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Conflict in Gaza
August 5, 2014
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Retired Major Gen. Giora Eiland thinks Israel is making a big mistake in its weeks-long Gaza offensive. In an opinion column in Israel's Ynet News, the former head of Israel's National Security Council argues Tuesday that his country should not "feel obligated to supply Gaza's residents with food, fuel, and electricity," because "in Gaza, there is no such thing as 'innocent civilians.'"

Purposefully punishing the entire population of Gaza, instead of targeting Hamas, may sound harsh, Eiland concedes, but the Gaza residents "are to blame for this situation just like Germany's residents were to blame for electing Hitler as their leader and paid a heavy price for that, and rightfully so." He continues:

Hamas is not a terror organization which came from afar and forcibly occupied Gaza. It's the authentic representative of the population there. It rose to power following democratic elections and built an impressive military ability with the residents' support. Its power base has remained stable despite the suffering.... Because we want to be compassionate towards those cruel people, we are committing to act cruelly towards the really compassionate people — the residents of the State of Israel. [Ynet News]

Eiland's column isn't the first controversial opinion on Gaza published in Israel — on Friday, The Times of Israel posted, then pulled, an op-ed exploring the idea of "When Genocide is Permissible." But Israel, in fact, appears to be attempting to wind down its ground incursion into Gaza, with or without Hamas sticking with the new 72-hour ceasefire scheduled to start Tuesday morning.

Israel has faced some pretty strident criticism over its shelling of civilians, including from the U.S. "We struck a very severe blow at Hamas and the other terrorist organizations," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday, citing the destroyed network of Hamas tunnels into Israel. "We have no intention of attacking the residents of Gaza." Peter Weber

This just in
4:31 p.m. ET
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The South Carolina Senate on Monday voted 37-3 to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds in Columbus, The Associated Press reports. The Senate will still need to vote on the bill one more time Tuesday, though The New York Times reports it is "virtually assured of success" in the Senate. How the bill will fare in the House, however, still remains to be seen; it must also pass there before it can be signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley.

South Carolinians began pushing for their state to remove the flag, considered by many to be a racist symbol, after a white gunman last month killed nine African-Americans attending a Bible study group in a historically black Charleston church. Samantha Rollins

This just in
3:53 p.m. ET
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Less than two weeks after Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was formally sentenced to death for his role in the April 2013 bombing, he filed a preliminary motion for a new trial. Tsarnaev's lawyers are requesting a new trial for both his conviction and death sentence, saying a new trial is required "in the interests of justice." The motion is considered a placeholder for a more detailed one his lawyers will file next month, before Tsarnaev's post-trial action deadline of August 17.

Tsarnaev was convicted on 30 charges in May in relation to the bombing that killed three people and injured 264 others. Becca Stanek

Behold the future
3:38 p.m. ET

In 50 to 60 years, your wildest Dune-inspired dreams might just come true. That's because OXO, a French architecture company, is literally constructing a vertical city in the middle of the Earth's biggest desert, the Sahara. The plans call for the building to stand 1,476 feet high and contain approximately 84,000 square feet of residential and commercial areas, amid other livable spaces.

"The idea is to make a city out of this tower... The idea is to obtain a building combining different programs including housing units adjacent to offices of course. There is a museum, a meteorological observatory on the Sahara, there are libraries, gyms, pools. The idea was really to offer a sufficient number of programs to be able to remain self-sufficient and not to have to rely on other buildings or have to create new ones," architect Manal Rachdi told Reuters.

The vertical city will also function as its own "livable, green ecosystem," with a towering central garden irrigated by rainwater. Work on the building begins in 2025 (you can see the plans in the Reuters video below), and is expected to be completed over the course of 50 years. Now, would the future mind hurrying up? Jeva Lange

Breaking Records
3:22 p.m. ET
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Team USA's 5-2 win over Japan on Sunday in the Women's World Cup final wasn't just a victory for soccer-loving Americans everywhere. The game was also a major win for Fox, which broke a ratings record for the most-watched soccer telecast on a single network in U.S. television history.

The ratings mark a 77 percent increase since the last Women's World Cup in 2011, which aired on ESPN. An estimated 20.3 million viewers tuned in for the championship match.

That's more than the number who tuned into any of U.S. men's team's matches in the 2014 World Cup. It is also comparable to the 23.5 million viewers who watched Game 7 of the 2014 World Series. Lori Janjigian

The price we pay
3:01 p.m. ET
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For the second year in a row, Starbucks is set to raise prices, tacking on anywhere from 5 to 20 cents to affected beverages' prices. Both a small and a large cup of coffee, for instance, will go up by 10 cents in most areas of the country, Starbucks says, bringing the price of a plain ol' cup of joe up to $2.45. The upped price tags will take effect on Tuesday and will apply to beverages only.

Starbucks' plan to raise prices comes amid some coffee sellers' decision to lower prices, The Associated Press reports. Just last week, The J.M. Smucker Co. docked prices in anticipation of lower unroasted coffee bean prices. According to Starbucks, its decision to raise prices included factors such as rent, labor, marketing, and equipment. Becca Stanek

2015 World Cup
2:55 p.m. ET
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The U.S. women's soccer team won the 2015 World Cup against Japan last night, with a score of 5-2. The victory made the U.S. the only team to have won three championships in the Women's World Cup — but that's not the only thing the numbers reveal. Below, the 2015 World Cup, by the numbers:

3 — Goals scored by Carli Lloyd, whose hat trick was the fastest in Women's World Cup history.

16 — Minutes it took for the U.S. to score four goals against Japan.

539 — Minutes the U.S. team had held its World Cup opponents scoreless, just short of a record. The streak ended after Japan's first goal by Yuki Ogimi.

2011 — Year the U.S. women's team last faced Japan in tournament. They lost to Japan on penalty kicks.

1991 — Year the U.S. women's team won their first World Cup. They have repeated that feat twice, in 1999 and 2015, making them the team with the most wins ever. Germany follows with two titles, in 2003 and 2007. The U.S. men's team has never won the World Cup.

2 million— Dollars earned by the U.S. women's soccer team for winning the World Cup.

52,341 — Fans in attendance at the final match in Vancouver.

20 million — People who watched the game on Sunday, breaking the record for the most watched soccer match in U.S. television history. Some estimates are as high as 25.4 million viewers, which would mean the match was far more viewed than the most recent NBA or NHL finals. Jeva Lange

2016 Watch
2:22 p.m. ET
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Since the launch of her presidential campaign in April, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has remained rather tight-lipped when it comes to speaking with the press. However, the Democratic candidate for president will break her silence on Tuesday in an exclusive interview with CNN's Brianna Keilar.

While Clinton continues to hold her place as the frontrunner of the Democratic field, fellow candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has made significant gains in recent polls. A recent CNN/ORC poll found that 43 percent of New Hampshire Democrats back Clinton, while a substantial 35 percent support Sanders. Clinton's campaign is maybe even a little worried.

Jennifer Palmieri, the communications director for the Clinton campaign, acknowledged that Clinton is "paying a price" for refusing to do national interviews until now, in the face of criticism over her deleted emails, potential conflicts of interest regarding her husband's foundation, and other controversies. "America will see more of her," Palmieri said. Stephanie Talmadge

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