– Amid Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s visit to the Jewish state, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the idea that the U.S.-led sanctions campaign against Iran will convince its leaders to make a deal over its nuclear program. “Time to resolve this issue peacefully is running out,” he said.
–Reuters reports: President Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government. The order, signed earlier this year, broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.
– U.N. observers reported that the Syrian government fighter jets fired rockets on rebel positions in Aleppo yesterday while rebels haver reportedly commandeered tanks and other heavy weapons there.
– Hamas denounced a Palestinian official’s visit to the site of a Nazi death camp in Poland, and called the Holocaust an “alleged tragedy.”
– House Republicans and Obama administration officials traded jabs yesterday at a hearing about which party was more responsible for the automatic spending cuts set to take effect next year.