US Mideast Envoy George Mitchell hinted over the weekend that the US could withhold loan guarantees from Israel to pressure the Jewish state back to peace talks with Palestinians. Aid has been used to try to change Israel's behavior in the past, with mixed results.
A decision on whether the apparently ill terrorist should be released or transferred is expected soon. The Libyan was given a life sentence for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
Officials say Washington did not notify Beijing before quietly dispatching an amphibious ship and aircraft to provide humanitarian aid.