COALITION: Egypt will lead a new coalition of Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, that will stand with Israel in its fight against Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip. NY TIMES
FIGHTING: At least 15 Palestinians died sheltering in a U.N.-run school hit and another 17 near a street market yesterday. REUTERS
Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council claims “terrorists” — the term it uses to describe rebels — have set up firing positions and laid mines on the access road to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. CNN
The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday authorized a lawsuit accusing President Obama of overstepping his authority in carrying out the healthcare law. A Democratic representative called it ”a veiled attempt at impeaching the president.” WASHINGTON POST
The U.S. economy grew by 4% from April to June, beating analyst expectations. It’s seen as a healthy rebound after the economy unexpectedly shrank in the first three months of the year because of the harsh winter weather. WALL ST JOURNAL
“Shrinkage? I WAS IN THE POOL!”
5. IRS SCANDAL
House Republicans found emails from former IRS chief Lois Lerner in which she refers to some Republicans– and right-wing radio hosts– as “a$$holes” and “crazies.” They say the language shows her “animus” toward conservatives. CNN
6. MORTGAGE CRISIS
A federal judge has ordered Bank of America to pay $1.27 billion in damages over thousands of defective mortgages sold by its Countrywide Financial unit. WASH POST
McMansions for everybody!
Today is MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline, so watch for last-minute trades. Read Let Them Eat Money: MLB Salary Dumping, the Precursor to the Proletarian Revolution, by Grantland’s Michael Baumann. GRANTLAND
Things between Beyoncé and Jay Z have reportedly “never been worse.” A source tells the Daily News that the couple are staying together until the end of their current tour: “…it’s only a matter of time (until they split). It’s so obvious now it’s embarrassing.” NY DAILY NEWS
‘Beyonce is not gonna be my fiancé’ – Jay Z new song
9. TV TIME
The Big Bang Theory has postponed production on the new season because of the contract standoff with stars Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar. E!
Can we launch a Kickstarter to make up the difference?
…Leonardo DiCaprio, running shirtless with a Super Soaker. SEE PIC
11. OTHER SHTUFF
Spotify listed its listeners’ top guilty-pleasure tunes. Many come from one-hit wonders of the ’80’s and ’90’s, with Lou Bega’s “Mambo No. 5” topping the list. NY POST
“A little bit of Monica in my life
A little bit of Erica by my side”
@BettyLies: They say playing video games is a waste of time, but I credit Tetris for the speed and agility I display when bagging my own groceries.
And that’s what you ‘Need 2 Know’ on Thursday, July 31st, 2014…