Good morning, and happy Tuesday. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Israel launches increased airstrikes against Hamas
The Israeli army bombed some 50 targets in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday to squelch Palestinian rocket fire. The tit-for-tat attacks come after Gaza militants fired more than 80 rockets at Israel on Monday, an Israeli military spokesman said. The surge in violence has raged since the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli youths last month in the occupied West Bank and the death of a Palestinian teen last week. Read more in NEWS.
2. Obama to request $2B more in aid for border crisis
The president is expected to ask Congress for more than $2 billion for addressing the influx of children from Central America who are illegally crossing into the United States. Separately, the Obama administration will continue to seek legislative changes that will force the return of the unaccompanied children back to their home countries faster. Meanwhile, unrelenting violence back home is a major reason why children from countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are making these treacherous treks. Read more in NEWS.
3. Typhoon Neoguri batters Japan with 120 mph winds
More than 86,000 households were without power Tuesday as the “once in a decade” storm lashed the Okinawa islands with waves up to 64 feet high. Meteorologists said the system had weakened from a super typhoon to a regular typhoon, but authorities still advised almost 600,000 residents to evacuate. Read more in NEWS.
4. Donald Sterling a no-show as trial gets underway
Could Sterling take the stand Tuesday in a trial that would prevent his estranged wife, Shelly, from selling the Los Angeles Clippers? The embattled billionaire was nowhere to be found on Monday in the Sterling vs. Sterling match-up. Shelly Sterling is trying to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. On Monday, Donald Sterling’s attorneys lost their bid to have the case moved to another court and to keep Donald Sterling’s mental evaluations from being heard. Read more at NBC SPORTS.
5. Recreational pot stores open doors in Washington state
At least three legal marijuana retailers are opening Tuesday, among the first to get growing licenses since they became available in March. Washington state has become the second state to allow for recreational pot use after Colorado legalized it at the beginning of the year. Washington still faces a huge backlog for licenses, with only 18 license reviewers sifting through thousands of applications. Meanwhile, water-guzzling pot plants in California are adversely affecting the already drought-damaged state. Read more in BUSINESS.
6. Pistorius trial: Defense lawyers rest their case
After weeks of bizarre courtroom drama and the eyes of the world watching, closing arguments in the high-profile trial against South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius will take place July 30 and Aug. 4. Final arguments are then scheduled for Aug. 7. Track star Pistorius, known as the Blade Runner, is accused of murdering his girlfriend in their home last year. His attorney said Tuesday that the defense’s case was hampered when many of the potential witnesses didn’t want to testify because of the worldwide publicity. Read more in NEWS.
7. Clash of the titans: Brazil, Germany meet in semis
Only one can leave Belo Horizonte a winner today, and both Brazil and Germany expect to be the team advancing to the World Cup final. The hosts, five-time winners, must play on without their star, the injured Neymar, and their captain, the suspended Thiago Silva. Tuesday's winner faces Argentina or the Netherlands in Sunday's final. Read more at NBC SPORTS.
… What’s trending today?
They're soooo fancy.
Folk rock supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash reunited on "The Tonight Show" on Monday night for a stirring rendition of the Iggy Azalea hit, "Fancy." And of course, Jimmy Fallon — known for his Neil Young impression — joined in.