Political News from Yahoo

High court stays out of Conn. layoff case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from former Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland over claims his administration violated state employees' constitutional rights when it laid off 2,800 workers based on their union membership in 2003.

Supreme Court upholds Hawaii reapportionment

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has upheld Hawaii's reapportionment plan that leaves out some military personnel and students when calculating population and determining state legislative districts.

NJ Gov. Christie cancels party because of weather

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie, who starts a second term with multiple investigations into his administration's tactics underway, will accentuate bipartisanship and diversity in his inaugural speech Tuesday.

Obama to visit pope during European visit in March

U.S. President Barack Obama plans to visit with Pope Francis at the Vatican in March during a trip to Europe, the White House said on Tuesday. Obama is scheduled to meet with the pope on March 27 in a trip that will include stops in the Netherlands, Belgium and other parts of Italy, it said in a statement. "The president looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality," the White House said. Pope Francis, who took the helm of the Roman Catholic Church in March 2013, has led an effort to simplify the church and focus on the needy.

Scandal-tested Gov. Christie to be sworn in again

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie, who starts a second term with multiple investigations into his administration's tactics underway, will accent bipartisanship and diversity in his inaugural speech Tuesday.

Embattled New Jersey Governor Christie to be sworn in for second term

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican Party star enmeshed in scandal after re-election in November, will return to the themes of small government and bipartisan cooperation when he is sworn in for a second term on Tuesday. Instead, the speech criticized the idea that an "almighty government" can "fix any problem." "I do not believe that New Jerseyans want a bigger, more expensive government that penalizes success and then gives the pittance left to a few in the name of income equity," Christie said in the excerpt.

Legalize It For Your Legacy

Obama says he doesn’t want to end up a forgotten, no-name president. His refreshingly frank comments on marijuana legalization suggest a big way he could make that happen.

Meet the Zombie Comedienne

The Parks and Recreation star opens up about her hilarious turn as a zombie girlfriend in Life After Beth, which premiered at Sundance and a potential Daria movie.

My Lunch with a Jihadi

As a Marine Captain in Iraq, Elliot Ackerman lost men fighting jihadis, but then he found himself breaking bread with a former adversary in a Syrian refugee camp in Turkey.

Lethal Injection: Cruel and Wrong

Inmates are gasping for air and worse thanks to untested drugs. No longer able to hide behind science, Americans are about to remember the truth about capital punishment.

Kerry heads to Syria talks after Iran spat

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to Switzerland for an international conference on ending the crisis in Syria after a last-minute resolution to a spat over Iran's participation.

Human Rights Watch says Obama not gone far enough on NSA reforms

By Michelle Martin BERLIN (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has not gone far enough in reforming the monitoring activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) and is continuing to violate the privacy rights of individuals, the head of Human Rights Watch told Reuters. On Friday, Obama banned eavesdropping on the leaders of allies and began reining in the vast collection of U.S. citizens' phone data as he sought to reassure Americans and foreigners the United States would take into account privacy concerns highlighted by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's revelations. "All Obama has offered us is some vague assurance that people's communications will be listened to only if there is a national security interest at stake, which is a pretty fuzzy broad standard," Kenneth Roth, executive director of New York-based Human Rights Watch, said in an interview in Berlin.

Snowstorm shuts down federal government offices

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government says its offices in the Washington area will be closed Tuesday due to the winter storm bearing down on the mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S.

Snowden could use a trial to showcase spy claims

WASHINGTON (AP) — Should Edward Snowden ever return to the U.S., he would face criminal charges for leaking information about National Security Agency surveillance programs. But legal experts say a trial could expose more classified information as his lawyers try to build a case in an open court that the operations he exposed were illegal.

Court ruling due on child porn victim restitution

WASHINGTON (AP) — A woman whose childhood rapes by her uncle were captured on camera and widely traded on the Internet wants the Supreme Court to make it easier for victims of child pornography to collect money from people who view the brutal images on their computers.

Little has changed year after GOP's planned reboot

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican Party's image has changed little in the year since GOP Chairman Reince Priebus published his prescription for broadening the party's appeal despite its investment in outreach to the racial minorities, women and gay voters who backed Democrats decisively in 2012.

Tested by scandal, Christie to be sworn in again

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Tuesday's celebrations to mark the start of Gov. Chris Christie's second term could be tempered by multiple investigations into traffic tie-ups that appear to have been ordered by his staff for political retribution and an allegation that his administration tied Superstorm Sandy aid to approval for a real estate project.

Wendy Davis' story may have misstated details

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis' rise from a teenage single mother living in a trailer park to Harvard Law School is a centerpiece of her campaign for Texas governor, but some of the details of her personal story may be fuzzier than first thought.

US hails withdrawal of Iran invite to Syria meet

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on Monday welcomed U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon's decision to rescind his invitation to Iran to attend an international conference on Syria this week, saying it hoped the move would refocus attention on the goals of the meeting.