Gilad Shalit.(The Jerusalem Life)

• The United States has proposed less severe U.N. sanctions to try to get Russia and China onboard. [WSJ/Kurdish Globe]

• Meanwhile, an AIPAC-backed letter calling for harsh and unilateral Iran sanctions has been like a magnet for congressional signatures. [Ben Smith]

• The U.S. and Israeli administrations are constructing “the blueprint”: a list of everything that must be settled as preconditions to peace talks. Prime Minister Netanyahu will need his cabinet’s approval; U.S. envoy George Mitchell, who met with Netanyahu yesterday, will take it to the Palestinians. [WP]

• Sid Fleischman, winner of the Newbery Award for best children’s novel for 1986’s The Whipping Boy, died at 90. [NYT]

• Israel’s chief rabbi called on citizens to save a chair at their seders for Gilad Shalit, the captured Israeli soldier. [Ynet]