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SOTU Scoop
July 16th, 2014
04:31 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By CNN's Tracey Webb

Your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, July 16, 2014.

1. Gaza's rising death toll. Four children were killed by what Palestinian medical officials say was shelling from an Israeli ship. Their deaths come one day after a cease-fire agreement brokered by Egypt was rejected by Hamas. The Palestinian death toll is now over 200, many of them women and children. One Israeli civilian has also died since the conflict between Israel and Hamas escalated nine days ago. Israel says Hamas has fired more than 1,200 rocket attacks from Gaza.

2. Immigration. As the country debates how to handle a surge in mostly unaccompanied children from Central America, the number of Americans who think immigration is the nation's top problem has spiked in the past month. A new Gallup poll found that 17% of people questioned said immigration is the most important issue now, up from 12% who said so in June. The survey also indicates the current border crisis could be a key factor in this year's midterm elections. "With no solution to the current crisis in sight and less than four months to go before the midterm elections, it is easy to believe the issue could be a factor come November," Gallup wrote.

3. Gov. Martin O'Malley. The Maryland Democrat is at odds with the White House over plans to return thousands of undocumented children back to Central America. O'Malley said the U.S. should treat the minors as refugees. "We are Americans and we do not return refugee kids who find themselves on our doorstep back into war-torn or famine-racked places where they will face certain death. So I think we have to act like Americans,” O'Malley told CNN. A Democratic source suggested that O'Malley was being hypocritical because during a phone call in which White House domestic policy adviser Cecelia Munoz complained about his criticism, the governor asked that immigrants not be sent to a site in his state that was under consideration. "What I said was that would not be the most inviting site in Maryland," O'Malley explained. There are already hundreds of kids located throughout Maryland." O'Malley is considering a 2016 run for president.

4. Dick Cheney. The former vice president says President Obama is the "worst president of my lifetime" but he does not support calls for impeachment, saying it would only be a distraction. "I'm not prepared at this point to call for the impeachment of the President," Cheney told CNN. Cheney, who is one of Obama's harshest critics, also refused to accept blame for the current upheaval in Iraq and said the Bush administration left the country in decent shape after years of war. "Obama's failure to provide for a stay-behind force is what created the havoc we see in Iraq today," the former vice president said.

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