That was... brief. What was supposed to be a 72-hour "humanitarian" cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, between Israel and Hamas, lasted only two. Palestinian militants have been accused of killing two Israeli soldiers and kidnapping another (Hamas, of course, denies it all)—prompting condemnations from Secretary of State John Kerry and the very strong chance of renewed air and artillery strikes. Also today? The US Senate approved more money for Israel's defense, this time to prop up its rocket shield, named Iron Dome.
Our newest import? It's Ebola! A patient infected with the horrifyingly contagious disease is going to being flown from West Africa and treated in a (pray to your maker/higher power) super-secure hospital in Atlanta. There are reports the patient might be one of two American aid workers who'd gotten ill while trying to help stanch the world's worst known Ebola outbreak. Don't panic... Don't... panic....
Job growth has been boffo. Again. July marked the sixth consecutive month the American economy has added 200,000 jobs—and the unemployment rate even inched up, which is actually not a terrible thing, because it means people who'd abandoned hope for work are dipping their toes back into the country's slightly less chilly workaday waters.
A court in Uganda has cast aside a notorious package of anti-gay laws that promised, among other horrors, life in prison for anyone found to have engaged in "gay behavior." That sounds good, but the court rested on a technicality: It said Uganda's parliament lacked a quorum when voting. Which means the country's military dictatorship could pretty easily appeal.
"We so totally spied on you," the CIA finally admits to Congress. "Sorry we said we didn't! Whoops!"
The best way to bankrupt Russia, world economists have figured out, is for everyone to stop driving—and bring down oil prices, pretty much the ONLY pillar of the Russian economy.
Vladimir Putin's got a lot on his mind these days, thanks to the Ukraine civil war he helped start and has pretty much kept feeding all along. If he gives in to the west and drops his support of the rebels, he'll have to do battle with the nationalists he's inflamed in his own country. But if he gives in to the hawks at home, he risks World War III. NBD.
Colorado seems to have decided, rather sensibly, that all drivers in the state should be regulated and licensed, for safety's sake, no matter their immigration status. Nativists and anti-immigration types hate this kind of thing. And we can expect to see a lot of this talk in Oregon, too—when a similar measure lands on our November ballot.
George W. Bush has put down his paintbrushes to write a book about his Pops, the first President Bush. It's kind of a surprise, apparently? And the author, despite the close and personal subject, still needed help with "research."
Bill Clinton, giving an eerily timed speech in Australia on September 10, 2001: "And I'm just saying, you know, if I were Osama bin Laden—he's a very smart guy. I spent a lot of time thinking about him. And I nearly got him once. I nearly got him. And I could have killed him but I would have had to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and killed 300 innocent women and children and then I would have been no better than him. And so I didn't do it."
THIS HERE IKEA HACK—A CHURCH GOT CAUGHT STORING VERY OLD BONES IN PLASTIC BAGS—IS NOT RECOMMENDED AT HOME.