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Nation and World News


Israel’s supreme court rejected the appeal by the family of Rachel Corrie – an American activist who was crushed to death by a military bulldozer in Gaza in 2003 – which sought to hold Israel accountable for her death.

The court invoked the “combat activities exception,” which absolves the Israeli military of responsibility for damages in a war zone. The ruling appears to bring an end to years of effort by the Corrie family in their wrongful death suit.

“Our family is disappointed but not surprised,” the Corrie family said in a statement released on Thursday. “Nevertheless, it is clear that this decision, affirming the August 2012 lower court finding, amounts to judicial sanction of immunity for Israeli military forces when they commit injustices and human rights violations.”

Corrie, 23, was a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement protesting the Israeli military’s destruction of homes in Rafah, Gaza when she was killed.

An August 2012 Israeli court ruling had determined that Corrie was protesting in a closed military zone where there had recently been violence in which Israeli soldiers were attacked with a grenade.



Ukrainian soldiers and pro-Russian separatists resume fighting on Friday despite the successful negotiation of a cease-fire on Thursday between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and other European leaders.

According to the Ukrainian military, 11 soldiers were killed and 40 were injured in the 24 hours following the cease-fire negotiation. The majority of the fighting took place in the separatist stronghold of Donetsk as well as in the strategic city of Debaltseve.

The cease-fire, which is scheduled to begin in two weeks, stipulates that Ukrainian forces and separatists will pull back their offensive capabilities. The agreement also gives separatist-held areas in Ukraine more autonomy, though it does not grant Ukraine any concessions on border control.

The deal did not issue any economic or military penalties on Russia for its role in supporting separatists, a role it has denied playing. However, the European Union will reportedly unilaterally move forward with sanctions against numerous separatists and Russians.


United States

In a televised address on Wednesday, Feb. 12, President Barack Obama called on Congress to formally authorize the use of military force in the war against the Islamic State, stating that congressional authorization makes the United States strongest in the fight.

Accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Obama outlined the proposal he gave to Congress earlier that day and said that the bill reflects “our core objective to destroy ISIL,” and includes authority for a “systemic and sustained campaign of airstrikes,” support and training for forces on the ground and humanitarian assistance.”

President Obama was quick to note that the Authorization for the Use of Military Forces does not call for the deployment of ground troops to the region.

“I am convinced that the United States should not get back into another ground war in the Middle East – it’s not in our national security interest and not necessary for us to defeat ISIL,” he said.

According to the text of the resolution, the president’s authority to wage a military campaign would be limited to three years and would not authorize “enduring offensive ground combat operations.”