Political News from Yahoo

Lowe's agrees to minimize lead dust

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says that Lowe's Home Centers has agreed to settle violations of federal requirements that call for its contractors to minimize lead dust from home renovations.

US to send 'non-lethal' military aid to Ukraine: Hagel

The United States will send helmets, medical supplies and other non-lethal military assistance to Ukraine amid fears of another Russian incursion there, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday. Hagel said he had informed Kiev that President Barack Obama "has approved additional non-lethal military assistance for health and welfare items and other supplies." "These supplies include medical supplies, helmets, sleeping mats and water purification units for Ukraine's armed forces, as well as shelters, small power generators and hand fuel pumps for Ukraine's State Border Guard Service," the Pentagon chief said.

Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions

GENEVA (AP) — Top diplomats from the United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine reached agreement after marathon talks Thursday on immediate steps to ease the crisis in Ukraine.

Obama offers deepest sympathy to South Korea

US President Barack Obama on Thursday offered "deepest sympathies" to the families of the victims of a ferry sinking in South Korea, from which nearly 300 people, mostly children, are missing. "The bonds of friendship between the American and Korean people are strong and enduring," Obama said in a statement also offering the condolences of his wife Michelle. "South Korea is one of our closest allies, and American Navy personnel and US Marines are already on the scene assisting with the search and rescue efforts." "As I will underscore on my visit to Seoul next week, America's commitment to our ally South Korea is unwavering -— in good times and in bad."

CBO on Obama budget: Higher deficits than claimed

WASHINGTON (AP) — A report released Thursday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says President Barack Obama's budget request would mean significantly larger budget deficits than the White House claims.

When Mothers Kill

The case of Megan Huntsman, a Utah mother who killed six of her babies and hid the bodies in a garage, isn’t the first of its kind. What happens in a mother’s brain to make her do such a thing?

Afghanistan: A Vision Of Hope

Afghanistan is creating a positive future for itself. Sixty per cent of those eligible to vote have done so in the country’s presidential elections.

New Hampshire lawmakers fail to pass death penalty repeal

New Hampshire's Senate failed to repeal the death penalty on Thursday, in a vote that capped weeks of emotional debate while focusing attention on the state's lone death row inmate. The Senate deadlocked 12 to 12 on a bill to abolish capital punishment, meaning it did not pass. New Hampshire's House had earlier passed the bill, and first-term Governor Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, had said she would sign it. New Hampshire would have been the 19th state to scrap the death penalty under rising pressure from activists who contend that execution does not reduce crime and that innocent people are sometimes put to death.

Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US

The White House Thursday announced a series of measures aimed at increasing solar energy production in the United States, particularly by encouraging the installation of solar panels in public spaces. President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress want laws to fight climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but Republicans, who hold the majority in the House of Representatives, have blocked all legislative efforts since 2011. In response, the president has switched tactics, using his regulatory and administrative powers to enact his climate change policies. Thursday, the White House launched a program to encourage federal agencies, military installations, and publicly-subsidized buildings in the Washington area to install more solar panels on roofs, covered parking garages and open land.

Obama budget plan would boost U.S. tax revenues, cut deficits: CBO

President Barack Obama's fiscal 2015 budget request would boost U.S. tax revenues by nearly $1.4 trillion over 10 years if fully enacted, slashing deficits by $1.05 trillion while funding new spending, the Congressional Budget Office said on Thursday. There is virtually no chance that Congress will advance Obama's plan in its entirety. But the CBO's latest analysis will feed campaign messaging by both Democrats and Republicans ahead of congressional elections in November. The analysis compares Obama's request to a new "baseline" estimate that CBO released last week that assumes no changes to current tax and spending laws.

Saudi spy chief ousted under US pressure: experts

The exit of Saudi's spy chief was the result of US pressure over his stance on Syria but does not signal a shift in Riyadh's goal of toppling the Damascus regime, experts say. Riyadh, as is usual, did not elaborate on its statement this week that Prince Bandar bin Sultan was being replaced, saying only that the veteran diplomat had asked to step down. But a Saudi expert said that Washington -- irritated for some time by Prince Bandar's handling of the Syria dossier -- had in December demanded his removal. Prince Bandar was leading Saudi Arabia's efforts to finance, arm and unify the Syrian rebellion, which after three years of fighting is still far from its goal of overthrowing the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Putin Sounds Like Obama on Spying

The Russian president uses similar logic and words that the American president does when justifying mass surveillance.

Little government response to bombing a year later

BOSTON (AP) — A year after homemade bombs ripped through the Boston Marathon, state and federal officials have enacted virtually no policy changes in response to the attack, a dramatic departure from previous acts of terrorism that prompted waves of government action.

Chris Nolan’s Secret Weapon

A local news cameraman turned Oscar-winning cinematographer, Wally Pfister has been Christopher Nolan’s go-to director of photography. It's time for his $100 million directorial debut.

GOP: Getting Hip to Gay Marriage?

Just as the Nevada GOP drops its opposition to same-sex marriage, a group of young conservatives is launching a campaign to change anti-gay language in the national party platform.

Has Putin Picked His Next Targets?

There are increasing signs that the unrest in Eastern Ukraine is spreading, and Odessa, the country’s third largest city, could be the next to fall.

The Seedy Side of Sainthood

As the faithful descend on Rome for the double canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII, critics say the two popes were pushed through to sainthood without a thorough vetting.

Mississippi Prefers Pork to Tea

In an attempt to slip into a Senate seat, Republican candidate Chris McDaniel has abandoned home state issues to focus on national matters—and state voters don’t like the taste of it.