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Chatter: What we're hearing

Need to know: It's been a week of back and forth between U.S. and Israeli officials. This morning Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Israel's moves to reduce tension "useful and productive." (New York Times)

Want to know: That other foreign policy debate this week was over Chinese currency "manipulation." GlobalPost's Thomas Mucha explains why the dollar-yuan exchange rate matters so much — it's all about domestic politics, of course, in both countries. (GlobalPost) In Europe, Germany has prompted similar grumbles. It exports way more than it buys from its neighbors, several of whom now face a debt crisis, writes Cameron Abadi.

Dull but important: Speaking to the BBC's Lyse Doucet, the U.N.'s former special representative to Afghanistan, Kai Eide, says channels of communication with senior Taliban officials have broken down. (BBC)

Just because: The Egyptian government is using state funds to renovate historic synagogues in Cairo. But many Egyptians are none too pleased to see taxpayer money go in that direction. Why is the government pursuing the renovations? Some say history, some say politics. (GlobalPost)

Wacky: Scientists in Germany moved one step closer to making Harry Potter's fictional invisibility cloak a reality. (AP)