* Abbas confirms he'll ask for full membership at UN Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made it clear Friday that despite heavy international pressure, he is determined to present a request to the UN.
* Nasa refines satellite crash time The US space agency (Nasa) says that its out-of-control climate satellite is expected to crash to Earth sometime on Friday evening (GMT).
* Which New Middle East? Regardless of whether democratization in the "new Middle East" succeeds or authoritarian forms of government prevail once again, one fundamental change has already become clear: no one will be able to govern without taking into account domestic public opinion.
* PM readies for verbal duel with Abbas at UNGA Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spent Thursday in New York behind closed doors preparing his much-touted public verbal duel.
* IAEA Adopts Anti-Nuke Resolution for Mideast The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) adopted a resolution on Friday calling on all countries in the Middle East to join a regional anti-nuclear arms treaty.
* East J'lem, West Bank mostly quiet ahead of Abbas speech East Jerusalem and the West Bank were mostly quiet on Friday afternoon following what police believed would be a tense Friday.
* Sparks fly as U.S., Pakistan spar over Afghan bloodshed The top U.S. military officer accused Pakistani intelligence on Thursday of backing violence against U.S. targets including the American Embassy in Afghanistan.
* Shiite cleric slams Bahrain for 'fake democracy' The Sunni rulers in Bahrain are practicing "fake democracy," the Gulf kingdom's leading Shiite cleric said Friday.
* 'US budget cuts won't affect military aid to Israel' Senior US officials clarified during a series of meetings with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz Washington has no intention of downsizing military aid to Israel.
* Tourism in Israel, PA thrives on eve of UN vote While the international stage is awash with demonstrations and wrangling over the vote in the United Nations this week for Palestinian statehood, tourism in Israel and the Palestinian territories seems to be continuing.