The Top 8 Headlines You Might Have Missed / Haaretz Newsline, August 21

From Iran's upgrade of a short-range surface-to-surface missile, to studies citing the positive influence of Israeli hospital clowns on the medical process, Haaretz sums up the top headlines from Israel, the Middle East, and the Jewish World.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the West on Tuesday against any unilateral action on Syria after President Barack Obama said U.S. forces could act if the Syrian leader deployed chemical weapons against rebels trying to topple him.

Senior defense officials have recently been visiting the ultra-Orthodox Shas party's spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, to discuss a possible Israeli attack on Iran.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak plans to hold consultations with the Council for Higher Education and the Ariel University Center before deciding whether or not to recognize the Ariel University Center as a full-fledged university.

Iran's official news agency says the country has upgraded a short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile just weeks after it was test-fired.

According to a government survey, last July saw another rise in unemployment rates. Results of the study, released on Tuesday, culled by the Israeli Employment Service, said that 20,100 people lost their jobs in July, with the overall number of unemployed Israelis reaching 187,200.

The Israeli embassy in Dublin was evacuated on Tuesday after a suspicious device was found on the premises, police said, later adding that the incident represented a false alarm.

A new Bible studies curriculum in the state's religious school system has stirred up a storm of controversy, surrounding the appointment of a woman as the new supervisor of Bible studies.

Israel's hospital clowning guild, Dream Doctors, is advocating for more inclusion of hospital clowns in the medical treatment process, citing studies that claim a clown's presence in pre-op reduces the amount of anesthesia administered and speeds up a patient's recovery time.