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Wolf Blitzer delivers the most important breaking news and political, international, and national security stories of the day. Tune to The Situation Room weekdays 5-6:30pm ET on CNN.

August 23rd, 2011
04:35 PM ET

BLITZER’S BLOG: U.S. handing over frozen Libyan assets to new govt.

By CNN's Wolf Blitzer

(CNN) - This is one of those historic moments in world history, and, once again, we’re seeing it unfold live on television. Our intrepid CNN correspondents, including Sara Sidner, Matthew Chance, and Arwa Damon, and their crews and producers are risking their lives to bring us the story. Like all of you, I am very worried about their safety. Their work is amazing.

In the midst of all of this, we’re getting new information on what’s going on from the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice. I just interviewed her.

She said the United States soon will start unfreezing some of the $33 billion in Libyan assets being held by the United States and will start handing over significant amounts to the Libyan National Transitional Council, which the United States now recognizes as the legitimate Libyan government.

Rice says it’s up to the Libyans to decide whether to try Gadhafi inside Libya or send him to the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands. She says the United States has confidence in the reliability of the NTC even though its credibility has been seriously questioned after word surfaced that two of Gadhafi’s sons are free after NTC spokesmen had insisted they had been captured. Still, Rice insists NTC officials with whom she has met are “credible and responsible.”

Like other U.S. officials, she is concerned about the security of Libya’s chemical weapons supplies. “We continue to watch it carefully,” she says.

There have been reports that the Libyan military has lots of sarin and mustard gas in storage. The last thing the world needs now is for some of those canisters to be handed over to unsavory characters.

Finally, she expressed concern about the journalists stuck at the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli. “We’re monitoring it closely,” she says.

I’m not sure what – if anything – the U.S. government can do to help those journalists. It’s obviously very tense and worrisome.

Live blog: Rebels say Gadhafi forces firing back on own compound after it was seized

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Filed under: Libya • Wolf Blitzer
August 23rd, 2011
12:33 AM ET

Tracking the Libyan rebels' advance

CNN's Brian Todd uses the data wall to explain how the Libyan rebels advanced on Tripoli.

RELATED: A timeline of the conflict in Libya

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Filed under: Brian Todd • data wall • Libya