President Barack Obama departed Joint Base Andrews Tuesday evening aboard Air Force One for his first visit to Israel and the West Bank since he became president in 2009.
Iran is the top issue as Obama heads to Jerusalem for meetings with Israeli officials, including President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The prime minister has at times voiced concerns Washington has a less urgent view than Israel of Iran's progress toward developing a nuclear warhead. But Netanyahu has welcomed the administration's more muscular language of late that "all options" are on the table and that its policy is to prevent - not contain - a nuclear Iran.
[Updated at 2:40 p.m. ET] Rick Santorum suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday.
[Posted at 2:13 p.m. ET] Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum will announce he will suspend his campaign on Tuesday at an event in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a senior adviser to the campaign tells CNN.
A second source told CNN that Santorum, his wife, and campaign manager held a conference call with staff Tuesday, advising them not to grow discouraged.
"We are going to stay involved and stay active in the next couple of months," Santorum said, according to the source.
The CIA is operating in Libya to help the United States increase its "military and political understanding" of the situation, a U.S. intelligence source said.
"But yes, we are gathering intel firsthand and we are in contact with some opposition entities," the source told CNN.
The White House refused to comment on a Reuters report Wednesday that President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel troops.
"I will reiterate what the President said yesterday - no decision has been made about providing arms to the opposition or to any group in Libya," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. "We're not ruling it out or ruling it in. We're assessing and reviewing options for all types of assistance that we could provide to the Libyan people, and have consulted directly with the opposition and our international partners about these matters."
The Obama administration is lifting the moratorium on deepwater oil drilling that was put in place after the Gulf oil disaster, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Tuesday.
Salazar and the new head of the government agency overseeing offshore drilling, Michael Bromwich, were scheduled to hold a 1 p.m.
news conference on the issue.
Salazar suspended certain deepwater drilling activities on July 12 under the premise that certain deepwater drilling posed a threat to the marine, coastal, and human environment.
Since then, Salazar has determined that deepwater oil and gas drilling can resume provided that operators certify compliance with all existing rules and requirements, including those that recently went into effect, the Department of Interior said in a press release.
Members of industry must also demonstrate the availability of adequate blowout containment resources, the department said.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has decided to run as a nonaligned candidate rather than compete for the Republican Party nomination in his bid for the Senate, a GOP fundraiser tells CNN.
The fundraiser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Crist has begun contacting financial supporters to tell them that he is running as a non-party affiliated candidate and to ask for their continued support.
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