Political News from Yahoo

The Gubernatorial Glass Ceiling

Female candidates once had to prove their toughness above all and never mention their personal lives. Now they should show strength—but still be likable, according to new research.

China Has a Dwarf Amusement Park

In 2009, an amusement park opened with a very strange theme: little people. While human rights groups have called it exploitative, performers say it makes their lives in China better.

US Spies Worry About Gitmo 5’s New Home

Under the terms of the deal to free Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, Qatar will keep the senior Taliban figures in house arrest for a year. But U.S. officials say relying on the emirate is unwise.

Confessions of a Human Trafficker

A man who helped smuggle desperate Libyans into Europe has revealed the details of his trafficking racket to Italian authorities—and the testimony is chilling.

The Cult of ‘Star Wars’ Legend Boba Fett

Boba doesn’t say much. Boba was born in the hated holiday special. And as George Lucas said, Boba just sort of dies. Yet Star Wars’ infamous bounty hunter may be getting a spin-off.

Amazon Is NOT the Putin of Books

In its battle with Hachette, Amazon is being compared to Putin and the Mafia—by critics who want you to pay more for books.

The Hippie Who Conquered Hollywood

If Jennifer Lawrence is the girl you want to be, then Shailene Woodley is the girl that you are—and her gift is for making that person just as inviting as the idealized alternative.

Will McConnell Face a Senate Coup?

He easily fought off a primary challenge, but he faces a tough November election—and a Tea Party whose top priority is dropping him as leader, whether or not the GOP retakes the Senate.

Dalai Lama in democracy call ahead of Tibet autonomy push

Dharamsala (India) (AFP) - The Dalai Lama has called for democracy in China and offered prayers for victims of the Tiananmen crackdown ahead of the launch Thursday of a new campaign for autonomy in his Tibetan homeland. Rattled by a wave of self-immolations that have highlighted the sense of desperation among Tibetans, the Nobel prize-winner and other exiled leaders are renewing their push for a "Middle Way" of peaceful autonomy within China after a four-year hiatus. The premier of Tibet's government in exile, Lobsang Sangay, is to host a press conference in the Indian hill station of Dharamsala after taking over the job of pushing for autonomy from the revered spiritual leader. But the Dalai Lama, who officially stepped down from political duties in 2011, stole the spotlight on the eve of the launch by urging China to embrace democracy, in comments marking the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing.

Indian PM Modi to meet Obama in September: reports

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Washington for his first meeting with President Barack Obama in September, media reports said Thursday, as the two leaders look to re-build strained ties. Modi, who assumed office last month after a landslide election victory, has accepted the invitation from Obama for discussions and the dates for the meeting were being finalised, the Times of India newspaper said.

State governments may be expanding wealth gap

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Lawmakers in many states have been trying to boost their post-recession economies by cutting income taxes, curbing aid to the long-term jobless or holding down the minimum wage. Some have pursued all of these steps.

News Summary: States' role in wealth gap

WEALTH GAP: Economic research shows that the gap between the richest U.S. residents and the rest of the population has been growing over the past four decades, particularly recently. Some economists are raising concerns that the trend could be limiting growth in consumer spending.

State-by-state growth in income inequality

Income inequality is often measured by the Gini index, named for Italian statistician Corrado Gini, who developed it in 1912. It measures income distribution on a scale of zero to one, with zero meaning everyone has the same income and one indicating that a single person has all the income. The higher the number, the greater the amount of income inequality.

4 ways state policies can influence the wealth gap

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The rich are becoming richer in the U.S., and the rest are mostly not. It's a trend that emerged over the course of four decades and has become particularly pronounced in recent years.

Australians lose $100 million in coins each year

Australians lose more than $100 million worth of coins down the back of sofas and car seats each year, the Royal Australian Mint said. Mint chief executive Ross MacDiarmid told a government hearing that 255 million coins disappear annually and are replaced. "Most of the coins that we provide are against coins that disappear down the back of chairs, down the back of car seats, into rubbish dumps and, in some cases, are taken overseas," he told a Senate committee Tuesday night. MacDiarmid said some of the coins the Mint replaced each year were those "sitting in people's drawers for long periods of time or in jars".

Israel to build 1,500 more homes in settlements: reports

Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel has invited bids for 1,500 new homes in Jewish settlements in retaliation for a new Palestinian government backed by Hamas, reports said on Thursday. "Israel has the right and duty to build throughout the entire country," said the minister, who is a member of the far-right Jewish Home party which is fierce champion of the settlements and opposes a Palestinian state.

Tea party leader, 2 others, trapped in courthouse

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A tea party officer and two others representing the challenger in a Senate primary became trapped in a courthouse in the middle of the night, hours after officials had gone home from counting votes, authorities said.

Burundi ready to boost C.Africa contingent

Burundi is ready to send hundreds more troops to Central African Republic, where international forces are trying to put an end to sectarian violence, President Pierre Nkurunziza told AFP. "We have been asked by the African Union and the United Nations to raise the number of our troops in the CAR," Nkurunziza said during a visit to Paris. Burundi is looking for necessary equipment and support from its partners to see the mission through, he added.

Lawmakers demand answers over Obama POW-Taliban trade

President Barack Obama's decision to swap five detained Taliban operatives for an American soldier captured in Afghanistan has baffled lawmakers, with many questioning the military and political merits of the controversial exchange. Some warned that the president, already burdened by a series of crises, has sunk deeper into political quicksand by negotiating with terrorists, keeping Congress in the dark or manufacturing a military success story in order to mask other scandals. Obama stands accused by a senior member of his own Democratic Party, Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein, of breaking US law by failing to provide lawmakers 30 days' notice before transferring prisoners out of Guantanamo. In addition to its legality, Republicans and Democrats alike questioned the timing, political optics and price of the operation that saw US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl released by his Taliban captors after five years of captivity in Afghanistan.

China detains 29 Xinjiang 'terrorist suspects': report

China has detained 29 people described as "terrorist suspects" in its ethnically divided western region of Xinjiang, state media said Thursday, as authorities crack down following several deadly attacks. Suspects detained in Xinjiang's capital Urumqi face charges including "inciting separatism" and "disturbing order in a public place", the state-run Xinjiang Net said. In the past year Xinjiang -- home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority -- has seen an increase in violent clashes, which Beijing blames on organised terrorist groups seeking independence for the region. Critics say the terror threat in Xinjiang is exaggerated by Beijing to justify hard-line measures, and point to economic inequality and cultural and religious repression of Uighurs as causes of unrest.