* Babylon - was it so awful? We rightly mourn the terrible destructions of Jerusalem perpetrated by the Babylonians and the Romans, but the Babylonian Exile was the crucible in which our future was forged.
* As death toll hits 17,000, Russia suspends new arms sales to Syria Military official says only spare parts for existing equipment will be provided to Assad until calm returns.
* Video: Hizbullah Collecting Intelligence Along Lebanese Border The IDF has released a video documenting the way Hizbullah is collecting information along the Lebanese border.
* Video: Taliban shoot woman 9 times in public execution as men cheer A shot rings out, but the burqa-clad woman sitting on the rocky ground does not respond.
* Egypt court challenges Mursi's reopening of parliament Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi's order to reconvene parliament has been rejected by the highest court, which says its ruling that led to the assembly's dissolution is binding.
* 'The next best thing to being there': NASA releases the most spectacular picture of Mars ever taken... in all its 360-degree glory We might not be able to get there yet, but as NASA says, 'this is the next best thing'.
* Archaeologists Uncover Gold Treasure Near Herzliya One of the largest gold treasures ever to be discovered in Israel was uncovered last week at an archaeological dig near Herzliya.
* South China Sea tension tops Asean regional agenda Tension in the South China Sea is expected to top the agenda for Asean's regional forum this week.
* Obama invites Egypt's Islamist leader to U.S. President Barack Obama has invited Egypt's newly elected Islamist president, Mohamed Mursi, to visit the United States in September, an Egyptian official said on Sunday, reflecting the new ties Washington is cultivating with the region's Islamists.
* Magnitude-5.6 quake hits Israel Haifa, Tel Aviv and Beer Sheba residents report feeling temblor, which originated south of Turkey