* Annan Spokesman: Syria Ceasefire 'Imperative' The death toll in the 16-month uprising against the Syrian regime tops 16,500 in President Bashar al-Assad's 'torture archipelago.'
* Assad accuses Turkey of helping Syrian 'terrorists' Syria's President Bashar al-Assad accused Turkey in an interview published Wednesday of giving logistical backing to Syrian "terrorists" and told Ankara to stop meddling in his country's affairs.
* Higgs boson-like particle discovery claimed at LHC Cern scientists reporting from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have claimed the discovery of a new particle consistent with the Higgs boson.
* Iran: We can destroy US bases 'minutes after attack' Following ballistic missile tests, Revolutionary Guards commander says Israel, all US regional bases are within its range.
* Where is Iran's Sajil missile? Iran's missile tests display old systems, raising questions about fate of the regime's most-impressive missile.
* PM skeptical democracy will take hold in ME soon Marking July 4, Netanyahu says "short term" democratic prospects in region doubtful but he is hopeful about long term.
* US Flexes Muscles against Iran in Gulf Iran will finds its boats "on the bottom of the Gulf" if it tries to mine the Persian Gulf to prevent oil and gas tankers from sailing.
* PA to Seek UNESCO Recognition for More Sites Following its success with the Church of the Nativity, PA will seek to have additional religious sites recognized by UNESCO.
* Peres: America Remains Israel's Greatest Ally President Shimon Peres congratulates the U.S. on its Independence Day during a reception at the home of Ambassador Daniel Shapiro.
* What the EU agreed last week, what it did not and what happens next At long last the European Council (28-29 June) has taken some very significant decisions on addressing the short term crisis.