On This Day: President Obama plays basketball with senior staff and their family members during a retreat at Camp David on July 18, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
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Today (all times Eastern)
11:25: Live from the 2014 Kids’ State Dinner
11:30: President Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine
1:0: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest
1:30: The President and Vice President meet with Secretary of the Treasury Lew, Oval Office
1:45: The President and Vice President meet with Secretary of State Kerry, Oval Office
4:20: The President meets with Secretary of Health and Human Services Burwell, Oval Office
5:40: The President departs the White House en route Camp David
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BBC: MH17 Malaysia plane crash in Ukraine: What we know
At least 298 people are presumed dead after a Malaysia Airlines jet crashed in eastern Ukraine, close to the border with Russia.
Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was travelling over the conflict-hit region when it disappeared from radar. A total of 283 passengers and 15 crew members were on board.
A candlelit vigil in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
BBC: MH17 crash: Ukraine rebels ‘to allow access to site’
Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine are to give international investigators access to the crash site of a Malaysia Airlines jet.
The rebels vowed to secure the site and allow the recovery of bodies, the Organization for the Security and Co-operation in Europe said.
The plane, carrying 298 people, crashed in rebel-held territory on Thursday.
The two sides in Ukraine’s civil conflict have accused each other of shooting the jet down with a missile.
A ball of fire is seen following an early morning Israeli air strike, on July 11, 2014, on Rafah in the southern of Gaza strip
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Juan Cole: Falluja and Gaza: Why Counter-Terrorism fails when the Problem is Political
….. the Israeli military profoundly misunderstands Hamas. It is ridiculous to dismiss it as a terrorist organization. it is broadly based and has an important political wing.
For this reason, the Israel ground invasion of northern Gaza will be no more successful than the US invasion of Falluja. The Israelis cannot actually destroy Hamas or its capabilities as long as significant numbers of Palestinians in Gaza support it. That support is political, having to do with the organization’s role in at least trying to stand up to Israeli oppression, occupation and blockade.
Just as the enemies of the US ultimately prevailed in Falluja, so the enemies of Israel will prevail in Gaza.
Oppression and occupation produce resistance. Until the oppression and the occupation are addressed, the mere inflicting of attrition on the military capabilities of the resistance will not snuff it out. Other leaders will take the place of those killed.
Full post here
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Children read while sitting in a street shelter, in anticipation of Code Red sirens alerting of incoming rockets, on July 11, 2014 in Nitzan, Israel
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Nathan Thrall (NYT): How the West Chose War in Gaza
As Hamas fires rockets at Israeli cities and Israel follows up its extensive airstrikes with a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, the most immediate cause of this latest war has been ignored: Israel and much of the international community placed a prohibitive set of obstacles in the way of the Palestinian “national consensus” government that was formed in early June.
That government was created largely because of Hamas’s desperation and isolation. The group’s alliance with Syria and Iran was in shambles. Its affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt became a liability after a July 2013 coup replaced an ally, President Mohamed Morsi, with a bitter adversary, Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Hamas’s coffers dried up as General Sisi closed the tunnels that had brought to Gaza the goods and tax revenues on which it depended.
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On This Day
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The 2012 NCAA champion Lady Bears with President Obama at the White House on July 18, 2012
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Morning again everyone – short of time again this morning, so just a few links to the two main international stories of the day (thank you Jackie and Vickie), we’ll catch up with other news through the day.