Political News from Yahoo

Islamic State jihadists 'close in on Syria Kurd town'

Beirut (AFP) - Jihadists of the Islamic State group were closing in on a strategic Syrian town near the Turkish border on Thursday, expelling Kurdish fighters from surrounding villages, a monitoring group said.

Mindful of history and a tight race, Scots vote en masse

Edinburgh (AFP) - Scottish voters queued up from before dawn to cast their votes for or against independence on Thursday, running the gauntlet of leaflet-wielding activists making one last push to influence a knife-edge vote.

U.S. Senate to cast final vote on arming Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday was poised to approve President Barack Obama's plan for training and arming moderate Syrian rebels to battle Islamic State militants. A successful Senate vote on the measure, which passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday on a vote of 273-156, would send it to Obama to sign into law. Obama plans to use the congressional authority to "degrade and destroy" violent Islamic State militants who have been taking control of large parts of Iraq and Syria - moves that U.S. officials argue threaten America's national security. ...

Closing arguments set in Rowland trial

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A federal judge has begun instructing jurors on how to deliberate the fate of former Gov. John G. Rowland in advance of closing arguments in his federal conspiracy trial.

Amnesty urges Nigeria to criminalise torture

Lagos (AFP) - Amnesty International on Thursday urged Nigeria's government to criminalise torture, as it published a new report documenting widespread abuses in the criminal justice system and military.

AP Sources: US offers Ukraine $46M in security aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will announce $46 million in new security assistance for the Ukrainian military, including equipment to help detect incoming artillery fire. But he will stop short of fulfilling Ukraine's request for lethal aid to help in the fight against Russian-backed separatists.

Ukrainian president asks US for military aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — The president of Ukraine is asking the U.S. to give his soldiers lethal military equipment in its battle against Russian-backed separatists, saying that one cannot win the war or keep the peace with blankets and night vision goggles.

Republican senator says 2015 could be time for U.S. oil export bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top supporter in the U.S. Congress for reversing the 40-year ban on crude oil exports, Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, said next year could be the time for a bill on lifting the restriction. "I think it may be timely then," Senator Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy Committee, told reporters on Thursday when asked if next year would be a good time for legislation. Lawmakers have avoided introducing a measure to lift the ban ahead of the Nov. 4 midterm elections amid concern that exporting oil could lead to higher gasoline prices. ...

U.S. calls for Japan to buckle down on Pacific trade pact

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman urged Japan on Thursday to ramp up efforts on a Pacific trade pact ahead of planned talks with his Japanese counterpart next week and a new round of negotiations in October. A stand-off between the United States and Japan, the two biggest economies in the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership, over access to farm and auto markets has been blamed for slow progress in clinching the trade deal. But U.S. President Barack Obama has set mid-November as a goal for having the outlines of an agreement, putting pressure on negotiators. ...

Russia 'moves troops in Crimea' ahead of Ukraine-US meet

Kiev (AFP) - Kiev accused Moscow on Thursday of massing its troops in annexed Crimea on the Ukraine border, rattling nerves just as President Petro Poroshenko prepared to meet US counterpart Barack Obama.

Israeli navy fire wounds Gaza fisherman

Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - Israeli naval gunfire wounded a fisherman off the coast of Gaza on Thursday, a medical official said, in a sign of ongoing tension around the battered Palestinian territory.

Bank borrowing in new ECB loans programme disappoints

Frankfurt (AFP) - The European Central Bank pumped more liquidity into the financial system Thursday in a bid to boost the economy via private-sector loans but analysts said uptake by banks was disappointing.

Flags and tartan in Scottish independence leader's home village

Strichen (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Flag-waving schoolchildren and tartan caps greeted Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond on Thursday as he voted in the remote farming village he calls home -- where the man who could be the father of independence is just "a nice bloke".

Is NY Fashion Week the New Cool Kid?

Normally more commercial-oriented, NYFW staged a series of performance pieces this season rather than pure runway shows. But is it enough to unseat London as the fashion week to watch?

Measles Vaxx Mix-Up Kills Syrian Kids

An accidental mix-up of measles vaccine and a common muscle relaxer killed at least 15 Syrian children, and possibly many more.

Why the Right Calls Obama a Narcissist

Now some on the right think Obama says ‘I’ too much. In fact, he doesn’t. But what does it mean that they can’t stand to hear him say it?

The US Is Losing a Generation to Poverty

OK, the official poverty rate declined this week. But it’s worth remembering that millions who aren’t officially in poverty are still poor.