- Gaza Blast Kills 5: A large explosion in Gaza yesterday killed at least five Palestinians, including several Hamas militants and a baby girl. Despite the death and destruction of a residential building, responsibility is unclear. Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, first blamed the blast on an Israeli air strike, causing them to fire rockets and mortar rounds at Israeli towns and villages around Gaza. The Israeli military has vehemently denied any involvement in the explosion.
- US/Iraq Talks Stall: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki declared that talks with the US aimed at reaching a long-term agreement allowing US forces to remain in Iraq have "reached an impasse". According to Maliki, the US demands compromised Iraqi sovereignty. President Bush has said he wants an agreement by the end of July, as the UN mandate for US forces to be in Iraq expires at the end of 2008. Maliki said of the proposal, "We cannot allow US forces to have the right to jail Iraqis or assume, alone, the responsibility of fighting against terrorism."
- Midwest Pounded: Iowa's Cedar River broke its banks yesterday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of homes and causing a railroad bridge to collapse. Officials estimated that 100 blocks are underwater in Cedar Rapids, where preparations weren't enough to hold back the water. The sheriff said of the weather crisis, "We're just kind of at God's mercy right now, so hopefully people that never prayed before this, it might be a good time to start." Estimates show that 3,200 homes were evacuated and 8,000 residents have been displaced. This news comes after a deadly tornado hit an Iowa Boy Scout camp, and a similarly deadly twister tore through Kansas, leaving residents to dig out of the destruction.
To see an exclusive, first-hand photo account of the Kansas aftermath, read more.