The CIA World Factbook is usually very handy, and Gallup WorldView updates on global opinion. The IPE Network links the community. Odin's Castle talks about world history. Lists from Price, and quotes from GIGA and ThinkExist.
Mideast news is covered here, and at Arab Net and the (in)famous Al-Jazeera. Laundry list of academic institutes specializing in Near Eastern/Middle Eastern studies: Berkeley's CMES and Moral Economy Program, Chicago's CMES, Columbia's MEI, Georgetown's CMCU, Harvard's CMES and NELC, Michigan's CMENAS, Oxford's CIS, and Princeton's NES. Nonacademic think-tanks are the CSID, GLORIA, the MEF, the MEI, and the Washington Institute. MESA is the umbrella body. A critique of Mideast studies may be found here.