* China scolds US over S&P credit downgrade China has scolded the US over its "addiction to debt" after rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the US' top-notch AAA rating to AA+.
* US special forces Afghan helicopter 'downed' by Taliban A US helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan has killed 31 US special forces and seven Afghan commandos, President Hamid Karzai's office says.
* Israeli Air Force chief cites new weapons: 'We will be able to overcome anything' The Israel Air Force has bolstered capabilities and assessed that it could overpower any enemy coalition in a regional war.
* World markets plunge amid worsening euro-crisis Stock markets plunged on Thursday (4 August) to levels last seen in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.
* 'Lebanon to recognize Palestinian state in next few days' Lebanon is set to recognize a Palestinian state "in the next few days."
* Russia uses dirty tricks despite U.S. 'reset' In the past four years, Russia’s intelligence services have stepped up a campaign of intimidation and dirty tricks against U.S. officials.
* Texas Gov. Rick Perry to host major prayer event in Houston The GOP 2012 presidential nomination contest so far has centered almost exclusively on economic issues.
* Israel gears up for mass rally Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend mass rallies in Tel Aviv.
* Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood holds first-ever public internal vote Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood held a public internal election on Saturday for the first time in its history.
* White House: US must do better after debt deal Spokesman Jay Carney said the talks on raising the US debt ceiling in order to avoid a default had taken too long and been too divisive.