• US President George W. Bush arrived in Poland yesterday for talks on a planned US missile shield in central Europe after receiving a surprise Russian counter-offer to base it in Azerbaijan. Mr Bush, on his way home from the Group of Eight meeting in Germany, was whisked straight off in a helicopter from Gdansk to Jurata, a small resort on the Baltic coast, where he will meet his Polish counterpart Lech Kaczynski.
• Gunmen attacked the home of a police chief north of Baghdad overnight, police sources yesterday, killing 14 people including his wife, at least one brother and two sons. In the northern Iraqi town of Dakok, 19 people were killed in bomb attacks on two Shi'ite mosques just as Friday prayers were ending, Kirkuk police Brigadier-General Sarhat Qader said.
• Israel has told Syria it is willing to trade land for peace and is waiting to hear whether President Bashar al-Assad would cut ties with Iran and hostile guerilla groups in return, Israeli officials said yesterday. One source said Syrian officials had so far indicated a willingness to conduct discreet contacts that might lead to a resumption of formal peace talks after a seven-year hiatus. In two weeks, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is due to meet US President George W. Bush, who would play a crucial role in any such process.
• Lebanese troops pounded al Qaeda-inspired militants dug in at a Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon yesterday after the group rejected demands to surrender. Artillery and tanks blasted several areas of the squalid Nahr al-Bared camp, where Fatah al-Islam fighters have shown stiff resistance in three weeks of often ferocious battles.
• Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called on rival Palestinian factions to end violence yesterday as gunmen loyal to his Islamist Hamas movement clashed with Fatah fighters on the streets of the Gaza Strip. Fighting between Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's secular Fatah group has already abated since a flare-up on Thursday killed at least one Palestinian and wounded 12 others.
• A weeping Paris Hilton was ordered back to jail yesterday after a day of relative freedom as a judge rescinded a Los Angeles sheriff department's decision to place the celebrity heiress under house arrest. Ms Hilton was led out of the court in handcuffs and crying "Mom, Mom. It's not right" as she was taken away to serve the remainder of her 45-day sentence for violating her probation in a reckless driving conviction. It was not immediately clear how many days she would serve. Ms Hilton, 26, had been transferred on Thursday from jail to house arrest for unspecified medical reasons after serving only three days of her sentence.
• The Bush administration said yesterday it would not renominate General Peter Pace as the top US military officer, avoiding a contentious debate with the Democratic-led Congress over unpopular Iraq war. Instead, Defence Secretary Robert Gates nominated Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, the current head of the US Navy, to take over from General Pace, a Marine general, when his two-year term expires at the end of September.