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By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bill to fund border security blew up in House Speaker John Boehner's face on Thursday, leaving Republicans in disarray and struggling to reconcile Tea Party demands with the need to deal with a humanitarian crisis on the southwestern border with Mexico. A carefully crafted, $659 million bill to pay for more border security and help feed and house tens of thousands of Central American children arriving illegally in the United States unexpectedly collapsed on Thursday. Tea Party-backed Senator Ted Cruz of Texas had his fingerprints all over Thursday's debacle for Boehner. The measure, complained Cruz, would not reverse President Barack Obama's 2012 policy of suspending deportations of undocumented residents who were brought to the United States as children by their parents.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday called the 72-hour ceasefire agreed to by Israel and Hamas in their conflict in the Gaza Strip a "lull of opportunity" and said it was imperative that the sides make their best efforts to find common ground. Kerry said Egypt's foreign minister will invite the Gaza ceasefire parties to take part in "serious" negotiations in Cairo and that the United States plans to send a small delegation to the talks. Kerry called the ceasefire "precious time." "It is a lull of opportunity, a moment for the different factions to be able to come together with the state of Israel in an effort to try to address ways to find a sustainable ceasefire and then obviously, over a longer period of time, address the underlying issues," Kerry told reporters.