* Syria's 'black hole' threatens known universe, or at least could bring wider war Syria, like one of those mysterious black holes in space, is irrevocably sucking its neighbors and the major powers into an unknown vortex that could lead to regional war.
* Chinese state media for first time raises prospect of nuclear attack on U.S. cities Chinese state-run media revealed for the first time this week that Beijing's nuclear submarines can attack American cities.
* Kerry: US considers Israeli settlements to be 'illegitimate' US Secretary of State John Kerry urged Israel on Wednesday to limit settlement building.
* Mix of radical ideas and idealism drives Europeans to join global jihad One way to curb the existing threat from the European jihadist fighters is to monitor them upon their return from warzones.
* Saudis unconvinced by Kerry's show of US goodwill King Abdullah, who is 90 this year and rarely meets visiting officials, mustered a full complement of senior princes to sit in on Monday's talks with Kerry.
* One in five suns has habitable world Astronomers have estimated how many of the 100 billion stars in our galaxy hosts a potentially habitable planet.
* To save Middle East's cultural treasures, a race against time The archaeology site of Gobekli Tepe sits at the top of a mountain ridge in Turkey's Southeastern Anatolia Region.
* New book quotes Obama calling Netanyahu 'a pain in the a**' US President Barack Obama called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "a pain in the...".
* Ten Basic Points: Israel's Rights to Judea and Samaria Upon Israel's taking control of the area in 1967, the 1907 Hague Rules on Land Warfare and the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) were not considered applicable to the West Bank.
* Palestinian official: No talks while settlement construction continues The Palestinian Authority will not continue with peace talks as long as Israel continues building in the settlements.