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August 6, 2014
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During a question-and-answer session at the end of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit on Wednesday, President Obama said that while he has "great sympathy for ordinary people who are struggling within Gaza," he has "no sympathy for Hamas," which "acts extraordinarily irresponsibly."

The president said a short-term goal of the cease-fire, in its second day on Wednesday, is "rebuilding a Gaza that's been really badly damaged as a consequence of this conflict." Looking further ahead, he said:

There has to be a recognition that Gaza cannot sustain itself permanently closed off from the world and incapable of providing some opportunity — jobs, economic growth — for the population that lives there...

...The U.S. goal right now would be to make sure that the cease-fire holds, that Gaza can begin the process of rebuilding, and that some measures are taken so that the people of Gaza feel some sense of hope, and the people of Israel feel confident that they're not going to have a repeat of the kind of rocket launches that we've seen over the last several weeks. Catherine Garcia

12:55 a.m. ET
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Hillary Clinton is adding another Republican to her endorsement list: Former GOP senator John Warner of Virginia.

A Clinton campaign aide told The Washington Post Warner, 89, will announce his support at an event Wednesday with Clinton's running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (R-Va.), in Alexandria. While Warner, a World War II veteran and former U.S. Navy secretary and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has gone against the party before — he opposed the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork and endorsed the Democrat running for his seat rather than the Republican — this is the first time he is endorsing a Democrat for president.

Warner retired in 2009 with high approval rates, and was known for his extensive knowledge of national security affairs. "I am proud to have John's support, and to know that someone with his decades of experience would trust me with the weighty responsibility of being Commander in Chief," Clinton told the Post in a statement. Catherine Garcia

12:19 a.m. ET

Hillary Clinton brought up former Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado in her debate against Donald Trump on Monday night, using only the things Trump said about her, not her name, but then quickly released an ad with Machado talking (in Spanish) about how Trump's insults and comments about her weight humiliated and shamed her. Trump repeated his criticism of Machado's weight on Fox & Friends Tuesday morning, a point Megyn Kelly obliquely brought up when she interviewed Machado on Tuesday night's Kelly File.

"The Trump campaign can't really deny that he harassed you over your weight, because it's on camera — many times," she said. "They seem to be denying the specific charges Hillary leveled, which is the language of 'Miss Piggy' and 'Miss Housekeeping.'" She asked if Machado had any witnesses when Trump called her those names, and Machado said, in slightly stilted English, said it happened 20 years ago and that she came forward to share her story for her Latino community and to "open some eyes."

Kelly noted that Machado now says Trump's comments helped drive her into eating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia, then read a 1997 interview in The Washington Post in which Machado appears to say she had eating disorders for years before winning Miss Universe. Machado said no, "I never had any problem before the Miss Universe" pageant. "No, I'm sorry, but that was not true," she added after Kelly read the quote. "Maybe in that moment, they — the company, Miss Universe, and in specific, this person — they manipulated a lot of information about me."

"I'm here because I know this person, and he is not a good person — that is the point," Machado said. "The point is, no more abuse for us. No more abuse for the girls. If you gain weight, if you don't look the most beautiful girl in the world, you have your mind, you have your heart, you are strong, you are intelligent. And in the future, that ladies can be a president, too." Peter Weber

September 27, 2016
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President Obama is honoring the late Shimon Peres, the former president of Israel who died Tuesday at age 93, calling him a "Founding Father of the state of Israel and a statesman whose commitment to Israel's security and pursuit of peace was rooted in his own unshakeable moral foundation and unflagging optimism."

"There are few people who we share this world with who change the course of human history, not just through their role in human events, but because they expand our moral imagination and force us to expect more of ourselves," Obama said in a statement. "My friend Shimon was one of those people." Obama recounted that he first met Peres in Jerusalem when he was a U.S. senator, and that he'd asked him for advice. "He told me that while people often say that the future belongs to the young, it's the present that really belongs to the young," Obama said. "'Leave the future to me,' he said. 'I have time.' And he was right." He described Peres as a "soldier for Israel, for the Jewish people, for justice, for peace, and for the belief that we can be true to our best selves."

