Monday’s Mini-Report, 7.21.14

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Rising death toll: “Four Israeli soldiers and 10 Palestinian militants were killed inside Israeli territory Monday morning, Israeli military officials said…. As diplomatic pressure for a cease-fire mounted on the conflict’s 14th day, the Palestinian death toll topped 500 and the number of Israeli soldiers killed hit 25, more than twice as many as in Israel’s last Gaza ground operation in 2009. Two Israeli civilians have also died from rocket and mortar fire.”
 
* Ukraine: “After days of obstruction, Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine reached an agreement with Malaysia on Monday to surrender the flight recorder boxes of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner downed by a surface-to-air missile last week, and allowed the bodies of the victims to be evacuated by train.”
 
* UN: “The United Nations Security Council, increasing pressure on Russia over the downing of a jetliner of Ukraine, adopted a resolution Monday calling for investigators to have unfettered access to the crash site and demanding a cease-fire in the area.”
 
* Related news: “Iran has turned all of its enriched uranium closest to the level needed to make nuclear arms into more harmless forms, the UN nuclear agency says.”
 
* Good question: “In Ukraine, American and other foreign investigators have thus far been unable to secure the access they need. ‘Separatists are removing evidence from the crash site,’ Obama said. ‘All of which begs the question, what exactly are they trying to hide?’”
 
* Giving diplomacy more time: “Iran, the United States and the five other countries negotiating the future of the Iranian nuclear program have agreed to a four-month extension of the talks, giving them more time to try to bridge major differences over whether Tehran will be forced to dismantle parts of its nuclear infrastructure, according to a statement released early Saturday in Vienna by all seven nations.”
 
* Border crisis: “The number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border in recent weeks appears to be dropping substantially, the White House said Monday. While an average of 355 unaccompanied children crossed the Rio Grande every day in June, an average of 150 migrant children per day were apprehended crossing the border over the first two weeks of July, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.”
 
* Gun violence: “An 11-year-old girl in Chicago was shot and killed late last week when a stray bullet flew through a window and struck her in the head during a sleepover at a nearby friend’s house…. In addition to [sixth grader Shamiya Adams], 21 other people were shot in a 12-hour span from Friday afternoon to early Saturday morning.”
 
* More on this on tonight’s show: “The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Saturday that Arizona must divulge information about the drugs and executioners it will use to put a man to death Wednesday or the execution will not go forward.”
 
* This may come down a bit on appeal: “R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company must pay $23.6 billion to the estate of a man who died of lung cancer in what may be the largest verdict for a single plaintiff in Florida state history, according to attorneys.”
 
* Team Christie: “Charles Steindel, whose three straight years of optimistic revenue projections influenced six New Jersey credit downgrades, is resigning as Republican Governor Chris Christie’s chief economist. “
 
* The latest installments in the “Ugh, Ron Fournier” series, Parts I, II, III, and IV.
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Monday's Mini-Report, 7.21.14