Happy Friday! Here’s what we’ve got scheduled for today. You can listen to Your Wake Up Call here.
Two Top Foreign Policy Concerns Take Major Hits On Same Day
First it was on the Ukraine-Russia border, where a civilian Mayasian Boeing 777 is widely believed to have been shot down by a surface to air missile, an incident that will undoubtedly serve to spike tensions in the region, and cause a seismic diplomatic fallout. And you have the Israeli ground forces engaging the Gaza strip, an expected development, as the Israeli’s were surprised by the size of the Hamas rocket assault, and needed a more certain method of wiping out launch sites. But still, an escalation, and an alarming one at that. And in what some might call unfortunate timing, as these major international incidents were occurring, President Obama was talking highway infrastructure in Delaware and attending a fundraising dinner in NYC. There are no public events planned for Friday. At 7:10, ABC News correspondent Ann Compton will join us.
Israelis Launch Anticipated Ground Offensive Into Gaza Strip
The heavy thud of tank shells, often just seconds apart, echoed across the Gaza Strip early Friday as thousands of Israeli soldiers launched a ground invasion, escalating a 10-day campaign of heavy air bombardments to try to destroy Hamas’ rocket-firing abilities and the tunnels militants use to infiltrate Israel. Israel launched the offensive late Thursday after becoming increasingly exasperated with unrelenting rocket fire from Gaza on its cities, especially following Hamas’ rejection of an Egyptian cease-fire plan earlier in the week. Palestinian militants have fired more than 1,500 rockets at Israeli cities since fighting began. At 7:35, Tom Rivers will join us to discuss.
Latest Details Regarding the Crash and Overseas Reaction
Ukraine accused pro-Russian separatists of shooting down a Malaysian jetliner with 298 people aboard Thursday, sharply escalating the crisis and threatening to draw both East and West deeper into the conflict. The rebels denied downing the aircraft. American intelligence authorities believe a surface-to-air missile brought the plane down but were still working on who fired the missile and whether it came from the Russian or Ukrainian side of the border. For Malaysian Airlines, an unthinkable 2nd disaster in the past year. Among the passengers, several researchers headed to an AIDS conference. The latest on the crash, as well as what is being said by Ukraine, Russia, and Malaysia leaders. ABC News correspondent Aaron Katersky will join us at 8:10.
Fed Ex Charged With Helping Illegal Pharmacies
Federal authorities on Thursday charged FedEx with assisting illegal pharmacies by knowingly delivering painkillers and dangerous drugs to customers without prescriptions. The indictment filed in federal court in San Francisco alleges that FedEx Corp. conspired with two related online pharmacies for 10 years ending in 2010. The Department of Justice announced the charges in Washington, D.C. It wants FedEx to forfeit $820 million it says the cargo company earned by assisting the illicit pharmacies. The company is accused of shipping powerful sleeping aid Ambien, anti-anxiety medications Valium and Xanax, and other drugs to customers who had no legitimate medical need and lacked valid prescriptions. At 8:35, ABC News correspondent Scott Goldberg will join us.
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