* Haniyeh: Our Objective is to Eliminate All of Israel As the Hamas terror group recently marked the 24th anniversary of its founding, its leader in Gaza used the opportunity to remind everyone of his group's real goals.
* Iran threatens to block Strait of Hormuz oil route Iran says it may close a vital oil-trade route if the West imposes more sanctions over its controversial nuclear program.
* Kim Jong-il state funeral held in North Korea North Korea has begun two days of funeral services for late leader Kim Jong-il with a huge procession in the capital, Pyongyang.
* 'US won't allow disruption in Hormuz' The US Fifth Fleet said on Wednesday that it will not allow any disruption of traffic in the Strait of Hormuz.
* 'If necessary – IDF ready for Gaza op' Three years have passed since Operation Cast Lead and the IDF says that the operational goals set in 2009 have been largely achieved.
* Israel, U.S. discuss triggers for military strike on Iran Israel and the U.S. are discussing "red lines" in Iran's nuclear program.
* Iranian president to visit Venezuela, Cuba Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to visit Venezuela and Cuba as part of a four-nation Latin America tour in the second week of January 2012.
* Zardari issues rallying cry for democracy in Pakistan amid coup fears The embattled president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, on Tuesday used a speech on the fourth anniversary of the assassination of his wife.
* "Nothing frightening" seen in Syria protest hotbed: monitor The second day of monitoring hit a snag when locals in the Homs neighborhood of Baba Amr, that has been pounded by tanks in a military crackdown on popular unrest, refused to speak with the observers in the presence of a Syrian army colonel.
* Beginning to harness the desert's light When I first saw the sea of blue panels amid the scorched desert sands, driving along Highway 90 this June, I knew that Ketura Sun was a crucial.