Israel's ground assault on Gaza, along with relentless airstrikes, has pushed the civilian death toll to more than 260. Two Israelis have been reported killed in the fighting—and no Israelis have died yet from rockets launched by Hamas fighters. The United States has urged prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to better mind civilian casualties—Israel believes Hamas hides behind civilians—but Netanyahu is warning instead that he'll expand the invasion.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17—which dropped from the skies over Ukraine, killing nearly 300 humans who had nothing to do with the conflict raging below—was the victim of a missile fired by pro-Russian separatists, the American government is proclaiming, citing intelligence sources. Among the dead were dozens of the world's most august AIDS researchers, all heading to an international conference in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia's government has defended the flight path that put the plane near the disputed city of Donetsk, stressing its approval by regulators and frequent and active use by several other airlines.

It's less clear, for now, who controls the plane's flight recorders, and their expected trove of information about Flight MH17's final moments. Both Ukraine's government and the country's rebels have claimed possession of the black boxes, raising concerns about potential tampering.

Vladimir Putin, whose Russian government has been accused for months now of arming the separatists in Ukraine, is calling anew for a cease-fire in the wake of international opprobrium and threats of even more dire financial sanctions. (He's also been denying rumors that his deteriorating relationship with the United States has Russia looking to reopen an old Soviet spy base in Cuba.)

Same-sex marriage is legal in Florida! Sort of! A judge decided the state's ban on marriage equality in constitutional—but decided the ruling should apply only to the freewheeling Florida Keys.

Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's aging playboy ex-prime minister, convinced an appeals court to believe his claims he never paid a 17-year-old girl for sex when he was running the country and then tried to cover up the whole sordid affair.

Meet a funeral director in Massachusetts who seems a little fuzzy on the particulars of his job: A dozen corpses were found stacked in one of his storage units, the day after investigators found a bunch of cremains in a separate storage unit.

Chelsea Manning, the whistle-blower, soldier, and now prisoner who handed over sensitive documents to WikiLeaks, has finally been cleared to start treatment for gender dysphoria. Army jailers initially wanted nothing to do with it, and relented only after the Bureau of Prisons refused a request to send Manning into a civilian facility.

Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News and 21st Century Fox, is lusting heavily after Time Warner, owner of CNN and Warner Bros. If Murdoch gets his wish, it'll have to be a hostile takeover. Time Warner's board wants nothing to do with an indecent proposal worth anywhere from $80 billion to $91 billion.

Matchmaking Internet page eHarmony has placed its advertising budget into the tender hands of former Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst—who presumably knows a few things about "the nookie."

The government is most certainly laughing and pointing (and no doubt doing worse) at your nude photos.