* US Senate elevates Israel's status as 'major strategic partner' An omnibus bill full of measures improving the relationship between Israel and the United States has passed the US Senate.
* Russian Nuclear Bombers Buzz Alaska, N. Europe Russian strategic nuclear bombers carried out air defense zone incursions near Alaska and across Northern Europe this week in the latest nuclear saber rattling by Moscow.
* Inside the hierarchy of the Islamic State Documents seized in an Iraqi military raid of the home of an Islamic State leader reveal the governing structures of the new self-declared caliphate for the first time.
* Iran: Blogger Sentenced to Death for 'Insulting Mohammed' An Iranian court earlier this week sentenced a blogger to death for insulting the Muslim prophet Mohammed.
* US House unanimously condemns swell of anti-Semitism in Europe, Middle East The House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday night condemning the surfacing of broad anti-Semitism worldwide.
* China plans nuclear submarines near US coast, miltary bases in South China Sea So far there has been no news about Chinese nuclear submarine cruising near the US. There has been official confirmation from China that a Chinese nuclear submarine operated in the Indian Ocean for a short period of time.
* Security stepped up at Vatican over fears of terror attack Security in the Vatican has been increased after intelligence agencies reportedly intercepted an unspecified threat against Pope Francis, on the eve of his visit to Muslim-majority Albania.
* Syria crisis: 45,000 'flee Islamic State' into Turkey Some 45,000 mainly Syrian Kurds have crossed into Turkey in the past 24 hours, officials say, as Islamic State militants advance in northern Syria.
* France to Turn to UN with Solution to Israel-PA Conflict French President Francois Hollande said on Friday that a "solution to the conflict" between the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs will be put to the United Nations (UN) Security Council.
* Ukraine says Europe at risk of 'terrible war' Ukraine leader Petro Poroshenko has warned the US that Europe is at risk of a "terrible and unimaginable ... war" despite his two-week ceasefire with Russia.