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KNOW IT ALL: Wednesday's Top 6 Stories at NBC News

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A Palestinian salvages what he can from a house after it was hit by an Israeli missile strike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on Wednesday. The Israeli army on Wednesday intensified its offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, striking Hamas sites and killing at least 11 people on the second day of a military operation it says is aimed at quenching rocket fire against Israel. Only four rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel overnight, the army said. Hatem Moussa / AP

Good morning, and happy Wednesday. Here are some of the stories we're following today:

1. Obama goes to Texas to discuss border crisis

The president will meet with Texas Gov. Rick Perry today, although he’s not expected to visit any of the border towns dealing with the surge of migrants, particularly children, crossing illegally from Central America. Perry, who is not running for re-election, has made national headlines since Sunday, when he berated Obama as being “inept” or having an “ulterior motive” for border policies that have allowed the influx of migrants. Read more in POLITICS.

2. Brazilian blowout: Host country crushed, humiliated

Brazilian soccer fans knew it would be tough without star player Neymar, but Germany effectively shut out any hope for another World Cup victory appearance by brutalizing Brazil in a first-half blitz. Germany out-scored, out-thought and out-played a weak Brazilian team in a 7-1 win. Despite the crushing loss, riots in Brazil are unlikely. A narrow, contentious defeat to their bitterest rivals, Argentina, might have sparked trouble in Rio, but a thorough thrashing by a superior team will lead to introspection — not revolution. The semifinals continue today when Argentina takes on the Netherlands at 4 p.m. ET. Read more in NEWS.

Soccer fans on Twitter had no problem skewering Brazil over the humiliating loss:

3. Clashes between Israel and Hamas heat up

Israel has stepped up its attacks against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, hitting more than 400 sites in the area since Tuesday. The back-and-forth offensives come after three Israeli teens were found dead — and one Palestinian youth was also killed in possible retaliation. What happens next — whether this cycle of violence explodes into a war or dials back down to simmering resentment — depends on variables almost too numerous to quantify, much less predict. The experts see both encouraging signs and a few reasons to worry. Read more in NEWS.

Frightening video captured Tuesday shows a wedding in Israel disrupted by rocket fire:

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4. Combative Sterling takes stand in trial against wife

Donald Sterling didn’t disappoint when he spoke in a Los Angeles courtroom on his own behalf Tuesday. He choked up, he cried and he unleashed some explosive statements against estranged wife Shelly. The two are battling it out for the fate of the Los Angeles Clippers, which the NBA wants Sterling to sell after racist comments he made were leaked in April. Donald Sterling is trying to block his wife from selling the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Read more at NBC SPORTS.

5. Treacherous storms strike Northeast, killing at least five

The most severe storm was east of Syracuse, New York, where at least four people were killed, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office said. Tragedy also struck a camp north of Baltimore, where a child was killed as the storm bore down on an open-air pavilion. The storm knocked down numerous trees and injured nine children, one of whom died, the camp and the sheriff’s office said. Read more in NEWS.

6. How often are people injured on amusement rides?

After nearly two dozen people were stranded on a roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain this week, when a tree branch derailed the ride, questions have arisen about just how safe such rides are. It’s not clear exactly how many people are injured or even killed since there’s no single state or federal agency responsible for enforcing amusement park standards. “It’s just frustrating because everywhere you turn, it’s a different regulation,” one safety consultant says. Read more in NEWS.

… What’s trending today?

A Denver pilot tried to make the most out of a delay by ordering pizza for the entire plane. Famished passengers aboard a Frontier Airlines flight were treated to some Domino’s when their plane was temporarily diverted to Cheyenne, Wyoming, instead of landing in Denver because of thunderstorms Monday night.

Captain Gerhard Brandner told NBC affiliate KUSA: “If the need arises you need to take care of your family; you need to take care of your passengers. They are my responsibility the moment they step on the aircraft until they get off the aircraft.”

Well done, captain.