This just in
July 17, 2014
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The Israel Defense Forces' official Twitter account confirmed Thursday afternoon that it has launched a "large" force into a ground operation in Gaza.

"A new phase of Operation Protective Edge has begun," the tweet reads. IDF explained the announcement by saying that the so-called new phase "follows 10 days of Hamas attacks on Israel by land, air, and sea — and repeated rejections of offers to deescalate the situation."

"Our goal is to target Hamas' tunnels that enable terrorists to infiltrate Israel and carry out attacks," IDF says. "This requires precise operations."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office issued a statement Thursday afternoon that the assault on Hamas' tunnels will be "limited."

"Israel is committed to act to protect its citizens," the statement said. "The operation will continue until its goals are reached: to bring quiet to the citizens of Israel for a long period of time, and to seriously harm Hamas and other terrorist organizations' infrastructure in the Gaza Strip."

Update: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that Israel is prepared for "significant expansion" of the ground offensive into Gaza. --Meghan DeMaria

John Oliver protests
March 29, 2015

John Oliver does not like pranks, or any day encouraging them. "April Fools' Day is to comedy as St. Patrick's Day is to Irish culture," he said in this Last Week Tonight video posted Sunday night: "That is to say, it is a very mockery of the concept that usually ends in a fist fight." Pranks make people sad, he added, and "anyone who claims to be excited about April Fools' Day is probably a sociopath, because what they're really saying is, 'I cannot wait to hurt the people close to me.'" If you agree with Oliver at the end of his well-thought-out spiel, you can take his No-Prank Pledge. And, as this is HBO, some of the language is mildly NSFW. —Peter Weber

Watch this
March 29, 2015

If President Obama had The Rock's build, he would have a much easier time getting Republicans to do what he wants. Or, at least, he would have a much easier time tossing them out windows and ripping off their limbs when they made him angry, as was the case in this Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Dwayne Johnson as "The Rock Obama."

"Don't be alarmed," Johnson says after some maddening Republican subversion causes him to hulk out and rip through his suit. "The Rock Obama much like Barack Obama, only larger and more violent." —Jon Terbush

2016 Watch
March 29, 2015

Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina on Sunday crept closer to a White House bid, saying in an interview with Fox News there is a "higher than 90 percent" chance she will run.

"As other potential candidates are doing, we need to make sure we have the right team in place, that we have the right support," she said, adding that an announcement would likely come in late April or early May.

A political neophyte, Fiorina ran for Senate in California in 2010 but lost by a 10-point margin. A CNN poll earlier this month found her with less than 1 percent of the vote in a hypothetical GOP primary. —Jon Terbush

2016 Watch
March 29, 2015

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on Sunday took a none-too-subtle swipe at Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, the presumptive frontrunners for their parties' 2016 nominations.

"The presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two families," O'Malley, himself a prospective White House candidate, said on ABC's This Week. "It is an awesome and sacred trust to be earned and exercised on behalf of the American people." —Jon Terbush


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The hunters become the hunted
March 29, 2015

What would Bambi look like with bulging muscles and an entourage of woodland gunmen? That's the question Saturday Night Live answered with a Fast and the Furious–meets-Disney reboot staring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the titular orphaned deer.

"When I was a boy, they took away my mother," Johnson says in the faux trailer. "Now it's time for them to pay — dearly." —Jon Terbush

Iran and the bomb
March 29, 2015
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday assailed the emerging details of a nuclear agreement intended to curb Iran's nuclear program.

"This agreement, as it appears, confirms all of our concerns and even more so," he said.

The U.S. and Iran have three days left before the deadline to reach a framework deal.

This just in
March 29, 2015
Alex Wong / Getty Images

Arab leaders on Sunday announced a tentative agreement to create a joint military force to combat violence and extremism in the region.

"We recognize the clear challenges in the Arab world and the need to take measures to combat them," Nabil al Araby, chairman of the Arab League, said on the final day of the group's summit in Egypt.

The announcement came days after a Saudi-led coalition began launching airstrikes in Yemen against the Houthi rebels who have overrun the country and forced President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee.

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