Israel: Israeli soldiers have been told to remove pictures of naked women from barrack walls after a new division commander made surprise visits to their bases. The brigadier general has ordered soldiers to paint the walls white. The only permitted decorations are the Israeli flag or official portraits of the president and chief of staff.

Germany: Conscripts in the German army are to be given money to buy their own underwear if they do not like the standard issue. "It turned out a lot of soldiers, particularly when they were going out, didn't find them sexy enough or something," a ministry spokesman said, so the men are to be offered a sum equal to the procurement cost - about pounds 15 - to make their own choice of briefs, vests and T-shirts.

Israel again: The Israeli army has promised to stop reading soldiers' letters home. The army's behavioural research department had been doing so as a way of gauging troop morale, but a civil rights group objected.