July 7, 2014
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President Obama has a new guest column in the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz, making an appeal for renewed peace negotiations with the Palestinians, as the region itself is spiraling into yet more conflict.

The column comes amid a new wave of violence, after the murder of three Jewish teenagers by what are believed to have been Palestinian assailants, followed by a separate murder of a Palestinian teen for which a group of Jewish extremists have been arrested. In addition, the Israeli military is engaged in airstrikes in Gaza against Hamas rocket-launching targets.

In the column, Obama restates the dedication of the United States to Israel's security. He then writes:

Peace is necessary because it's the only way to ensure a secure and democratic future for the Jewish state of Israel. While walls and missile defense systems can help protect against some threats, true safety will only come with a comprehensive negotiated settlement. Reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians would also help turn the tide of international sentiment and sideline violent extremists, further bolstering Israel's security.

Peace is also, undeniably, just. Just as the Israeli people have the right to live in the historic homeland of the Jewish people, the Palestinian people deserve the right to self-determination. Palestinian children have hopes and dreams for their future and deserve to live with the dignity that can only come with a state of their own. And, in President Abbas, Israel has a counterpart committed to a two-state solution and security cooperation with Israel. Eric Kleefeld

1:05 a.m. ET

President Trump has landed in Sicily for a G7 summit and the final leg of his eight-day trip abroad, and he's been giving a lot of speeches on this tour, Jimmy Kimmel noted on Thursday's Kimmel Live. Trump has been reading from prepared scripts, which is a good idea, he said. "I've noticed, though, it sounds like a fourth-grade book report. He speaks very slowly and simply, not too bigly, he just stays in the middle and uses vocabulary even a child could understand. And to highlight that, we asked some actual fourth graders to read parts of Trump's actual speeches from this trip, to show how they stack up with the big kid in the Oval Office."

The kids are adorable, of course, and it turns out they are pretty good at reading presidential speeches, too. Maybe one of them will grow up to be president. In the meantime, you can decide who read it better below. Peter Weber

12:53 a.m. ET
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Republican Greg Gianforte is projected to win the Montana House seat left vacant by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

With 78 percent of precincts reporting, Gianforte has 167,871 votes, compared to Democrat Rob Quist with 143,410 votes and Libertarian Mark Wicks with 19,251 votes. On Wednesday night, Gianforte was charged with assault, following an altercation with The Guardian's Ben Jacobs, who accused Gianforte of "body slamming" him and breaking his glasses. Gianforte's campaign claimed Jacobs, who recorded audio of the incident, "grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground," but eyewitnesses backed Jacobs' account. Going into Thursday's election, 37 percent of Montana's registered voters had already voted absentee. Catherine Garcia

12:36 a.m. ET
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On two separate occasions, a senior mortuary employee at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware allegedly asked inspectors if they wanted to look at John Glenn's remains prior to his burial, a Defense Department official wrote in an internal memo obtained by Military Times.

Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, a decorated Marine, and a former U.S. senator, died on Dec. 8 at age 95, and his family asked the Air Force to care for his remains between his death and burial April 6 at Arlington National Cemetery, to ensure privacy and security, Military Times reports. In her memo, dated May 11, Deborah Skillman, the Defense Department's director of casualty and mortuary affairs, wrote that on Feb. 28 and March 2, mortuary branch chief William Zwicharowski "offered to allow the inspectors to view the deceased," which was "clearly inappropriate and personally shocking." She was so concerned she asked his deputy commander to address the matter with Zwicharowski, Skillman wrote in the memo. Officials told Military Times that Skillman and additional inspectors refused to view the remains.

In her memo, Skillman also wrote that Zwicharowski said he believed the inspection was due to him being a whistleblower six years ago; along with two other employees, he revealed that the mortuary had lost or improperly disposed of the body parts of some soldiers who died while fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was nearly fired for going outside his chain of command to report this, but he ultimately received a Public Servant of the Year award. Military Times was unable to reach Zwicharowski for comment. Catherine Garcia

12:19 a.m. ET

Some observers found it rude when President Trump casually pushed Montenegro's prime minister, Duško Marković, out of the way so he could get to the front row for a NATO photo-op on Thursday, but Marković calls the encounter "an inoffensive situation." Journalists are "differently commenting" on the scene, he added, but "I want to tell you that it is natural for the president of the United States to be in the first row."

So there you go, no hard feelings. Here's the moment Marković was referring to:

Marković is right about U.S. presidents being in the front row, naturally.

Though maybe that wasn't what people found bemusing about Trump's actions. Peter Weber

May 25, 2017
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With 64 percent of precincts reporting their results, Republican Greg Gianforte is ahead of Democrat Rob Quist in Thursday's special election in Montana for the House seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Gianforte has 145,859 votes compared to Quist's 129,416, while Libertarian Mark Wicks has 17,222 votes. Gianforte, a millionaire businessman, was charged with assault Wednesday night after an altercation with The Guardian's Ben Jacobs, who said Gianforte "body slammed" him and broke his glasses. Gianforte's campaign released a statement claiming Jacobs "grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground." Catherine Garcia

May 25, 2017
Facebook/Wayzata Public Schools

With multiple generations of her family looking on, Esther Begam, 88, collected her high school diploma, decades after she was denied an education by the Nazis.

Begam grew up in Poland, and when she was 11 years old, she had to quit school and move into a Jewish ghetto. Later, she was sent to a forced labor camp. Her father, a rabbi, was a chaplain in the Polish army, and was never heard from again. Begam lost her mother and brother at Auschwitz, and her older sister and every other member of her extended family at other camps. She fell in love with another Holocaust survivor, and after marrying at 17, they moved to Minnesota and started a new life together.

Seven years ago, Begam shared her story with Candice Ledman's English class at Wayzata High School in Plymouth. A student asked Begam what her biggest regret was, and her answer surprised Ledman. "I expected her to say I wish we would have run, I wish we would have hidden, I wish we would have saved pictures — and she said, 'The one thing I regret is not getting my high school diploma,'" Ledman told KARE-TV. Ledman wanted to do something about this, and when new principal Scott Gengler arrived on campus, he loved the idea of giving Begam an honorary diploma. "It's 71 years overdue," he said. This month, Ledman's class set up a ceremony just for Begam, complete with a special cake and her own cap and gown. In front of proud family, friends, and students, Ledman accepted her diploma. "It's wonderful," she said. Catherine Garcia

May 25, 2017
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If forecasters are correct and there are warmer-than-average waters in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea and weak El Niño conditions this summer, the 2017 hurricane season could be an active one.

"There's a potential for a lot of Atlantic storm activity this year," acting National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Ben Friedman told The Associated Press Thursday. NOAA's forecast calls for 11 to 17 named storms and five to nine hurricanes, with two to four expected to be major; the long-term season averages 12 named storms and six hurricanes, with three major ones. Tropical storms are classified as having sustained winds of at least 39 mph, while hurricanes have sustained winds of at least 74 mph. The Atlantic storm seasons lasts six months, and will officially start on June 1.

Friedman told AP a new weather satellite that will move into a permanent position over the East Coast later this year will give forecasters a better view of the continental U.S. and tropical waters where hurricanes form. They will be able to watch storms as they develop and "see lightning in the clouds like we've never seen before," Friedman said. Catherine Garcia

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