– President Obama shot back at the notion of “leading from behind” in Libya last night on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. “We led from the front,” he said, “We introduced the resolution in the United Nations that allowed us to protect civilians in Libya when Gadhafi was threatening to slaughter them. It was our extraordinary men and women in uniform, our pilots who took out their air defense systems, set up a no-fly zone.”
– Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of Libya’s National Transitional Council, today urged NATO to maintain its involvement in the country until the end of the year. NATO ambassadors are expected on Friday to endorse a preliminary decision to halt the Libya mission on October 31.
– With telecommunications companies limiting the information they’re willing to give to the F.B.I. in response to requests made in “national security letters,” the Senate is taking up legislation to explicitly expand the authority of those requests.
– Afghan officials say the country’s own security forces could soon start replacing U.S. and NATO forces in all or parts of 17 of the nation’s 34 provinces. President Hamid Karzai is to officially announce his second list of transition sites at a conference next week.
– The ceasefire between Yemen’s government and a powerful tribal militia failed to take hold as news reports surfaced that the U.S. ambassador there met this week with embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh for the first time since his return from convalescing in Saudi Arabia.
– “We know that we are winners, but we don’t want to take everything,” said an official from the Tunisian Islamist party that claims between 40 and 52 percent of votes in last weekend’s election and is now pledging to form a coalition government with secular parties.
– Four were arrested for smuggling U.S. parts through Singapore to Iran, where, according to the Justice Department, some of the materials were used in the construction of improvised explosive devices seized by American forces in Iraq.
– Iran’s supreme leader, Ayataollah Ali Khamenei, proposed abolishing the Iranian presidency, a move former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said would undermine Islamic Republic’ democratic system.