Good morning, and happy Monday. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Leaders call for rebels to back down at site of downed jet
Leaders from Malaysia, the Netherlands and Australia called on Russia to rein in rebels at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight 17, shot down five days earlier. International monitors and investigators say that they are often blocked from entering certain areas of the debris field and that the pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine are hauling off evidence and bodies. Russian President Vladimir Putin did call for the experts to have unfettered access during a televised statement Monday. He also said the downing of the jet was the fault of the Ukraine government for ending a truce with the pro-Russia rebels. Read more in NEWS.
2. Palestinian death toll breaches 500 after bloodiest day
In the two weeks since the Israeli army began its offensive in Gaza, at least 501 Palestinians have been killed, health officials said Monday. Twenty Israelis also have died, including 13 soldiers killed in heavy fighting that broke out Sunday. The U.N. Security Council Sunday demanded an immediate end to the fighting late Sunday, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is on his way to Egypt to try to broker a ceasefire. Read more in NEWS.
3. Favorable weather helps crews fight massive Washington fires
A week-old wildfire in central Washington grew to more than 370 square miles over the weekend. Four separate blazes that were originally sparked by lightning merged into one massive wildfire on Saturday due to gusty winds, high temperatures and low humidity. But Sunday night finally brought relief in the form of quieter winds and milder temperatures. Rain is expected Wednesday. Read more in NEWS.
4. Murder trial begins for man who shot 19-year-old on porch
Jury selection begins in the murder trial of Theodore Wafer, 54, who shot Renisha McBride when she showed up on his front porch in the middle of the night last year. The Detroit case has drawn attention from civil rights groups and protesters who are likening the case to that of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin. Wafer argues he felt threatened but didn't mean to kill anyone, while McBride's family says the young woman was simply looking for help. Read more in NEWS.
5. Snowden says racy intercepted photos shared within NSA
Intelligence workers routinely pass around private photos and text messages they intercept from citizens phones, Edward Snowden told the Guardian. Snowden said even information that is "completely unrelated to their work" might be shared among several agents. Read more in NEWS.
6. Small plane crash in Arizona kills four and sparks fire
A small plane crash near Sedona, Arizona, killed four passengers on board. The crash also ignited a fire that grew to 20 acres. There was no immediate word on where the flight originated or its destination nor any information on the occupants. Read more in NEWS.
... What's trending today?
Sorry ladies, Maroon 5 heartthrob Adam Levine is off the market. He tied the knot with model Behati Prinsloo in Mexico on Sunday. Much of the attention has been on who officiated the wedding — funny man Jonah Hill. According to guests, he was predictably hilarious, but oftentimes sincere and sweet.
First published July 21 2014, 4:21 AM