The young Gaza cease-fire endures its first test after Israeli soldiers kill a 20-year-old Palestinian and injure nine others during a gunbattle in a nervously monitored buffer zone near the border. The men went to pray on the land, but reportedly decided it would be better to throw rocks at the soldiers—who responded with overwhelming deadly force.

Will Hamas decide if this is big enough to go back to lobbing rockets and taunting Israel into, one more, killing dozens of Palestinian civilians? That's uncertain. But here's what isn't: The group has come out of the conflict firmly in control of the Palestinian narrative.

Egypt's Islamist president,
Mohammed Morsi, also is laying claim to some newfound swagger after his own role brokering the Gaza truce. But a day after a stunning power grab in which he decided he's above the reach of any court of law, protesters exploded in indignant rage—taking the streets and setting fire to Muslim Brotherhood political offices.

Russia keeps tightening the screws on Pussy Riot—sending one of the feminist punk protest outfit's members to solitary confinement after her fellow prison camp inmates apparently got a little too heated during a discussion about religion. That's the official reason, at least.

China answers the American "pivot to Asia" by reminding neighbors like Thailand that it's already there—and has fantastic amounts of money it's willing to spend if everyone plays ball.

This month's election
has been hailed as a victory for progressive ideals and moderation—but that's only one half of the story. Thirty-seven states now have one-party government—the most in 60 years—and 24 of those states are ruled by Republicans. So good luck with all that.

Dense fog on a Texas interstate yesterday led to a 100-car pileup that left two people dead. Says one survivor: “As we were trying to get out, a car hit us again and then after that car hit us, we jumped out and then the 18-wheeler came and hit all the cars.”

The president asked
a group of leading economists to set politics aside and tell him the best way to jump-start the economy. They told him he needed to find a way to forgive billions in toxic mortgage debt. That's probably not going to happen.

Walmart protesters delightfully annoyed shoppers, security guards, and police officers in nearly every state last night, and walkouts and disruptive actions will continue today. In Portland, one person was arrested inside the Walmart at SE 82nd and Holgate. Others were merely asked to kindly leave by cops and guards—earning a prized spot on the store's blacklist.

Got business at downtown's Central Precinct? If you do, you'll now be greeted by officers banished to desk duty for drunken driving or other misconduct claims. This has upset the clerks who used to work the front desk and knew what they were doing.