In mourning. Thousands of Israelis took to the streets today to mourn three teenage seminary students kidnapped last month in the West Bank. Their bodies were discovered yesterday not far from where they disappeared while hitchhiking on June 12. Officials blame Hamas and have vowed to make the Palestinian terror group pay. Bombing raids struck 34 targets in Gaza today, though military officials did not link the attacks directly to the teens. Eighteen rockets fired from Gaza have landed in Israel in the last two days. Despite threats of retaliation, Israel’s security cabinet was split on what action to pursue. U.S. and Egyptian officials urged restraint.
What ceasefire? Ukrainian military forces are launching attacks against pro-Russian separatists in the east in a bid to rid the country of what President Petro Poroshenko called “dirt and parasites.” Poroshenko ended a ceasefire with rebels trying to secede and join Russia in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In a televised address, the president announced he had given orders “to attack and liberate our land” from “terrorists, insurgents, and marauders.” Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had adopted a more conciliatory tone in recent weeks, said Russia would “energetically defend the right of ethnic Russians, our compatriots abroad, using the entire arsenal of available means”, including “the right to self-defense.”
Child identified. Texas officials have identified an 11-year-old boy found dead earlier this month in a town along the Mexican border. The child, Gilberto Francisco Ramos Juarez, was traveling with family making the dangerous journey from Guatemala to America when he got separated from the group. Sheriff’s deputies were able to identify him using a phone number written on the back of his belt buckle. Officials believe he got lost trying to cross the Rio Grande and then wandered aimlessly in the wilderness. He likely died of exposure.
Train swingers. New York police are dealing with a serious problem on the city’s subway trains: amateur acrobats. Police have arrested 240 acrobats since the beginning of this year. By this time last year, they had only picked up 40 of the amateur daredevils. The performers take to New York’s crowded trains to entertain bored commuters and make a little money. But officials say they pose a safety threat, twirling, spinning, and dancing on the trains’ poles and straps.
Rained out? Just in time for the holiday weekend, the Atlantic hurricane season got its first named storm. Tropical Storm Arthur, swirling just off the tip of Florida might ruin Independence Day picnics and fireworks shows up and down the East Coast. The storm is likely to strengthen in the next few days. While models predict it will stay offshore, it could dump a lot of rain from Florida to Cape Cod.