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Game Changer

Were it not for the hundreds killed, it would also be comical the ridiculous series of events Vladimir Putin's reckless behavior led up to this morning. For months Putin has been playing with fire, making trouble and having it work mainly to his advantage. Certainly in the context of Russian history and nationalist aspiration reclaiming the Crimea is a vast accomplishment. But the whole thing blew up in his face today in a way, and with repercussions I don't think - even with all wall to wall coverage - we can quite grasp.

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The New York Times has audio, released by Ukraine, purporting to be phone conversations between pro-Russian separatist morons as they realized they'd shot down a civilian airliner. Must be heard.

Into Gaza

While most of our focus has been on Ukraine, Israel this afternoon (eastern time) launched what appears to be a significant ground incursion into Gaza. Palestinian sources are reporting "scores" of casualties. The reports out of Israel are scattered and contradictory. A statement from the Prime Minister's office says the assault is focused on destroying the cross border tunnel infrastructure between Gaza and Israel. Initial reports suggested a limited incursion. But IDF spokespeople are now saying that the IDF is operating in the north, center and south inside the Gaza Strip. There are also unconfirmed reports of a possible amphibious landing as well. All of this comes amidst continued rocket fire into southern and central Israel and along the coastal plain.

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Malaysian airliner reportedly shot down over the Ukraine.

(When I saw the first report of a Malaysia jetliner going down in eastern Ukraine, I thought, this cannot be a coincidence. And of course, it's not. Good lord. - jm.)

Blame Buzzfeed

AP: "Police says the Russian blue cat named Kush went berserk inside a DeLand home July 5, scratching owners Teresa and James Gregory on their arms and legs. The couple retreated to a bedroom and called 911."