Good morning, and happy Tuesday. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Bodies of MH17 victims transferred out of rebel region
A train carrying about 200 passengers of the downed Malaysia Airlines jetliner left the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine Tuesday for the Netherlands, where they will be identified. In addition, pro-Russian separatists also surrendered the black boxes, which could yield clues into what happened to flight MH17. The plane's destruction has opened up an international crisis: Western nations have raised the possibility that Russia was involved in the takedown of MH17, and Russian President Vladimir Putin wants them to prove his country played a part. President Obama, meanwhile, has asked Putin to call for separatists in Ukraine to stop hampering the investigation on the ground. Read more in NEWS.
2. Israel offensive takes out complexes as John Kerry steps in
Five mosques, a sports complex and the home of a late Hamas military chief were the targets of an overnight airstrike in Gaza. The blistering attacks come as Secretary of State John Kerry headed back to the Middle East on Monday to broker another cease-fire between Israel and Palestine. But Israel, which sent in ground troops to Gaza last week, said it would not be deterred from using force to shut down Hamas’ network of tunnels into Israel. Meanwhile, with the deaths of Palestinians and Israeli soldiers, a spotlight has been put on some of the Americans who are fighting for the Jewish state. Read more in NEWS.
3. Survivor of homeless slayings describes callous teen suspects
The three Albuquerque, New Mexico, teens accused of attacking three homeless men — killing two of them — were giggling and mocking the men during the brutal attack, the survivor claims. “They were real cowards,” the surviving homeless man nicknamed as Skeets told NBC News. Alex Rios, 18, Nathaniel Carillo, 16, and Gilbert Tafoya, 15, were arrested shortly after the bodies were found and confessed — admitting they had been attacking the homeless for a year and had assaulted dozens in just the last few months, according to court papers. Read more in NEWS.
4. Gov. Rick Perry will deploy National Guard to Texas border
About 1,000 troops are being sent to the border with Mexico as part of Operation Strong Safety. Perry has called for the Obama administration to do more to stem the tide of undocumented immigrants — particularly minors — flooding the border in recent months. Perry said his focus will be on the need to fight Mexican drug cartels. “The price of inaction is too high,” he said Monday. Recent figures have shown a decrease in the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border, but it’s too early to say whether that’s a long-term trend. Read more in NEWS.
5. Why haven’t scientists discovered the cure for AIDS?
Despite glimmers of hope at this week’s international AIDS conference that a cure for HIV is possible, there remains disappointing setbacks. Scientists have invented two-dozen different drugs that can slow down the virus, and people who take a cocktail of the drugs can seem uninfected. But the virus is still able to find somewhere to hide, and almost invariably, if people stop taking the drugs, the virus turns back up. “Just because you can’t find it, that doesn’t mean it’s not there,” one top doctor told NBC News. Read more in HEALTH.
6. Detroit suspends water shutoffs for delinquent residents
The situation was so dire in the Motor City that activists appealed to the United Nations to intervene. On Monday, Detroit’s water utility acted to suspend its aggressive shutoff policy, and said there won’t be any more for at least the next 15 days. Water department Deputy Director Darryl Latimer said the 15 days will be used to educate customers on how to cure their overdue bills and avoid shutoffs. Detroit is in the midst of the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy. Read more in NEWS.
… What’s trending today?
Orange isn’t the new black at the Saginaw County Jail in Michigan, where the sheriff is ordering inmates to ditch the orange and wear black and white striped jumpsuits instead. That’s because the prison fashion featured in the Netflix series, “Orange Is the New Black,” is glamorizing inmate culture — and sending the wrong message, according to Sheriff William Federspiel.
“For me, it was an easy decision. It was a cost savings and it breaks away from that cultural coolness,” Federspiel told Reuters. “It’s not cool to be an inmate of the Saginaw County Jail.”