British Prime Minister David Cameron plans to take advantage of next week's judo match to hold talks on Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former judo competitor.
Human rights groups and others want to ban another Russian's appearance at the Games, Vladimir Lisin, who is a steel titan and billionaire serving as vice president of the Russian Olympic Committee. In June a shipping company he owns allegedly transported a container ship of weapons to Syria.
Fighting in Aleppo continues to intensify, with Syrian forces using attack helicopters to shell rebels in densely populated urban enclaves of the city. Western officials, including Turkey's foreign minister, are meeting with top Syrian defector, Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass, in hopes that he may become the key to a post-Assad transition in Syria.
Egypt's new government is expected to announce its Cabinet on Saturday. Observers had hoped for cross-party representation but now expect that the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party will dominate key positions.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh described his meeting with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi as a "turning point" in relations. Egypt has eased visa restrictions for Palestinians under 40 traveling from Gaza and may ease commercial restrictions at the border, as well, a potential threat to its peace agreement with Israel.
Story of the week: Pressure mounts to stop forced abortions in China, as mainstream media finally begin to cover the brutal practice under China's one-child policy. An underground railroad of Chinese and U.S.-based organizations and individuals are working to help women who want to have their babies.