John Galliano leaving his trial yesterday.(Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images)

• While insisting on the need for eventual Israeli-Syrian peace, a U.S. senior administration official said no deal was conceivable with the Damascus regime as it is currently behaving. [JTA/Forward]

• President Ahmadinejad and Grand Ayatollah Khamanei are basically playing the Game of Thrones in Iran. [NYT]

• The International Committee of the Red Cross wants proof that captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit is still alive, nearly two years after the last sign that he was. [Reuters/JPost]

• John Galliano exercised the substance-abuse defense. His verdict is due September 8. [NYT]

• Five Russian nuclear experts who helped design Iran’s facility at Bushehr died in a plane crash. [Haaretz]

• President Obama announced a speeded-up pullout from Afghanistan, as well as a changed mission there that will now, in more limited fashion, focus on counterterrorism. [NYT]