Wiretap: Mixed messages from Ukraine crisis

It’s a difficult problem for Vladimir Putin: How can he find a way out of the Ukrainian crisis without seeming to compromise? As of now, it’s a matter of mixed messages. The separatists have finally released the bodies of the victims and gave over the black box from the flight. At the same time, Russians keep insisting that Ukraine is responsible for bringing down the airliner. Finally, Putin issued a video statement with conciliatory words — at 1:40 a.m. Via the New York Times.

Michael Sam can’t be a distraction. That’s why Obama’s executive order matters. Via Salon.

Ron Brownstein writes that the border crisis is only the beginning of the executive-orders fight on immigration. Via the National Journal.

John Cassidy writes in the New Yorker that although the news gets ever more grim from Gaza that John Kerry’s chance of brokering a ceasefire might be the last, best chance to end a long ground war.

Photos from the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, where the death toll is now over 500, most of them civilians. Via the Atlantic.

Rand Paul is running around the country trying to show that he’s not the same person as his father. And his father, meanwhile, is fast becoming Vladimir Putin’s best American friend. Via the National Journal.

[Photo of makeshift memorial at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for the victims of the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 by Roman Boed via Flickr.]

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