July 15th, 2014
10:46 AM ET

Cease-Fire Effort Collapses as Rockets, Airstrikes Continue

An Egypt-backed cease-fire between Israel and Hamas fell apart Tuesday as rocket attacks from Gaza were answered by Israeli airstrikes once again.

The rocket attacks from Hamas militants in Gaza never ceased, Israeli officials said. For its part, Israel refrained from airstrikes for about six hours before announcing it was resuming the attacks.

A CNN crew witnessed at least five Israeli airstrikes just as the announcement was made.

The Israel Defense Forces said 47 rockets were fired into Israel during the cease-fire period, which Hamas never accepted.

The faltering of the cease-fire attempt means there may be little hope of seeing an end to the near constant exchange of fire that has so far killed more than 190 Palestinians in Gaza.

Israeli leaders had agreed to the cease-fire, but from the outset warned it would be short-lived if the attacks from Gaza didn't stop.

The Israeli Security Cabinet met early Tuesday morning and decided to halt aerial strikes beginning at 9 a.m. (2 a.m. ET). It resumed strikes about six hours later, by 3 p.m. (8 a.m. ET).

The Egyptian plan calls for all sides to cease hostilities in Gaza. It also calls for the opening of border crossings, once the security situation is stable, and for high-level talks among those involved.

When the plan was announced, there was a split reaction from Hamas. Its military wing rejected any possibility of a cease-fire, while its political wing had said it was considering it.

The stakes are high and climbing.

By Tuesday, the death toll from a week of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza had reached 194 with at least 1,400 wounded, according to Palestinian health authorities.

The death toll is now greater than the number of people killed in Gaza during the 2012 conflict between Israel and Hamas.

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July 10th, 2014
07:13 AM ET

Obama, Perry Meet in Texas Amid 'Urgent Humanitarian Situation'

President Barack Obama spoke Wednesday in Texas about the immigration crisis, urging Congress to approve his request for $3.7 billion in emergency spending.

"The problem here is not a major disagreement around the actions that could be helpful in dealing with the problem. The challenge ... is Congress prepared to act to put the resources in place to get this done?" Obama asked during a stop in Dallas.

"Are folks more interested in politics or are they more interested in solving the problem?"

They shook hands and then boarded Obama's helicopter for Dallas, where they met with faith leaders and local officials to discuss options for responding to the influx of young immigrants illegally entering the country.

When asked by a reporter to address those who say he should visit the border to witness the immigration crisis firsthand, the President said he wasn't interested in photo ops.
"There's nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on. This isn't theater. This is a problem," he said.

Discussions aren't enough for GOP critics or even some of Obama's fellow Democrats.

"This is a real crisis and the President needs to treat it as such and I think traveling from Dallas to the border is a 500-mile trip," Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told CNN. "That's not far to go on Air Force One."

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a possible GOP presidential nominee in 2016, called the situation similar to the much-disparaged federal response to Hurricane Katrina by the Bush administration.

"For him to go to Texas and spend two days shaking down donors and never even getting near the border mess he helped create would be like flying into New Orleans in the highest waters of Katrina to eat Creole cooking, but never getting near the Ninth Ward, the Superdome, or the Convention Center where thousands languished in squalor," Huckabee said.

Perry seized on a similar theme, saying the immigration crisis is no different than another natural disaster - Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

"The American people expect to see their President when there is a disaster," he told CNN's Kate Bolduan in an interview that aired Thursday. "He showed up at Sandy. Why not Texas?"

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Oregon Shooting: 'This is Becoming the Norm.' But Will Anything Change?
June 11th, 2014
05:40 AM ET

Oregon Shooting: 'This is Becoming the Norm.' But Will Anything Change?

Tuesday’s shooting in Portland, Oregon was the second mass shooting in a week. President Obama fears “this is becoming the norm.” If one of the most powerful men in the world feels powerless when it comes to gun legislation, then where do we go from here? Join the discussion on our Facebook page. 


The scenes are becoming depressingly familiar.

A gunman opens fire on an American campus. Students, teachers and administrators duck for cover. Parents anxiously wait for their kids to check in, praying for the phone to ring.

It played out again Tuesday at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon, a city of 16,400 people about 12 miles east of Portland.

A student at the school shot and killed another student before apparently taking his own life.

The victim was a 14-year-old freshman Emilio Hoffman. Police haven't yet disclosed the shooter's identity – or, more importantly, what compelled him to carry out such a horrifying act.


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June 10th, 2014
12:24 PM ET

Stabbed Wisconsin Girl's Family Wants Supporters to "Go Purple"

Less than two weeks after she was brutally stabbed, a 12-year-old Wisconsin girl is home recuperating and feeling well enough to tease her younger brother, her family says.

"Her physical wounds, thankfully, are healing more quickly than anticipated and her pain is decreasing daily," the family said in a statement. "For that, we are so grateful."

The family has designated Tuesday as "Go Purple" day. It's the survivor's favorite color and the family is asking supporters to wear it.

The family has asked that the victim not be named for her safety and because she is a minor.

Purple is also part of the theme of the official #HeartsForHealing fundraiser for the victim and her family.

The campaign has raised more than $42,000 toward its goal of $250,000, and has also resulted in an outpouring of homemade purple hearts to be delivered to the girl and her family.

"The messages that people are including in their hearts, the time and effort that they're putting into some of these projects, it was absolutely incredible," Dana Hoffman, a family friend and spokeswoman and one of the organizers of the Hearts for Healing campaign, told CNN's "New Day."

The girl's family said it is "overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from the surrounding community, across the country, and even overseas."

To help, visit: http://www.gofundme.com/HeartsForHealingWi

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