The Cuban flag was raised over Havana’s embassy in Washington on Monday for the first time in 54 years as the United States and Cuba formally restored relations, opening a new chapter of engagement between the former Cold War foes. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez presided over the reinauguration of the embassy, a milestone in the diplomatic thaw that began with a breakthrough announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro on Dec. 17. The U.S. Embassy in Havana was also officially reopened for business.
(Reuters) - U.S. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said on Monday he would overhaul Washington's culture with a federal balanced budget amendment, a freeze on government hiring and a longer ban on former members of Congress becoming lobbyists. "We need a president willing to challenge the whole culture in our nation's capital – and I mean to do it," Bush, the former Florida governor, said in remarks posted on his campaign website on Monday. (Reporting by Emily Stephenson and Luciana Lopez; Editing by Susan Heavey)
Presidential contender Hillary Clinton's proposed plan to overhaul capital gains taxes aims to foster long-term growth by taxing some short-term investments at higher rates, an aide for her campaign said on Monday. Under her proposal, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, the maximum capital gains tax rate on investments held at least a year, currently 23.8 percent, would rise to at least the 28 percent proposed by President Barack Obama, the aide said. The campaign has not ruled out raising it as high as the regular income tax rate, which can be as high as 39.6 percent for top earners, the Journal reported.
Senator John McCain urged Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday to apologize to U.S. military families for saying prisoners of war are not heroes in his first direct response to remarks by Trump. Trump drew a barrage of criticism over the weekend after telling a Republican forum he did not think McCain, a Navy fighter pilot imprisoned for more than five years in Hanoi after being shot down, was a hero because he was captured. "He’s not a war hero," Trump said Saturday at a gathering of religious conservatives in Ames, Iowa.
Most Americans would support imposing a term limit on the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices, who now serve for life, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll has found in the aftermath of major rulings by the court on Obamacare and gay marriage. Congress shows no signs of taking up the idea, though Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz has suggested the possibility of justices being voted out of office.
It takes a mere 10 minutes by boat to navigate to New York City's Hart Island, one of the United States' largest paupers' cemetery. Grable, 64, was one of a few dozen mourners who for the first time walked across the barren island on Sunday. For years, city rules confined mourners to a small memorial gazebo, furnished with a few benches and tucked away on an island's corner.
Addressing his congregation on the Eid al-Fitr holiday celebrating the end of Ramadan, Imam Mohamed Abdul-Azeez implored worshipers to combat Muslim extremism in the aftermath of a shooting rampage that killed five servicemen in Tennessee. The suspect, a young Muslim who grew up in the Chattanooga area, also died in the gunfight on Thursday, the last day of Islam's holy month of fasting. It was the latest reminder to American Muslims of the need to find ways to keep teenagers and young adults from being drawn to ideologies promoted by such groups as Islamic State, the militants also known as ISIS who control part of Syria.
The suspect's friend said he thought nothing of the text message at the time, but now wonders if it was a clue to Thursday's rampage in Chattanooga, which has re-ignited concerns about the radicalization of young Muslim men. The suspect, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, a Kuwaiti-born naturalized U.S. citizen, was killed in a gunfight with police. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating the attack as an act of terrorism, but said it was premature to speculate on the gunman's motive.