Chairman of the TNC Mahmud Jibril and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meeting in Istanbul, July 15, 2011

From Matthew Lee, the AP: [Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton announced Friday that Washington accepts the Transitional National Council as the legitimate governing authority of the Libyan people. Diplomatic recognition of the council means that the U.S. will be able to fund the opposition with some of the more than $30 billion in Gahdafi-regime assets that are frozen in American banks.

From Andrew Quinn, Reuters:  "Until an interim authority is in place, the United States will recognize the TNC as the legitimate governing authority for Libya, and we will deal with it on that basis," Clinton said in prepared remarks.  (photo: Saul Loeb/AP)