1. MIDEAST CRISIS
The battle heats up: Three weeks into the Gaza conflict, fighting is intensifying, the death toll is climbing and Israel has warned its citizens to be ready for a prolonged battle. Efforts to bring about a lasting cease-fire between Israel and Hamas have failed to gain traction, despite calls from world leaders. Israeli airstrikes and artillery rained down on Gaza early Tuesday as the Palestinian death toll rose above 1,100, according to health authorities. The Israeli military reported that 10 of its soldiers were killed Monday,
2. U.S. – RUSSIA MISSILE TREATY
Missile treaty: The United States has accused Russia of violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, citing cruise missile tests that date to 2008, senior State Department and White House officials said. “This is a very serious matter which we have attempted to address with Russia for some time now,” a senior State Department official said yesterday. President Barack Obama has written his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a letter about the matter.
3. UKRAINE CRISIS
Fighting blocks way: International investigators and observers were again prevented from reaching the crash site of downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on Tuesday by fierce fighting in the area between pro-Russia rebels and Ukrainian forces. The 50-person team of Dutch and Australian experts, accompanied by monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, was also forced to abandon its attempts to reach the site on Sunday and Monday.
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