* Palestinian Authority officially changing its name to Palestine The Palestinian Authority is changing its official name to Palestine following Thursday's overwhelming vote in the UN General Assembly to upgrade the status of the Palestinian mission.
* 51% of Israelis: Peace with Palestinians unlikely Pessimism was in the air in Israel following Operation Pillar of Defense and slightly prior to the recognition of the Palestinian Authority by the United Nations as a non-member observer state.
* Rebel leader says Syria on path to becoming Islamic state A leader of an al-Qaida-inspired militant group fighting the regime in Syria said his men do not fear death and they are determined to form an Islamic state.
* Iran: UN Decision 'Proves Zionist Regime Illegitimate' A senior Iranian official on Friday welcomed the upgraded status of the Palestinian Authority at the United Nations, calling it a "positive step."
* Egypt crisis: Islamists rally for President Morsi Islamist backers of Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi have held mass rallies to support his sweeping new powers and the drafting of a constitution.
* UN vote marks EU defeat for Israel Just one EU country - the Czech Republic - voted against Palestine's bid to become a UN "observer state" on Thursday (29 November).
* 'Terror in School': Hasbara Meets 21st Century A new animated video by Israeli animation firm "The Scratch Group" explains the complex situation Israel is in.
* Hamas' anti-Jewish war began in 1930s Egypt Israel and Hamas have agreed to a ceasefire, but no one is under any illusions.
* Britain and US condemn Israel's Jewish settlement plan Britain and the US have warned that Israel's plans to build new housing settlements in the West Bank would damage the prospect of creating a two-state solution to its conflict with the Palestinians.
* Birds of paradise - in pictures On a mission to become the first to document all 39 species of birds of paradise, the photographer Tim Laman and ornithologist Ed Scholes have spent nearly a decade sleeping in tents and dangling from the rainforest canopy.