* Charlie Hebdo: Gun attack on French magazine kills 12 Gunmen have shot dead 12 people at the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in an apparent militant Islamist attack.
* French weekly has history of angering Muslims with cartoons Charlie Hebdo's satire has lampooned not only Islam but also Pope Benedict XVI, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Jews.
* Winter Storm Paralyzes the Holy Land The predicted severe winter weather has reached Israel, and much of the country is now on lock-down amid hailstorms and snowfall.
* Syrian army forms suicide bomber platoon In video, masked soldiers loyal to Assad wear explosive belts as they declare their intention to die for their country.
* Hubble returns to 'old friends' for 25th anniversary Being 7,000 light-years away, we see the pillars as they were.
* 'Alien Earth' is among eight new far-off planets One of eight new planets spied in distant solar systems has usurped the title of "most Earth-like alien world", astronomers have said.
* Top Islamic State commander decapitated in Syria Body found after being killed by unknown assailants, peppered with cigarette burns and anti-smoking message.
* Peace chances mothballed by Palestinian moves, Netanyahu says. PM indicates Palestinian state impractical for now, doesn't envisage evacuating settlers; blames Olmert, Lapid for housing crisis.
* Most Persecution of Christians is at Hands of Muslims The non-denominational relief organization Open Doors on Wednesday published its annual World Watch List of the 50 countries around the world where Christians face the most persecution.
* Age of stars is pinned to their spin Astronomers have proved that they can accurately tell the age of a star from how fast it is spinning.