Middle East fighting intensifies. The U.S. accuses Russia of a missile treaty violation. And a California judge says the sale of the L.A. Clippers can move forward.
It's Tuesday, and here are the "5 things to know for your New Day."
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
Accused of violations: 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 Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Tuesday by fierce fighting in the area between pro-Russian 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 Sunday and Monday.
Killer disease: Two American health care workers are among those infected with Ebola in Western Africa. Both are receiving treatment. Health officials in the region are having a tough time getting a handle on the outbreak. Liberia has closed its border to try to suppress it. As of July 20, the World Health Organization had confirmed 224 cases of Ebola in Liberia, including 127 deaths. Overall, Ebola has killed at least 660 people in West Africa. There were 45 new cases reported in the region between July 18 and July 20.
5. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
Roadblock removed: A California probate judge has ruled that a deal to sell the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team for a league-record price of $2 billion can move forward. Judge Michael Levanas tentatively ruled in favor of Shelly Sterling, saying the estranged wife of Donald Sterling acted properly in removing her husband from the trust that owns the team. Donald Sterling will appeal, his attorneys said. No surprise there.
Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a couple of others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.
- Too much energy: These sleepy English bulldog pups just can't keep up with this fun-loving bull terrier.
- Pint-sized percussionist: Watch this 3-year-old Russian boy tear up the drum kit with a brass band. Clap along!
- Feline fantasy: Listen to this leopard purr with satisfaction as a zookeeper hits just the right spot.
- Batkid documentary: Back in November, the world paused for a little boy with Leukemia to live his dream of becoming Batman. His story is now being told in a documentary: "Batkid Begins."
- First impressions: This relationship between a baby elephant and a cat is a bit prickly at the start. Check out the body language from the pachyderm as it walks away.
There you go. All you need to know to get an early start to your morning.
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