– A White House National Security Council spokesman disputed Israeli media reports that new U.S. intelligence has found that Iran is closer to having a nuclear weapon than ever before. “We believe that there is time and space to continue to pursue a diplomatic path, backed by growing international pressure on the Iranian government,” the spokesman said. “We continue to assess that Iran is not on the verge of achieving a nuclear weapon.”
– Rebels battling government forces in Aleppo now control a large swath of territory north of the city, including two border crossings into Turkey. The opposition hopes its first substantial enclave can do for them what controlling Benghazi did for Libyan rebels during their uprising against Muammar Qaddafi.
– An Afghan police commander and several of his men killed three U.S. soldiers in the southern province of Helmand while two Afghan soldiers tried to gun down a group of NATO troops outside a military base in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday.
– An Afghan man who lost relatives in a missile strike has started legal proceedings against British government agencies for its role in supplying information to the reported American “kill list” in Afghanistan.
– The Financial Times reports: Iraq has overtaken Iran as the second-largest oil producer within the Opec cartel for the first time since the late 1980s in a highly symbolic shift that highlights the impact of western sanctions on Tehran.