TPM News

Melody Barnes, White House domestic policy advisor, is leaving at the end of the year to pursue private-sector opportunities and spend time with family. President Obama, in a statement, said he “will always be grateful that a woman of Melody’s brilliance, creativity and heart led our domestic policy team during such a challenging time for our nation.”

“Melody has left a lasting legacy, developing and implementing policies that have helped remake our education system, spurred innovation, and fostered opportunity and equality for millions of Americans.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls Qaddafi’s death “important,” CNN reports. “A bloody war with Qaddafi waged against his own people now comes to a close,” she added.

Also from CNN:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office called Moammar Gadhafi’s “disappearance” Thursday a “major step” in the struggle by Libyans to “free themselves from dictatorship and violence.”

Watch the White House’s news briefing below. The AP reports that Libyan officials have told the U.S. about Qaddafi’s death, but the White House hasn’t made a statement yet.

Details of Qaddafi’s final hours in Sirte remain unclear, but the BBC has pieced together what it knows so far.

National Journal, citing a “senior Western military official” reports that Libya’s interim government has given NATO pictures and video evidence that should “leave no doubt” of Qaddafi’s death.

A new poll of likely Iowa GOP Caucus participants shows businessman Herman Cain continuing his surge, with a healthy seven point lead on former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, just inside the poll’s margin of error. Cain gets 28 percent of GOPers, Romney 21 and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) is third at 10.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has fallen hard in the primary process, is sixth in the poll, behind the the top three candidates along with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). Just a month ago, Perry led Rasmussen’s polling of Iowa by eleven points.

Marco Rubio is not rushing to praise the Obama Administration following reports of Qaddafi’s death. “Today’s not a day to point fingers,” he said on Fox News, before asserting that France and Britain really deserve the credit. Watch:

CNN video of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reacts to the reported news that Libya’s former dictator Muammar Qaddafi has been captured.

“Unconfirmed,” says Clinton, “but we’ve had a bunch of those before.”