Political News from Yahoo

Excitement, tension as Fiji returns to democracy

Suva (Fiji) (AFP) - There was a mood of optimism tinged with apprehension at Suva's eerily quiet central market Tuesday ahead of the first election for eight years in Fiji -- a South Pacific island nation with a history of coups.

Embattled French government faces key confidence vote

Paris (AFP) - France's under-fire government faces a crucial parliamentary confidence vote on Tuesday as the country battles a political and economic crisis and President Francois Hollande's popularity stagnates at record lows.

US lawmakers to debate tailored Syria action bill Tuesday

Washington (AFP) - Republican leaders will seek to convince lawmakers on Tuesday to authorize the Pentagon to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels to fight extremists, while also putting checks on President Barack Obama's use-of-force powers.

White House backs use of body cameras by police

WASHINGTON (AP) — Requiring police officers to wear body cameras is one potential solution for bridging deep mistrust between law enforcement and the public, the White House said, weighing in on a national debate sparked by the shooting of an unarmed black man last month in Ferguson, Missouri.

First U.S. airstrike in expanded Iraq fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials said Monday the United States has taken the first step in its planned expanded fight against Islamic State militants, going to the aid of Iraqi security forces near Baghdad who were being attacked by enemy fighters.

Kerry: US open to talks with Iran on Islamic State

PARIS (AP) — As more than two dozen nations pledged Monday to help Iraq fight the Islamic State militants, the United States said it was open to talking to Iran about a role in resolving the crisis, despite Washington's earlier opposition to Tehran even attending the conference.

US bombs IS near Baghdad for first time

Paris (AFP) - US warplanes carried out their first air strike on the Islamic State near Baghdad, as world diplomats pledged to support Iraq in its fight against the militants.

State Sen. Wright resigns after voter fraud case

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — State Sen. Rod Wright submitted his resignation Monday after he was sentenced last week to three months in jail for lying about where he lived when he ran for office.

California state Senator Wright to resign following fraud conviction

By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California state Senator Roderick Wright plans to resign from office later this month following a perjury and voter fraud conviction that saw him sentenced to 90 days in jail, he said in a letter sent on Monday. Wright, who was convicted in January of lying about whether he lived in the district he sought to represent, was the first of three California Senate Democrats to face criminal proceedings this year. This effectively cost the party a cherished two-thirds majority in the California Senate. ...

NASA asteroid defense program falls short: audit

Washington (AFP) - The US space agency's program to detect and protect the Earth from incoming asteroids is poorly managed and far behind schedule, said a government audit report on Monday.

Yemen army, tribes clash with Shiite rebels

Sanaa (AFP) - Shiite Huthi rebels clashed Monday with Yemeni army forces and loyalist tribes northeast of Sanaa as a UN envoy kept up mediation efforts, tribal sources said.

Lula mobbed in Rio, defends govt on Petrobras

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Influential former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday rallied behind successor Dilma Rousseff as she chases re-election next month amid a corruption scandal and weak economy.

Leaders pledge powers in final push before Scottish vote

The leaders of the three main British parties on Tuesday issued a joint pledge to give the Scottish parliament more powers if voters reject independence, in a final drive to stop the United Kingdom splitting. Its appearance comes two days ahead of Scotland's independence referendum on Thursday. Printed to look like a yellowed scroll, the promise was signed by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, opposition Labour party leader Ed Miliband, and Liberal Democrat deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. "We agreed that: The Scottish Parliament is permanent and extensive new powers for the Parliament will be delivered," the text read.

Ukraine outrage over delay on EU trade deal

Kiev (AFP) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is facing a backlash from his staunchest supporters for bowing to Russian pressure and postponing the implementation of an EU trade deal the two sides plan to ratify Tuesday.

US official warns Assad not to target US planes

Washington (AFP) - US forces will target Syrian anti-aircraft systems if they take aim at American planes conducting strikes inside Syria against Islamic State rebels, a senior US official warned Monday.

Connecticut ex-governor opens defense in campaign law trial

By Richard Weizel NEW HAVEN Conn. (Reuters) - The first defense witness in the trial of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland testified on Monday that Rowland performed legitimate consulting services for a nursing home company, countering prosecutors who say he worked under a phony contract in violation of federal campaign laws. Rowland attended numerous meetings with top executives of Apple Healthcare in 2011 and 2012, and offered “helpful advice” to the company, its chief operating officer Brian Bedard said on Monday. Earlier on Monday, after nearly two weeks of testimony in U.S. ...

Punters take a gamble on Scottish independence vote

While the odds indicate Scotland will vote against independence, bookmakers said Monday that most punters are putting their money on a "Yes" in the biggest political betting event they have ever seen. William Hill on Sunday cut their odds on a "Yes" vote from 3/1 to 11/4 after a late wave of support. Ladbrokes is offering 1/4 on a "No" vote and 3/1 on a "Yes" vote. It's a good investment whatever happens!" said Jamie Anderson, told AFP as he walked into a Glasgow bookmakers planning to lay a bet for independence.