* On its 66th birthday, Israel's population nears 8.2 million As Israel prepares to celebrate its 66th birthday, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) released a report on Thursday estimating its population at 8.180 million.
* Islamic Jihad Seeks to Join Hamas-Fatah Pact Despite last week predicting its failure, the Islamic Jihad terrorist group is trying to join in on the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement.
* Iran terror network prolific, US report says Iran continues to arm and finance a terrorist network that extends from South Asia to the Horn of Africa.
* Iraq vote count under way in poll hailed by US and UN Vote counting is under way in Iraq after the country's first parliamentary poll since US troops withdrew in 2011.
* This spring, the Middle East gears up for 'End-of-time battle foretold by the Prophet Mohammed It is Spring in the Middle East. The rising temperatures and the end of rain and snow make fighting more pleasant.
* 'Anti-semitic Elmo' at it again The same "Evil Elmo" who became known for anti-Semitic rants in New York's Central Park and spent time in jail for trying to extort the Girl Scouts.
* Xi takes hands-on military role with emphasis on 'maritime' sovereignty, 'winning battles' The People's Liberation Army has beefed up its naval infrastructure the better to stake out China's claim as a "maritime strong power."
* China to conduct naval drills with Russia in East China Sea China said on Wednesday it would conduct joint naval drills with Russia in the East China Sea.
* Saudi missile parade a signal to Iran, Israeli defense expert tells 'Post' Saudi Arabia concluded a large-scale military exercise with a display of its Chinese- made Dongfeng 3 ballistic missiles.