Political News from Yahoo

Hollande faces host of headaches on return from holiday

President Francois Hollande faces a mountain of problems when French political life restarts after the long summer holidays. The government on Wednesday will hold its first cabinet meeting of what is known as the political "rentree," or return from holidays, just a week after the finance minister admitted the economy had "broken down," with zero growth over the past six months. Prime Minister Manuel Valls had already warned the autumn months would be "difficult," with France's unemployment at a record high and the European Union increasingly worried about the country's budget deficit. "We have growth that is far too weak, in France and in Europe," complained Valls after a meeting with Hollande to prepare the ground for September.

Getty photographer detained, released in Ferguson

confirmed the arrest of one of its photographers covering the unrest in a Missouri town where a white police officer shot dead an unarmed black teenager. In a caption with a photograph showing the arrest of Scott Olson, the agency said he was being "placed in a paddy wagon after being arrested by police as he covers the demonstration following the shooting death of Michael Brown." did not say why Olson was detained. " condemns Scott's arrest and is committed to ensuring that he and our other photographer colleagues are able to report this important story," said Pancho Bernasconi, Getty's vice president of news.

Texas' Perry to fight indictment, casting shadow on possible 2016 run

By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) - Texas Governor Rick Perry will vigorously fight a two-count felony indictment returned by a state grand jury last week charging him with abuse of power, his lawyers said on Monday, calling the prosecution "outrageous." The indictment has cast a shadow over Perry's possible bid for the Republican presidential nomination, with experts predicting that legal wrangling in the case is likely to stretch into the 2016 election cycle. Perry was indicted on Friday by a grand jury in Travis County, a Democratic stronghold in the heavily Republican state, over his veto of funding for a state ethics watchdog that has investigated prominent Texas Republicans.

Ban on low-flying aircraft over Ferguson extended

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration has extended a ban on flights operating below 3,000 feet over Ferguson, Missouri, for a week "to provide a safe environment for law enforcement activities."

Washington, Damascus at odds in fight against IS

Washington and Damascus are "not on the same page" in the fight against their common enemy the Islamic State, whose militants have declared a "caliphate" straddling swathes of Iraq and Syria, US officials said Monday. The United States has been battling IS insurgents just over the Syrian border in Iraq with a series of air strikes that began on August 8. While acknowledging that Syria and the United States shared a common enemy, State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said the two have yet to share common ground.

Australia tycoon blasts Chinese government 'mongrels'

Outspoken Australian tycoon Clive Palmer has labelled the Chinese government "mongrels" who "shoot their own people" in a televised tirade that was criticised by Canberra Tuesday as "hugely damaging". The billionaire politician, who was elected to parliament last year as head of the Palmer United Party and is known for rebuilding a replica of the Titanic, also called the Chinese "bastards" who "want to take over this country". The flamboyant mining baron is locked in a long-running dispute over royalties and port operations with Hong Kong-based Citic Pacific over its Sino Iron magnetite project, a partnership with China's state-owned Metallurgical Group Corporation. The mogul denies the allegations and told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's live Q&A current affairs panel discussion late Monday that he was "owed about Aus$500 million by the Communist Chinese government".

Pakistan's capital on edge after Khan threat

Islamabad braced for possible clashes on Tuesday after opposition politician Imran Khan pledged to lead his supporters in a march on the Pakistani capital's heavily guarded government district, in a high-stakes bid to depose the prime minister. Khan, the former cricket star who leads the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party, says last year's general election was rigged and has demanded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resign. Thousands of Khan's followers have protested in Islamabad over the past five days to demand Sharif quit, piling pressure on the government little more than a year since its landslide victory. The protests come as Pakistan's armed forces wage an offensive against Taliban militants in the northwest and as the government tries to boost a flagging economy.

Abbas to meet Qatar emir, Hamas's Meshaal in Doha

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas will travel to Doha on Wednesday and hold talks the next day with the emir of Qatar and Hamas exiled leader Khaled Meshaal, the Palestinian ambassador in Qatar said. Abbas's visit to Qatar was initially announced for Monday by Palestinian officials who are in Cairo for indirect talks with Israel on a lasting truce in Gaza. Abbas will on Thursday discuss separately with Meshaal and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani latest developments in the negotiations in Cairo and "aid and reconstruction" in Gaza, Palestinian ambassador Monir Ghannam told AFP.

FAA bans US airlines from flying over Syria

The US aviation regulator Monday ordered airlines based in the United States to stop flying over Syria, citing a "serious potential threat" to civil planes, including armed groups with anti-aircraft weapons. "Based on an updated assessment of the risk associated with such operations and the lack of any requests from operators wishing to fly in this airspace, we believe it prudent to prohibit US operators from flying into, out of and over Syria," the US Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The FAA's previous so-called Notice to Airmen had strongly advised US operators against flying over Syria. "The ongoing armed conflict and volatile security environment in Syria poses a serious potential threat to civil aviation," the new notice said.

