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Posted: 8:25 a.m. Friday, July 18, 2014

The unanswered questions in Malaysia air disaster 

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Ukraine is accusing pro-Russian separatists of shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane that went down in Ukraine Thursday, killing all 298 souls aboard. The rebels deny it. Russian President Vladimir Putin blames Ukraine for the downing, saying it's responsible for the unrest in its Russian-speaking eastern regions. U.S. intelligence officials say a surface-to-air missile brought the plane down, but they're not sure who fired it.   Many aviation experts are questioning Malaysian Airlines' decision to fly near the fighting in Ukraine. Some airlines have been circumventing the country for weeks.

Israel invades the Gaza Strip. It's the first major Israeli ground offensive in Gaza in just over five years and comes after efforts to broker a cease-fire between the Israelis and Palestinians failed.  Israeli Prime Minister is ordering the military to prepare for a significant expansion of the Gaza ground offensive. 

Microsoft is cutting 18,000 jobs.
The biggest layoffs in the company's history are aimed at allowing Microsoft to "become more agile and move faster, according to its CEO.

5-Hour Energy is being sued for allegedly deceptive ads. The company claims its users get extra energy and focus from a unique blend of ingredients. A lawsuit says the boost actually comes from a stiff dose of caffeine.

Voters in Clay County will decide this November if the Superintendent will continue to be elected, or appointed.

We hear increased calls for changing the height of the guardrails on Buckman Bridge after this week's tragedy that left a Tampa man dead.

We hear outrage over the torture of a small gopher tortoise by two Orange Park teens.  Fish and Wildlife officers are still investigating to see if any charges will be filed. 

The Army is beginning Chelsea Manning's gender treatments. 
The former intelligence analyst who leaked secret documents has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, the sense of being a woman in a man's body.

What if social media were around when we landed on the moon. We're seeing it now, as the Smithsonian has recreated in 140 characters or less per tweet, the 8-day Apollo flight that took place 45 years ago.

Broadway legend Elaine Stritch has died. She was known from her brashness, and impeccable comic timing. She was 89.

A judge ruled that gays can marry in Florida's most gay-friendly county, siding with same-sex couples in the Florida Keys who challenged a voter-approved ban as discriminatory. It woud only happen in Monroe County. But Attorney General Pam Bondi is appealing.
She says the voters' will must be respected.
  The judge was appointed by Republican Gov. Jeb Bush in 2000 and re-elected twice since then. Garcia invoked other moments in American history when the courts had to guarantee the civil rights of minorities. He said Florida's ban violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees equal protection under the law.

The small town of Pateros, Washington state is being emptied out ahead of a wind-whipped wildfire that has burned at least 35 homes.

It's Nelson Mandela International Day. The day of service is celebrating Mandela's birthday. He died last December at the age of 95.