* Iran official: Only faint chance of war breaking in the Middle East There's only a faint chance of war breaking in the Middle East, a top Iranian official was quoted.
* Abdullah seeking divorce from Palestinians King Abdullah is seeking to complete the divorce proceedings between Jordan and the Palestinians which his late father, King Hussein, began in 1988.
* Iranian forces to conduct joint military maneuvers The Islamic Republic Army of Iran and the Revolutionary Guards are to conduct joint military exercises in the southwest or southeast of the country.
* Egypt MPs bar Mubarak-era officials from standing for office Egypt's parliament on Thursday approved a law that would ban members of ousted president Hosni Mubarak's regime from standing for public office.
* EU keen to send in UN monitors as fighting halts in Syria EU countries are keen for a UN monitoring mission to go to Syria as fast as possible amid reports that fighting stopped at dawn on Thursday.
* Despite chaos at home, Assad finds time to 'defend' Jerusalem Amid mounting international pressure on Bashar Assad to halt his military's onslaught on the country's civilian population, the Syrian president nonetheless found time to convene a clerical conference "for the defense of Jerusalem.".
* Egypt's army fills Sinai, but business runs as usual A bearded Bedouin approached a cab on the main street of Rafah, in Egypt.
* North Korea Fueling Rocket as Launch Window Opens North Korea on Thursday defied world pressure to back down from a controversial ballistic missile launch .
* Palestinians rebuff Netanyahu's call for direct peace talks The Palestinians have spurned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's latest invitation to resume peace talks.
* Jordan Denies Iraqi Oil Reaching Israel Jordan is fending off accusations that Iraqi oil is reaching Israel.