In 2012, Obama presented Peres with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, and said Americans are "in his debt because, having worked with every U.S. president since John F. Kennedy, no one did more over so many years as Shimon Peres to build the alliance between our two countries — an unbreakable alliance that today is closer and stronger than it has ever been." Peres never gave up on the "possibility of peace between Israelis, Palestinians, and Israel's neighbors," Obama said, adding he believes there is "no greater tribute to his life than to renew our commitment to the peace that we know is possible." While a "light has gone out," Obama said, "the hope he gave us will burn forever." Catherine Garcia

September 27, 2016
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For the first time in its history, The Arizona Republic newspaper is supporting a Democrat over a Republican for president, endorsing Hillary Clinton.

In an editorial published Tuesday night, the board said Clinton, not Donald Trump, understands that the "challenges the United States faces domestically and internationally demand a steady hand, a cool head, and the ability to think carefully before acting." Clinton not only has the "temperament and experience to be president," but she knows how to "compromise and to lead with intelligence, decorum, and perspective," the editorial says. For decades, Clinton has withstood "scrutiny so intense it would wither most politicians," including some attacks that "strain credulity," while Trump "hasn't even let the American people scrutinize his tax returns, which could help the nation judge his claims of business acumen." The board goes on to tick off several of Trump's "demeaning comments" about women, a disabled reporter, and POWs, saying they prove he has a "stunning lack of human decency, empathy, and respect."

When it comes to immigration, Arizona "went down the hardline immigration road Trump travels," the editorial says, and it earned the state "international condemnation and did nothing to resolve real problems with undocumented immigration." The editorial board does believe Clinton has made some "serious missteps," like the use of a private email server while secretary of state, but she "does not casually say things that embolden our adversaries and frighten our allies" and is the "superior choice" to Trump, who "responds to criticism with the petulance of verbal spit wads." Read the entire editorial at The Arizona Republic. Catherine Garcia

September 27, 2016
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Shimon Peres, the ninth president of Israel and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating the Oslo Accords, died Tuesday. He was 93.

Peres suffered a stroke two weeks ago, and was on a respirator at a hospital near Tel Aviv when his health quickly declined and he died, the official Israel News Agency reports. During his long career in politics, Peres — who in 1934 emigrated at age 11 from Poland to British Mandate Palestine — held almost every significant position in the Israeli government. He was first elected to parliament in 1959, and had two brief turns as prime minister.

Peres served a seven-year term as president from 2007 to 2014, and argued for a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He was a key player in putting together the Oslo Accords, and was jointly awarded the Nobel prize in 1994 with Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister at the time, and Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Peres, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2012 and founded the Peres Center for Peace, is survived by his wife, Sonya, and three children. Catherine Garcia

September 27, 2016
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More than 84 million Americans watched Monday night's debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and thousands of miles away in a secret location somewhere in Afghanistan, so did leaders of the Taliban.

A spokesman for the militant organization, which has killed thousands of people during two decades of violence, told NBC News they were "very interested in watching," but said there was "nothing of interest to us in the debate as both of them said little about Afghanistan and their future plans for the country." Zabihullah Mujahid also gave his opinion on Trump, declaring he says "anything that comes to his tongue" and is "non-serious." Catherine Garcia

September 27, 2016
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On Tuesday, President Obama nominated Jeffrey DeLaurentis as the first U.S. ambassador to Cuba in more than a half-century.

Since 2014, when the U.S. Embassy in Havana reopened, DeLaurentis has been the country's chief diplomat in Cuba, but he's able to get a promotion to ambassador now that the diplomatic freeze is over. "Jeff's leadership has been vital throughout the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba, and the appointment of an ambassador is a common-sense step forward toward a more normal and productive relationship between our two countries," Obama said in a statement.

DeLaurentis must be confirmed by the Senate in a simple majority, but some senators, including Cuban-American Republicans Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, have both said they will oppose any ambassador named by Obama. "A U.S. ambassador is not going to influence the Cuban government, which is a dictatorial and closed regime," Rubio said Tuesday. "This nomination should go nowhere." Catherine Garcia

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