Your correspondent is relaxing this week in the sunny, god-awfully humid city of Palm Bay, Fla., yet he still found time to round up a few choice picks for MUI PR Blog’s Weekly News Roundup because he’s just that awesome. When you find yourself conversing knowledgably on this week’s trending topics, you are free to thank him profusely and perhaps even send him Starbucks gift cards, if so inclined.

Check out this week’s top news stories.

 

1. Palestine Explodes. The brutal murders of four Israeli youth by Palestinian extremists and the retaliatory butchering of a young boy by Jewish terrorists have once again engulfed the region in chaos. A belligerent barrage of Hamas rockets sparked an Israeli military pushback, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge.” Israeli airstrikes have killed at least seventy people and injured over five hundred in the three days since the operation began.

The renewed violence is disheartening, to say the least. The appalling cruelty that continues to define Israeli-Palestinian relations makes the death knells of the latest peace talks all the more resonant. As the Washington Post noted, “this is a crisis that the United States must attempt to solve but cannot solve.”

An insightful article in the Atlantic mulled the future of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, pinning the results on a young generation that is thoroughly disillusioned with their leaders and increasingly disconnected from each other.

 

2. The World Cup Final Is Set. Oh, Brazil. That was brutal.

The much-vaunted host country was vacuumed by gorgeous German play in a 1-7 shocker, leaving Brazilians stunned and grasping for answers. Germany will face a scrappy Argentinian side in Sunday’s final, with the Argentine players fresh off a dramatic victory over the Netherlands in penalty kicks.

The 2014 iteration of the World Cup has been nothing short of spectacular. Here’s to a worthy finish.

 

3. Border Crisis Grows. Fifty-seven thousand unaccompanied minors fleeing Central America have been picked up at the U.S. border since October. President Obama has dubbed the sudden influx “a humanitarian crisis” and asked Congress to approve a $3.7 billion package to deal with the worsening situation, amid uncertainty over immigration reform and backlash on both sides of the aisle.

Children on the run from violence-ridden Central American nations risk incredible hazards to arrive in the U.S., but they do not qualify as refugees since their application for asylum begins on U.S. soil. Rights advocates have warned that the Administration’s plan to speed deportations ignores the appalling conditions in the children’s home countries and puts their lives in ever-increasing danger.

 

4. J.K. Rowling Pens “Harry Potter” Short Story. J.K. Rowling is offering her millions of readers a brief return to the world of “Harry Potter” with the publishing of a “where are they now?” short story reuniting the heroes of the original series a couple of decades since the events of the last novel.

The 1,500 word article, written from the snarky perspective of devious journalist Rita Skeeter and published on the Pottermore website, gives an update on the gang and their various adventures since the demise of Voldemort. For loyal readers, it is a welcome return to familiar territory and a reminder of just how much Harry Potter and his ragtag group of friends and followers mean to so many people the world over.

 

5. Pilot Orders Pizza For Grounded Passengers.

A Frontier Airlines flight from D.C. to Denver was forced to land in Wyoming when bad weather swooped in over the Rockies. Stranded on the tarmac, the pilot took pity on the imprisoned passengers and ordered pizza for the entire plane. Your correspondent wishes to communicate to said pilot that if they ever find themselves on the same flight, he would prefer a deep-dish meat lovers personal pizza and a few beers to boot.

What are your picks for the top stories of the week? Start the discussion in the comments below or connect with me on Twitter @aa_murph