Good morning, and happy Tuesday. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Fighting intensifies in Gaza as Israel pounds power plant
Fuel tanks exploded at Gaza’s only power plant early Tuesday after an Israeli strike that is expected to trigger “massive” power outages. Rolling blackouts have already made life in Gaza a “major disaster,” utility officials say. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that a “prolonged” campaign against Hamas militants remains on the table. But Hamas, which earlier refused to comply with a cease-fire, doesn’t appear to be backing down either. Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader whose home was struck in an airstrike, said in a statement that “destroying stones will not break our determination,” according to The Associated Press. Read more in NEWS.
2. Russia violated landmark nuclear treaty, U.S. claims
President Barack Obama will put Russian President Vladimir Putin on notice: He’s none too happy that Russia violated a key nuclear missile treaty by testing a ground-launched cruise missile as early as 2008. The treaty was signed by the superpowers in 1987 during the Cold War. Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee have been calling for the White House to take a tougher stance against Russia’s alleged violations for more than a year. “This is a very serious matter,” a senior administration official told NBC News. Read more in POLITICS.
3. U.S., Europe plan more sanctions against Russia
Russia has upped its support of separatist rebels fighting in eastern Ukraine, and that will trigger additional sanctions, the White House said Monday. Russia is accused of supplying the separatists with weapons that allowed them to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines flight this month. Since then, Russia has increased the amount of heavy weapons that have been moved into Ukraine, said Tony Blinken, a U.S. deputy national security adviser. Read more in POLITICS.
4. What do you need to know about Ebola?
The outbreak of the Ebola virus in three West African countries has infected two Americans and killed more than 660 people. But as health officials try to calm fears that the disease is headed for major metropolises, there is still a lot unknown about Ebola: We don’t know from where it came or all the ways it spreads. Read more in HEALTH.
5. Judge clears way for Clippers sale after heated trial
In the contentious case of Sterling vs. Sterling, it was Shelly Sterling who claimed a legal victory Monday. A judge ruled that her bid to sell the family’s NBA team can go on after he found that she wasn’t trying to defraud her husband, Donald Sterling. It’s unclear if the embattled billionaire will appeal amid his health problems, his lawyers said. Shelly Sterling, however, is hopeful she and her estranged husband can get past any bitterness over the proposed sale. “It’s been very tough ... and [Donald] and I do have love for each other and I hope it will all work out between us and everything will be good,” she told NBC News. Read more in NEWS.
6. Fast-moving wildfire threatens homes near Yosemite
Roads were closed along with at least three campsites in Yosemite National Park in California as fire crews tried to get a handle on a wildfire that began Saturday and is menacing about 100 homes. By Monday evening, more than 500 firefighters, four bulldozers, six helicopters and nine airplanes, including a DC-10 tanker, had joined the fight. Meanwhile, a larger blaze east of Sacramento was 75 percent contained late Monday. While 13 homes had been destroyed, evacuees were being allowed to return to other areas. Read more in NEWS.
… What’s trending today?
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It’s hosting a contest with a top prize of at least $5,000 for the best idea. The deadline is Aug. 15 and submissions are being accepted online now.