The UN Security Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution to slap sanctions on South Sudan's warring factions, ratcheting up pressure as a deadline loomed to reach a peace deal. Drafted by the United States, the resolution sets up a sanctions committee which would submit to the council the names of those responsible for blocking peace efforts, and who should be punished with a global travel ban and assets freeze. Regional mediators have given South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and rebel chief Riek Machar until Thursday to reach a final deal to end 14 months of war that have killed tens of thousands of people.
A Ukrainian airforce pilot who has been on hunger strike in a Russian jail for 81 days might be transferred to a civilian hospital if her health deteriorates, the prison service said Tuesday. The statement by Russia's prison service raised the possibility of Nadia Savchenko, who is also a member of the Ukraine parliament, being transferred from the hospital of a Moscow prison where she has been held for nearly nine months. Speaking later in the day, one of her lawyers said she may stop the hunger strike if her health sharply worsens. She denies the charges, saying she was kidnapped and brought to Russia.
A Russian lawyer for Edward Snowden said on Tuesday the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of the government's mass surveillance programs was working with American and German lawyers to return home. Anatoly Kucherena, who has links to the Kremlin, was speaking at a news conference to present a book he has written about his client. Russia has repeatedly refused to extradite him.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner told Republican members the House would vote Tuesday on the Senate's plan to fund the Department of Homeland Security, which could end the impasse over the agency, according to a person who was at the meeting. The department got a short-term extension last week but runs out of funding authority again on Friday. House Republicans wanted to use the spending legislation to block President Barack Obama's recent immigration actions, but House Democrats prefer a so-called 'clean' extension bill passed by the Senate. ...
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court will weigh a second major case targeting President Barack Obama's healthcare law on Wednesday when it considers a conservative challenge to tax subsidies critical to the measure's implementation. If a majority of the nine justices rules against the administration, up to 7.5 million people in at least 34 states would lose subsidies that help low- and moderate-income people afford private health insurance, unless Congress or the affected states act immediately. Such a ruling could also have a broader impact by deterring younger, healthier people from buying health insurance, which would lead to premiums rising for older, less healthy people who need healthcare most, said Rand Corporation economist Christine Eibner. The Democratic-backed law, narrowly passed by Congress over unified Republican opposition, aimed to help millions of Americans who lacked any health insurance afford coverage.
Former Maryland Governor and possible Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley said on Tuesday he will not seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski. O'Malley, who left office in January and has said he is considering a run for the White House, told reporters in an email he hoped other candidates would step up to represent the mid-Atlantic state, but "I will not be one of them." The move allows O'Malley, 52, to keep the door open for a potential presidential campaign. Despite winning two terms as governor in the heavily Democratic State, his future is somewhat complicated by his successor's surprise loss to a Republican in the November election. O'Malley is popular among Democrats and spent much of the last year actively campaigning for fellow liberals across the country, especially in New Hampshire and Iowa, the first two states with presidential nominating contests.
By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - The long-running process of choosing a jury to hear the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is due to wrap up on Tuesday with the judge and lawyers for both sides selecting the panel of 12 jurors and six alternates. Tsarnaev could be sentenced to death if he is convicted, a fact that made jury selection in the federal trial challenging in Massachusetts, where state laws do not allow for capital punishment and the practice is unpopular.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seizing the bully pulpit of the U.S. House to deliver his stern message about the danger Iran poses to his nation's survival and voice reservations about any nuclear deal President Barack Obama and international negotiators might sign with Israel's archenemy.
A coalition of environmental groups sued the Port of Seattle on Monday to stop the lease of a terminal to Royal Dutch Shell Plc's Arctic oil drilling fleet, arguing a proper environmental review was never conducted, court records showed. Earthjustice, along with other groups including the Sierra Club, filed the suit in a Washington state court, alleging the drilling operation was substantially different from the terminal's prior use, meaning an environmental review had to be done under state law. The complaint against the port and Foss Maritime Co, which would work for Shell under the two-year lease, also alleged that officials reached the arrangement without public disclosure and that the fleet could pollute the area's water. "We have received a shoreline substantial development permit exemption from the City of Seattle for this use," Port of Seattle spokesman Peter McGraw said in a statement, adding that officials had not yet reviewed the suit.
The families of three victims slain during a southern California rampage last year that left dead six college students and the killer are suing the county, the sheriff's department and the apartment building where the victims were killed. The parents of George Chen, Weihan Wang, and Cheng-Yuan Hong filed the federal suit on Monday, alleging that the defendants failed to recognize signs that the attacker, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, was a danger and take action. Rodger fatally stabbed the three men, two of whom were his roommates assigned by management at the Capri Apartments at Isla Vista, in the dwelling last May before fatally shooting three more people, wounding 14 others near the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara, and killing himself. The lawsuit pointed to several "red flags," including racist remarks Rodger made about previous roommates and other violent, erratic behavior, and alleged that the apartment managers did not investigate before assigning new roommates.
Georgia halted the planned Monday execution of the only woman on death row in the state due to problems with the drugs to be used in the lethal injection, officials said. Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 46, condemned for the murder of her husband in 1997, would have been the first woman executed by the state in 70 years. "Within the hours leading up to the scheduled execution, the Execution Team performed the necessary checks. At that time, the drugs appeared cloudy," Georgia Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gwendolyn Hogan said in a statement.