of Saddam Hussein One of the General Staff generals refuses to regard Iraq's hostility as a thing of the past.
* Russia nears arms pact approval, warns on pullout Russia's parliament moved closer to approving a landmark arms reduction treaty with Washington.
* Saudi Arabia's war against al-Qaida The war between Arab governments and militant Salafi Islamists led by al-Qaida plays out across the Middle East and beyond on a daily basis.
* Turkish PM: Hamas is a 'Political Group,' Not Terrorists Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Wednesday night that his nation "stands by Hamas," which he called "a political group."
* Golani Soldiers Swear In at the Western Wall On Wednesday, the inaugural ceremony of the Golani Brigade took place at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
* IDF collecting settlers' weapons The Judea and Samaria Division has decided to collect hundreds of weapons handed to West Bank settlers by the army.
* Obama forming Mideast 'task force' The Obama administration is looking for new ideas to jumpstart the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
* Mideast Quartet to meet in latest bid to renew peace talks The Mideast Quartet - consisting of the United Nations, European Union, the United States and Russia - are set to meet next month.
* Turkey deplores Europe's 'lack of vision' Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday (13 January) deplored EU leaders' "lack of vision" for blocking Ankara's EU accession talks.
* US ambassador lampoons Nordic military pact Proposals for the five Nordic countries to create a mini-Nato alliance are "dreams in Polar fog".