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6:30 PM ET, July 17, 2014


 Top Items: 
Sky News:
Malaysian Plane ‘Shot Down With 295 On Board’  —  A passenger plane with 295 people on board has been shot down as it flew above eastern Ukraine, according to aviation sources.  —  The Malaysia Airlines plane, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was travelling at an altitude of 10km …
Ashley Fantz / CNN:
Report: Malaysia Airlines flight crashes in Ukraine  —  (CNN) — A Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has crashed in eastern Ukraine, Russian news agency Interfax reported Thursday.  —  Malaysia Airlines confirmed that it lost contact with MH17, and the flight's …
Jonathan Topaz / Politico:
McCain: ‘Hell to pay’ if plane shot down  —  Sen. John McCain said Thursday that he is withholding judgment on the Malaysia Airlines crash, but vowed that there would be “hell to pay” if the plane was shot down by the Russian military or separatists.  —  “To leap to conclusions …
Julia Ioffe / The New Republic:
The Crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Is a Game Changer  —  This conflict is now officially out of control  —  Malaysian Airlines just can't catch a break.  Just four months after flight 370 disappeared somewhere over the Indian Ocean, Thursday brings news that Malaysian Airlines flight 17 …
Fox News:
Malaysia Airlines passenger jet shot down over Ukraine, 295 dead  —  A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane with 295 aboard was shot down by a surface-to-air missile in Ukraine near the Russian border a day after a Ukrainian military jet was downed, Fox News has confirmed.
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Jet was ‘blown out of the sky’  —  A Malaysian passenger jet carrying 295 people “apparently has been shot down” over Ukraine, Vice President Biden said Thursday.  —  Biden stressed that the U.S. had not confirmed details yet, but said it did not appear to be the result of a mechanical or pilot error.
Discussion: CNN, Politico, Daily Kos and Mediaite
David M. Herszenhorn / New York Times:
Ukraine Says Russian Plane Shot Down Its Fighter Jet  —  MOSCOW — The Ukrainian government said on Thursday that a Russian military plane had shot down a Ukrainian fighter jet in Ukrainian airspace the previous evening, a serious allegation of direct intervention by Russia's armed forces.
Daily Mail:
Why was MH17 flying through a warzone?  European safety watchdog warned against using Ukraine airspace since APRIL
Discussion: Vox Popoli
Washington Post:
Malaysia Airlines plane crashes in eastern Ukraine; U.S. intelligence blames missile
Peter Leonard / Associated Press:
Alan Yuhas / Guardian:
Malaysia Airlines plane MH17 ‘shot down’ in Ukraine - live updates
Jerusalem Post:
IDF starts Gaza ground offensive  —  Netanyahu's office says purpose of mission is to destroy terror tunnels and seriously harm the infrastructure of Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza.  —  After days of waiting and deliberation, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu …
Fox News:
Israel launches large-scale ground operation in Gaza Strip  —  The Israeli military launched a large-scale ground operation in the Gaza Strip Thursday reportedly involving thousands of troops backed by tanks and bulldozers.  —  The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced …
Washington Post:
Israel launches ground invasion of Gaza  —  GAZA CITY — Israeli troops launched a ground incursion of Gaza Strip Thursday night, with artillery shells and airstrikes pounding the border of the coastal strip.  —  Israeli Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said that after 10 days …
Seth Lipsky / New York Post:
Time to annex? If Palestinians can't govern ...
Discussion: VodkaPundit and The Dish
Rebecca Traister / The New Republic:
I Don't Care If You Like It  —  Women are tired of being judged by the Esquire metric  —  Last week, I got into a fight on Twitter with New York magazine's Jonathan Chait, whose work I respect, and it wasn't about anything that either of us had written; rather, we were tussling over the merits …
Kyle Kondik / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
The Hidden Barrier to a Republican Senate Majority  —  The GOP has had little recent success defeating Democratic incumbents  —  If Republicans are to win the Senate, they probably are going to have to do something they haven't done since 1980: beat more than two Democratic Senate incumbents in November.
Tod Lindberg / The New Republic:
The 2014 Midterms Don't Mean Anything
Discussion: VodkaPundit
New York Times:
Elaine Stritch, Tart-Tongued Broadway Actress and Singer, Is Dead at 89  —  Elaine Stritch, the brassy, tart-tongued Broadway actress and singer who became a living emblem of show business durability and perhaps the leading interpreter of Stephen Sondheim's wryly acrid musings on aging …
Cruz's next fight: Immigration  —  Texas Sen. Ted Cruz plans to take a hard-line stand that could rile up conservatives just as lawmakers — including two from his home state — are struggling to address the growing humanitarian crisis along the southern border.
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Clinton Is Best Known, Best Liked Potential 2016 Candidate  —  Huckabee's image is slightly better than other GOP contenders  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Hillary Clinton is currently the best known and best liked of 16 potential 2016 presidential candidates tested in a July 7-10 Gallup poll …
Sophie Novack /
Democrats' Plan to Create the Next Todd Akin  —  The party is hoping to keep Republicans talking about reproductive issues, and is praying for a candidate to make another massive mistake.  —  Democrats are not just hoping for another Todd Akin, they're trying to create one …
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Todd Akin's Pathetic Attempt To Defend ‘Legitimate Rape’ Goes Down In Flames
Discussion: Jezebel
Edward Snowden urges professionals to encrypt client communications  —  Exclusive: Whistleblower says NSA revelations mean those with duty to protect confidentiality must urgently upgrade security  —  The NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has urged lawyers, journalists, doctors, accountants …
Edward Snowden / Guardian:
‘If I end up in chains in Guantánamo I can live with that’ - video interview
Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept:
NBC News Pulls Veteran Reporter from Gaza After Witnessing Israeli Attack on Children  —  Ayman Mohyeldin reports from Gaza City on killing of four Palestinian boys by Israel (credit: NBC News)  —  Ayman Mohyeldin, the NBC News correspondent who personally witnessed yesterday's killing …
Laura Bassett / The Huffington Post:
White House: Employers Must Disclose Objections To Covering Birth Control  —  The White House on Thursday sent a message to companies that want to opt out of covering birth control, saying those employers are required to be transparent about their objections.
Microsoft Corporation:
Stephen Elop's email to employees  —  Microsoft's strategy is focused on productivity and our desire to help people “do more.”  As the Microsoft Devices Group, our role is to light up this strategy for people.  We are the team creating the hardware that showcases the finest of Microsoft's digital work …
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 More Items: 
Harold Meyerson / American Prospect:
Why Democrats Need to Take Sides in America's Class War
Jeb Bush Raising Private Equity Funds as Campaign Weighed
Discussion: OnPolitics and Washington Post
Los Angeles Times:
Federal judge's ruling on California death penalty stuns experts
Discussion: The Week, TalkLeft and New York Times
Ron Christie / The Daily Beast:
An Open Letter to Attorney General Eric Holder: It's Not About Race
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
Reform Conservatism and Foreign Policy
 Earlier Items: 
Aaron Rupar / The Blotter:
Eden Prairie GOP candidate's outspoken blogging elicits criticism from both sides of aisle
Discussion: The Raw Story and Shot in the Dark
San Francisco Chronicle:
Fake screener probes passengers at SFO
Sally Kohn / The Daily Beast:
Chick-fil-A Is Like Gay Sex: Don't Knock It Till You Try It
Discussion: NewsBusters and Mediaite