* 'Two state solution only viable as long as Obama in power' "The time to take action in the Middle East is now," was the resounding message of Jordanian King Abdullah II's speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos.
* Violence flares on anniversary of Egypt uprising Hundreds of youths clashed with Egyptian police in Tahrir Square on Friday in a violent start to the second anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
* Kerry wants to hit ground running on peace talks At John Kerry's confirmation hearings Thursday to be the next US secretary of state, the Massachusetts senator said he hoped the Israeli elections would help restart the peace process.
* Odds of military conflict between China, Japan increase as Xi calls for 'actual combat' training The likelihood of an at least small-scale military conflict between China and Japan over the Diaoyu-Senkaku islands has increased dramatically.
* Kerry wants to hit ground running on peace talks At John Kerry's confirmation hearings Thursday to be the next US secretary of state, the Massachusetts senator said he hoped the Israeli elections would help restart the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.
* Egyptians say F-16 deal proves Morsi passed U.S. test 'with flying colors' Egypt has concluded that the delivery of advanced F-16 multi-role fighters marked U.S. support for the Islamist regime of President Mohammed Morsi.
* 'Palestinians re-erect outpost northwest of J'lem' Palestinian media reported on Friday that dozens of Palestinian activists re-erected tents at an outpost northwest of Jerusalem on Friday.
* Russian MPs back 'gay propaganda' ban amid scuffles The Russian parliament has backed a ban on the promotion of homosexuality among children in its first reading, amid scuffles on the street outside.
* Syrian rebels detonate car bomb near Israeli border Eight members of Syria's military intelligence were killed by an Islamist militant car bomb on Thursday night near the southern frontier with the Golan Heights.
* French colonel: France better off alone in Mali A senior French military officer has said France is better off without Nato or EU help to reconquer north Mali.