Obama to people of Ferguson: Let's seek to heal each other

Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson, Mo., Wednesday, President Obama announced Monday.   Mr. Obama, back in Washington for two days of meetings in the middle of his vacation, spoke directly to the people of Ferguson in remarks to reporters in the White House briefing room. “So to a community in Ferguson that is rightly hurting and looking for answers, let me call once again for us to seek some understanding rather than simply holler at each other,” Obama said.  “Let’s seek to heal rather than to wound each other.” The president also sought to put some perspective on the dramatic footage coming out of Ferguson, a majority-black St. Louis suburb of 21,000 residents.

Israel, Palestinians extend Gaza truce by 24 hours

A new 24-hour ceasefire came into effect in the Gaza Strip Tuesday after Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agreed to extend a five-day truce, minutes before a midnight deadline, to allow for further talks on a long-term deal. News of the last-minute extension came from Cairo late Monday where Egyptian mediators have been pushing both sides to put a decisive end to weeks of bloodshed in Gaza, which has killed more than 2,000 Palestinians and 67 on the Israeli side. Israel also confirmed accepting the extension to allow talks on a longer-term deal to continue for another 24 hours. "In response to an Egyptian request, Israel agreed to extend the truce for 24 hours in order to continue the negotiations" for a more durable ceasefire, a government official said.

Silva could win Brazil vote after running mate's death: poll

Environmentalist Marina Silva could unseat incumbent Dilma Rousseff in Brazil's October presidential vote, a poll found Monday, a stunning political twist after Silva's running mate was killed in a plane crash. Silva, a 56-year-old former environment minister, has moved into second place ahead of the October 5 first-round vote and would defeat Rousseff in an October 26 runoff, the survey by Datafolha found. It was the first poll taken after Socialist Party candidate Eduardo Campos's death in the August 13 plane crash. Silva was Campos's vice presidential running mate, and is widely expected to be chosen to replace him at the top of the ticket when party leaders announce their decision Wednesday in Brasilia.

The National Guard, America's citizen soldiers

The National Guard is a centuries-old militia network that has served crucial roles in several US security operations, testing its mettle in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as on riot-plagued streets back home. Whether rushing to help the hurricane-battered US Gulf Coast in 2005, conducting counter-terrorism or peacekeeping operations abroad, or facing off with deadly consequences against unarmed anti-war demonstrators in 1970, the National Guard has served important but often controversial roles. In 1933 Congress brought them under a nationalized system that formed the basis of a US military reserve force. Today's US Army and Air Force National Guard is 460,000 strong, mostly reservists -- teachers, farmers, engineers and the like who commit to serving "one weekend a month and two weeks a year."

Cianci sauce made no money for charity in 4 years

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Former Mayor Buddy Cianci's face beams from the label of his Mayor's Own Marinara Sauce, which also promises that sales are "Benefiting Providence School Children" and have helped hundreds of students attend college.

Obama hails Syria arms destruction, vows vigilance

US President Barack Obama hailed the completion Monday of the destruction of Syria's chemical weapon stockpile, but said Washington would seek to ensure that Damascus fulfills all its commitments. "Today we mark an important achievement in our ongoing effort to counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction by eliminating Syria's declared chemical weapons stockpile," Obama said in a statement. After a global outcry over deadly chemical attacks in a Damascus suburb last year that may have killed as many as 1,400 people, President Bashar al-Assad's regime agreed to an international plan to destroy its stockpile. "Going forward, we will watch closely to see that Syria fulfills its commitment to destroy its remaining declared chemical weapons production facilities," Obama said.

Advocates urge U.S. top court not to block gay marriage in Virginia

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Gay marriage supporters on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court not to block a court ruling that would allow same-sex couples to wed in Virginia. Lawyers for gay and lesbian couples who want to get married urged U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts not to grant an emergency stay application filed by a Republican elected official in Northern Virginia.

Lawmakers slam Fed's crisis lending proposal

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday urged the Federal Reserve to restrict its crisis lending programs for big banks, which were criticized as bailouts during the 2007-2009 meltdown. During the crisis, the Fed invoked its emergency lending powers to pump cash into Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and other banks to prevent the global panic from worsening. The 2010 Dodd-Frank law, enacted by Congress to crack down on Wall Street excesses, curtailed those powers. It instructed the Fed to provide emergency loans as a broad program, not to individual banks, and blocked it from lending to insolvent businesses.

Southern African leaders end summit urging greater co-operation

Southern African leaders ended a two-day summit Monday resolving to develop their industries to boost regional co-operation and set up a fund for its projects. In a statement at the end of the two-day meeting in Zimbabwe's prime tourist resort town of Victoria Falls, the heads of state from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) said "industrialisation should take centre stage on SADC's regional integration agenda". "We have examined how we can make beneficiation and value addition an integral part of our regional strategic and development plan," said Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. He said significant progress had been made on plans for a regional development fund.

Obama promises 'long-term' strategy against IS

President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States has embarked on a long-term mission to defeat the insurgents of the so-called "Islamic State" fighting in Iraq. Ten days after ordering air strikes against the jihadist fighters, Obama warned that IS remains a threat to Iraq and the wider region, telling Baghdad "the wolf is at the door." Previously, Obama has been at pains to describe the US operation as limited but, as American jets pound IS positions outside Mosul, he said it would form part of a broader political strategy.