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Breaking: Two Fighter Jets Shot Down by Pro-Russian Rebels in Ukraine

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Morning Mika had to pivot to real news for a few minutes this morning, when the AP confirmed reports that two fighter jets were shot down in the Eastern Ukraine Wednesday morning.

If two fighter jets are indeed confirmed to be downed by Ground-to-air missiles, days following the tragic shoot down of Malaysian Air Fight 17 last week and hundreds of civilian deaths, the pressure on Putin mounts immeasurably with this latest violence on the ground.

This is a notable escalation.

From Reuters by way of the UK Globe and Mail, earliest reports on the latest violence were reported at about 7:30 a.m. EST.

Pro-Russian rebels have shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets, a spokesman for Ukraine’s military operations said on Wednesday.

The spokesman said the two were downed near Savur Mogila in eastern Ukraine. No details were known about the pilots.

The move comes less than a week after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which Ukraine and Western nations are blaming on pro-Russian rebels. Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for “creating the conditions” that led to the crash, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement.

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Early reports also say that two crew members were aboard each fighter jet. For more details on the ground game of the past few days, Reuters went on to describe separatist activity and more rebel goals.

Residents said the rebels, who rose up in April demanding independence from Kiev in the mainly Russian-speaking east, had dug trenches in downtown Donetsk outside the main university, where they have been living in student dormitories.

Ukrainian government forces have pushed the armed rebels back to their two main strongholds, in Donetsk and nearby Lugansk, taking back control of villages and suburbs around them.Heavy fighting raged in the Lugansk region for a second day on Wednesday, said officials in Kiev and the rebels.

The discussion turned quickly to the European rift that exists because of their energy-dependency on Russia, Putin's bent on what appears to be more isolationist policy and the need for the West and President Obama to implement sanctions that have result.

Follow updates here at MSNBC throughout the day. They had done some reporting about a center near the Ukraine border getting a notable increase in activity that may prove that Putin continued to fund and support the rebels following the downing of MH17.

Image, The Kyiv Post

Image, The Kyiv Post

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Live: President Obama Speaks on the Situation in the Ukraine

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Ukraine

At 10:50 a.m. Eastern

over

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First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks Out on the Tragic Kidnapping in Nigeria

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FLOTUS

From the whitehouse.gov website:

In this week’s address, First Lady Michelle Obama honored all mothers on this upcoming Mother’s Day and offered her thoughts, prayers and support in the wake of the unconscionable terrorist kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls.

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Tuesday Links

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Video- President's Weekly Address: Equal Pay for Equal Work

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President Obama speaks to the nation in his weekly address. The topic is equal pay for equal work.

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How Dare First Lady Michelle Obama Dazzle?

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Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

One might think it takes a particularly ignorant individual, or individuals, to criticize the First Lady of the United States for wearing a ball gown to a state dinner. Yet, that is exactly what happened following last week’s official dinner honoring French President Francois Hollande.

On Tuesday, February 11th, First Lady Michelle Obama dazzled dinner guests wearing a GORGEOUS blue and black-laced gown designed by Venezuelan-America designer, Carolina Herrera. The next day, as if on cue, right wing darling Michelle Malkin, and her Twitter #BowDownWednesday crowd, were appalled – JUST appalled, I guess unhappy that Mrs. Obama did not “Bow Down” to their tacky level.

Amanda Marcotte states it best in the title for her piece on Slate.com, How Dare Michelle Obama Wear a Ballgown to a State Dinner.”

The loonier edge of the right-wing media has been up in arms all week at the temerity of the Obamas to think they get to host state dinners for foreign leaders just because the country elected Barack Obama to be our president. The outrage (hopefully) reached maximum capacity when Michelle Malkin and her outrage crew at Twitchy discovered that the first lady wore ... wait for it ... a ballgown to Tuesday's state dinner for French President Francois Hollande. Not just any ballgown, but an expensive one, as tends to be the case when it comes to ballgowns worn to state dinners. Blood pressures at Twitchy rose to worrying heights when it was discovered that some journalists thought Michelle Obama looked lovely in her ballgown. In retaliation for the travesty of the first lady donning formal wear to a formal dining event, Malkin started retweeting her followers taking selfies of themselves in cheap clothes meant for casual events. We all know Michelle Malkin is not ignorant, no; she is just mean, mean and very good at frothing the ignorant masses.

Here are a few other First Ladies who missed the Malkinite message:

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October 13, 2008 President and Mrs. Bush with the Prime Minister of Italy photo by Charles Dharapak/AP

HillaryClintonBallroomGownw288h211
February 8, 1995 President and Mrs. Clinton and Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of Germany photo by Tim Brakemeier/ AFP/Getty Images

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March 31, 1987 President and Mrs. Reagan host French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac and his wife, Bernadette. photo by Ron Edmonds/AP

See More Historic State Dinner Fashion:

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Wednesday Links

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WHBigBlockOfCheeseDayW397H244

White House 'Big Block of Cheese' Day

Google Plus Hangout on Friday

President Obama's National Google + Hangout

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Obama Hits Grand Slam With A SOTU That Reflects America’s Move Left

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