Prime Minister Hariri affirms his candidacy for prime minister.(Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images)

• As regional actors abandoned plans to strike a temporary deal, Saad Hariri insisted defiantly that he wanted to remain Lebanon’s prime minister, while Hezbollah said it doesn’t want him. This is what we call a powderkeg. [NYT]

• Two-day Iranian nuclear talks in Turkey begin today, with optimism in the air and expectations firmly tugged low. [LAT]

• The Terkel Commission, which is Israel’s probe of the flotilla incident, is expected to clear the IDF when it issues the first part of its report Sunday. [Arutz Sheva]

• This Fayyad fellow: What is he really up to? [LAT]

• Top administration Mideast adviser Dennis Ross is in Israel, trying to hammer down each side’s security requirements. [JTA]

• Hamas has accused Israel the Palestinian Authority of halting important medical shipments into Gaza. [Haaretz]