Update as of 0800 Eastern Time:
Bottom Line Up Front:
While I have no idea how true this is, it is an interesting item to keep tucked in the back of our brains due to its possible implications.
From Fox News (Israel):
Israel is drawing up plans to attack Iran's nuclear facilities and is prepared to launch a strike without backing from the U.S., an Israeli newspaper reported Thursday.
Officials in the Israeli Defense Ministry told The Jerusalem Post that while they prefer to act in consultation with the U.S., they are preparing plans that would allow them to act alone.
"It is always better to coordinate," a senior Defense Ministry official told the newspaper. "But we are also preparing options that do not include coordination."
It would be difficult, but not impossible, to launch a strike against Iran without permission from the U.S., as the American Air Force controls the Iraqi airspace Israel's jets would have to enter on a bombing mission.
"There are a wide range of risks one takes when embarking on such an operation," a senior Israeli official told the Post.
Iran, the world's fourth-largest crude oil producer, maintains that its uranium enrichment activities are aimed at making fuel for a network of planned electricity-generating nuclear power plants and not for developing weapons.
From CNN (Pakistan):
Pakistan understands the need to move "urgently and transparently" against extremists on its soil after last week's terrorist attacks in India, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said after meetings with Pakistani leaders.
"I found a Pakistani government that's focused on the threat and understands its responsibility to respond to terrorism and extremism wherever it is found," Rice told reporters Thursday after sessions with the country's president and prime minister.
After the talks, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari pledged to assist in the investigation and move against "any Pakistani elements found involved in the attack," his office said.
Rice landed in Islamabad in an effort to ease tensions between India and Pakistan following the terrorist attacks in India's financial capital Mumbai.
Indian authorities have said the gunmen who killed nearly 180 people came from Pakistan, but Pakistan has blamed "non-state actors" for the attacks.
Rice said the discussions focused on the attacks and what she called Pakistan's obligation "to deal with those who may use Pakistani territory, even if they are non-state actors."
"There does need to be action," she said. "There needs to be action urgently and transparently. And it's a message that has been well-received in Pakistan, because it's Pakistan's fight as well."
More to follow:
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