* '4 out of 5 fastest-growing defense budgets are in Mideast' The countries with four of the five fastest-growing defense budgets are in the Middle East.
* Pakistan: Taliban criticise peace talks delay Pakistani Taliban negotiators have condemned the failure of government representatives to meet them in Islamabad.
* Huge majority of Israelis believe Abbas must recognize Jewish state An overwhelming majority of Israelis support Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's insistence that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
* MEP receives 41,000 emails against gay rights An MEP who drafted a resolution on securing the basic rights of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and interest) people in the EU has so far received almost 41,000 emails against the proposal.
* Charm offensive: The way China influence the world The far-flung celebrations of Chinese New Year around the world are a reminder of how growing popularity and expanding international recognition of Chinese culture and traditions demonstrate the progress of China's soft power.
* Cancer 'tidal wave' on horizon, warns WHO The globe is facing a "tidal wave" of cancer, and restrictions on alcohol and sugar need to be considered.
* Feiglin: We Don't Need Judea and Samaria Council In an interview Monday night, MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) said that the Council of Judea and Samaria was a "great danger" to the Land of Israel.
* Queen to meet Pope Francis in Rome The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are to visit Rome later this year for an audience with Pope Francis.
* Lockheed Martin fires most powerful portable LASER weapon it has ever created in hi-tech race to replace missiles The record-breaking power output was achieved by combining many fiber lasers into a single, near-perfect quality beam of light.
* US ready to return to moon America is preparing to land a robot on the moon for the first time in four decades.