* Mayan Apocalypse: as it didn't happen Thirteen long Baktuns ago, way back on August 11 3114 BC our time, the world began.
* Quartet's Blair weighs in on Israeli building plans Quartet Representative Tony Blair on Thursday affirmed his support for recent US and European criticism of Israeli construction plans.
* Syria's Chemical Weapons Transported Towards Lebanon Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has moved some of his chemical weapons arsenal in the direction of Lebanon.
* UK's Skynet military satellite launched A powerful new telecommunications satellite for the UK military has blasted into orbit.
* Russia Sends Military Destroyer to Iran A Russian destroyer has berthed in the southern Iranian Port of Bandar Abbas.
* Israel fully prepared to prevent Syrian chemical attack, IAF commander says Israel's air force commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel said the IAF is fully prepared to prevent a chemical weapons attack from Syria.
* Al Qaeda Grows as Assad Forces Shell Civilians Across Syria As the Assad regime becomes increasingly desperate, its forces are starting to shell civilians in every major city across the country.
* Former US Mideast envoy says Iran showdown to take place in coming year The standoff over Iran's nuclear program is headed for a critical point next year.
* EU struggling to keep up with Israeli settlement plans EU countries in the UN Security Council have condemned Israel's plan to build in the E1 area.
* Egypt's Christians fear going to polls amid Islamist intimidation campaign A campaign of intimidation by Islamists left most Christians in this southern Egyptian province too afraid to participate in last week's referendum on an Islamist-drafted constitution.