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10 things you need to know today: July 23, 2014
Kerry arrives in Israel for cease-fire talks, appeals courts clash on ObamaCare, and more
 
Kerry arrives in Tel Aviv. 
Kerry arrives in Tel Aviv.  (AP Photo/Pool)

1. Kerry arrives in Israel to push peace
Secretary of State John Kerry made a surprise visit to Israel on Wednesday to push for a cease-fire in Gaza. He flew into the country's main airport in Tel Aviv a day after the FAA suspended U.S. flights to Israel due to the threat of rocket fire from Gaza.The fighting between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian faction that runs Gaza, has killed at least 31 Israelis and 650 Palestinians. [The New York Times, CBS News]

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2. Court confusion threatens a key part of ObamaCare
Two federal appeals courts handed down conflicting rulings Tuesday on a central component of ObamaCare: Subsidies toward insurance premiums. The U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. circuit, said only state-run exchanges, not the 36 federal-run ones, could award subsidies under the law — potentially eliminating assistance for 4.5 million people. The 4th Circuit appeals court then ruled all exchanges could distribute the subsidies. [Politico]

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3. U.S. concludes Ukrainian rebels — not Russia — shot down Malaysia Airlines plane
Evidence indicates that Ukrainian separatists allied with Russia — not Russia itself — fired the missile that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, killing all 298 people on board, U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday. Moscow, however, set up the tragedy by arming and training the rebels, the officials said. The European Union expanded sanctions against Russia for failing to rein in the rebels. [Fox News, The Washington Post]

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4. Border authorities arrest 200 in crackdown
U.S. authorities have arrested 200 people and confiscated $625,000 in a crackdown on human smuggling since a surge in illegal immigration over the U.S.-Mexico border, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday. The campaign, he said, shows that those entering the country illegally will be sent back, and "those who prey upon migrants for financial gain will be targeted, arrested, and prosecuted." [Reuters]

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5. Justices rule Arizona execution can proceed
The U.S. Supreme Court cleared Arizona to carry out the execution of a murderer, Joseph Wood, who had demanded to know the maker of the two drugs the state plans to use to put him to death. Wood was convicted in 1989 of killing his estranged girlfriend and her father. He argued that the state's refusal to provide information on where it got the drugs violated his rights. The drugs are in short supply due to a European export ban. [BBC News]

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6. Ex-CEO David Perdue wins Georgia GOP Senate primary runoff
Former Dollar General CEO David Perdue upset 11-term Rep. Jack Kingston in Tuesday's Republican Senate primary runoff in Georgia. That set up a general election duel for retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss' seat between Perdue and Michelle Nunn — daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn and former head of George H.W. Bush's Points of Light volunteer group. Nunn is considered one of the few Democrats with a shot at snatching a GOP seat. [The New York Times]

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7. Apple profits rise
Apple reported earnings of $1.28 a share on Tuesday, beating analysts' expectations of $1.23 a share thanks to strong iPhone sales. Its $7.7 billion net profit was a record for a June quarter. Revenue came in at $37.4 billion, slightly lower than the $37.98 billion forecast. The iPhone and iPad maker's stock inched down on the news, but CEO Tim Cook said he "couldn't be happier" about the company's performance. [CNBC]

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8. Largest wildfire in Washington history forces evacuations
Firefighters in Washington made limited progress Tuesday against the biggest wildfire in the state's history. The massive Carlton Complex fire 120 miles northeast of Seattle has already destroyed 200 homes and continues to force new evacuations. The fire was started last week by a lightning strike and has burned 380 square miles. [Reuters]

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9. Packer recalls fruit sold at Trader Joe's, Costco, and other stores
California's Wawona Packing Co. is voluntarily recalling peaches, nectarines, plums, and pluots that were packaged between June 1 and July 12 due to possible contamination of Listeria monocytogenes. Wawona detected the problem through internal testing. The fruit was sold at Trader Joe's, Costco, Food 4 Less, Foods Co., and Ralphs stores. [Los Angeles Times]

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10. Chinese city quarantined over bubonic plague cases
Major swaths of China's northwestern city of Yumen have been sealed off after a resident died of the bubonic plague last week. More than 150 who came into direct contact with the victim were placed under quarantine, although none has shown sign of infection. [The New York Times]

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Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami HeraldFox News, and ABC News.

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