Summer fun with the IDF?

Maybe I've just had Web design on my mind, but the placement of this pop-up ad on the Haaretz Website yesterday was pretty unfortunate given the rest of the stories on the page:

Somehow I don't think there are too many opportunities for white water rafting in Gaza right now.


Morning Brief: Gaza: Day 10

Top Story

Israeli troops poured into Gaza on Sunday, effectively dividing the territory in two. Despite the capture of what Israel referred to as Hamas launching facilities, rockets continued to fly into Southern Israel. It's possible that Israel's aims now go beyond quieting the attacks, to the complete removal of Hamas from power in the territory, though Israeli officials deny that they intend to occupy Gaza for a significant period of time. More than 500 Palestinians -- a quarter of them civilians, according to the UN -- have died in the fighting so far.

Protests against Israel's actions have swept through Europe and the Middle East. With presidential elections fast approaching, Iranian hardliners might be the biggest winners from the fighting. Meanwhile, the U.S. presidential transition could complicate efforts to seek a peace agreement. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Czech foreign minister have been leading the negotiation efforts.

U.S. Presidential Transition

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson withdrew himself as a nominee for commerce secretary because of an ongoing investigation into his finances.

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine will take over for Howard Dean as chairman of the Democratic National Comittee.

Barack Obama is keeping quiet about the situation in Gaza.

Middle East

The run-up to provincial elections in Northern Iraq has been marred by violence.

Dozens were killed by a suicide bomber at a Shiite pilgrimage site in Baghdad.

Turkish planes bombed Kurdish rebel sites in Northern Iraq.

Iranian authorities are cracking down on opposition leaders ahead of presidential elections.


Opposition candidate John Atta Mills narrowly won Ghana's presidential election.

A ship belonging to a French oil company was seized by gunmen in Nigeria's Niger Delta.

Two foreign journalists were freed by kidnappers in Somalia.


China's industrial output fell for a third consecutive quarter.

Earthquakes in Eastern Indonesia killed several people.

Sri Lanka continues to attack Tamil Tiger rebels after capturing the group's de facto capital.


Russia completely halted gas supplies to Ukraine because of an ongoing pricing dispute. Countries throughout Eastern Europe are feeling the pain.

British PM Gordon Brown defended his handling of the economic crisis.

The New York Times reports that European leaders may be willing to work with Barack Obama on relocating Guantanamo detainees and new sanctions against Iran.


Comedian Al Franken was declared the winner in Minnesota's long-contested senate election. The head of Denver's public school system was named to replace Colorado Sentaor Ken Salazar, who is joining Barack Obama's cabinet.

Don't expect a stimulus package in the next month, says House Majority leader Steny Hoyer.

There's tough work ahead for Puerto Rico's new governor.

Photo: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images