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1. IRAQ

Back again: U.S. President Barack Obama has authorized “targeted airstrikes” in Iraq to protect American personnel and help Iraqi forces. A key concern for U.S. officials: dozens of American consular staff and military advisers working with the Iraqi military in Irbil, the largest city in Iraq’s Kurdish region. Obama said last night that he’d directed the military to take targeted strikes against Islamist militants, who have been gobbling up territory and slaughtering minority groups. The United States airdropped meals and water yesterday for those groups that fled ahead of the onslaught, a senior administration official said.

2. MIDEAST

Truce is over: Israel reported rocket fire from Gaza today as the three-day Gaza cease-fire came to an end without an agreement to extend it. Hamas, the Islamic militant group that holds power in Gaza, said that Palestinian officials at talks in Cairo hadn’t agreed to extend the truce but would continue negotiations. It wasn’t immediately clear how Israel would respond. The IDF pulled its ground forces out of Gaza on Tuesday but said they were maintaining “defensive positions” around the territory.

3. HAWAII STORMS

Stormy weekend: Hurricane Iselle lashed Hawaii with winds and heavy rain today as residents took cover, knowing that a second storm, Hurricane Julio, was on its way this weekend. Shoppers snapped up water and other supplies as the storms approached. The shoppers were preparing for a potentially devastating one-two tropical cyclone punch, starting with Iselle, with winds of 75 mph, and Julio, about 900 miles behind it. Up to 12 inches of rain could fall, forecasters say.

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source: CNN.com

 

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