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AP Top News at 2:35 a.m. EDT
JEBALIYA REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza Strip (AP) - Several Israeli tank shells slammed into a crowded U.N. school used as shelter for refugees in the Gaza war early on Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and wounding 90, a Palestinian health official and a U.N. official said. The Israeli army had no immediate comment.
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) - The savage fighting between Israel and Hamas is escalating in Gaza, cease-fire efforts take on elements of farce, and bravado rules the public discourse. But even through the fog of war, a few endgame scenarios can nonetheless be glimpsed. For the moment, the deadlock is well-entrenched: As long as the crippling blockade of Gaza remains in place, Hamas says it will continue firing rockets at Israel - terrifying but mostly ineffectual, thanks to the "Iron Dome" defense system. Israel says the blockade must stay to stop a terrorist government from importing yet more weapons.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Citing Russia's stalled growth rate and a flow of foreign capital out of Moscow, U.S. and European officials hope a new round of sanctions targeting energy and defense entities, as well as major banks, will deepen Russia's economic pain even further and force President Vladimir Putin to end provocations in Ukraine. Roughly 30 percent of Russia's banking sector assets are now constrained by U.S. sanctions, Obama administration officials said Tuesday, shortly after announcing new penalties. The sanctions target five of Russia's six largest state-owned banks and aim to curtail their access to U.S. debt markets.
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