* Syria unrest: World leaders call for Assad to step down The leaders of the US, UK, France, Germany and the EU have all called for Syria's President Assad to step down over his suppression of protesters.
* Netanyahu promises Israeli response to Eilat attacks Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke to Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak-Halevy on Thursday following three separate terror attacks in the area.
* Hamas: We didn't carry out southern Israel attacks, but we praise them The Islamist Hamas movement on Thursday welcomed a series of deadly attacks in southern Israel earlier in the day, but declined to take responsibility for them.
* Researchers: World Population to Reach 7 Billion This Year The world population will reach seven billion later this year, with increases in the number of people in Africa off-setting birth rate drops elsewhere.
* Glenn Beck rally could spark violence, warn Arab MKs Glenn Beck's Restoring Courage rally at the Southern Wall excavations site next Wednesday could spark a conflagration of violence in Jerusalem.
* Hebrew University ranks 57th in world The Hebrew University in Jerusalem has been ranked the 57th best university in the world.
* Van Rompuy tipped to chair new 'economic government' Twice-yearly meetings of the leaders of the 17 single currency states are to become the "cornerstone" of the new economic government of the eurozone.
* Turkey launches air assault on Kurds in Iraq amid uptick in violence The Turkish military launched an air assault on Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq overnight Wednesday.
* Share markets plummet as fear returns European and US shares have seen more large falls, as the uncertainty that has caused recent turmoil returns.
* Pope Benedict XVI in Madrid for World Youth Day events Pope Benedict XVI is in the Spanish capital, Madrid, for four days of events expected to be attended by hundreds of thousands of people.