Political News from Yahoo

Clinton memoir hits out at 'political slugfest' on Benghazi

Hillary Clinton has given her most detailed account yet of the attacks in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, but said she will not join the "political slugfest" over the tragedy. In excerpts from her forthcoming memoir "Hard Choices," Clinton offered a blunt rebuttal to Republican lawmakers who have repeatedly accused her of bungling the response to the September 11, 2012 attack on the US mission and of misleading the American public. "Those who exploit this tragedy over and over as a political tool minimize the sacrifice of those who served our country," President Barack Obama's first secretary of state said in perhaps the book's most anticipated chapter, "Benghazi: Under Attack."

Malawi court clears release of election results

Blantyre (Malawi) (AFP) - Malawi's high court Friday refused to delay the release of results of the country's disputed presidential elections for a recount. "The law is clear, there is no extension," said high court judge Kenyatta Nyirenda. Riot police patrolled key areas of the commercial capital Blantyre as the court decision was announced after earlier demonstrations turned violent, leaving one protester dead. President Joyce Banda -- shown in early results last week to be running third -- had claimed the vote was marred by "serious irregularities" and declared it "null and void".

Canadian convicted of trying to join terror group

A Canadian was convicted Friday of trying to join Somalia's Shebab militants, marking the first time Ottawa has brought charges of attempting to participate in terrorist activity. Mohamed Hersi, 28, was arrested at Toronto's airport in March 2011 as he was about to leave for Cairo. Prosecutors, however, said Hersi was in fact traveling to his birth country of Somalia to join the Shebab. Hersi was also convicted of counseling another person to participate in a terrorist activity, after he provided advice to an undercover policeman in the case.

Obama taps Army Ranger as interim head of troubled veterans agency

By Mark Felsenthal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In naming Sloan Gibson as acting secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, President Barack Obama turned to a staunch defender of the agency who has a background in both the military and in the corporate world. Gibson, the son of a World War II Army Air Corps tail gunner and grandson of a World War I veteran, went to West Point before joining the elite Army Rangers. He joined the VA only three months ago as deputy secretary. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony in April for a VA trauma center in Tampa, Florida, Gibson praised the "cutting-edge medical care" at the center and touted the dedication of VA employees.

US Coast Guard repatriates 16 Cuban migrants

The US Coast Guard said Friday it has repatriated 16 Cubans picked up in rickety boats off Florida's Key West island. "There is a legal way to seek entry into the United States," said Commander Timothy Cronin, Coast Guard Seventh District deputy chief of enforcement. "For those that choose to take to the sea and attempt to illegally enter, know that the Coast Guard continues to diligently patrol the seas to deter and disrupt illegal migration and save lives," he added in a statement.

Tiananmen leader: US didn't care about crackdown

An exiled leader of the Tiananmen Square protests deplored Friday the US stance 25 years ago, saying the ambassador confided to her that Washington didn't "care" about the crackdown. Chai Ling, who was commander-in-chief of the students agitating for democracy in Beijing, said that she had hoped the United States would intervene as Chinese troops crushed the uprising on the night of June 3-4, 1989. "We stood at Tiananmen Square until 6:00 am in the morning. We were hoping Americans would come to help us, and America never came," Chai told a congressional hearing ahead of the 25th anniversary of the uprising.

US confirms American carried out Syria suicide bombing

An American citizen fighting for a hardline Islamist group carried out a deadly suicide bombing in Syria, US officials confirmed Friday, in the first such case in the war. The State Department did not identify the man, said to have been behind a truck bombing on Sunday in the northern province of Idlib, but acknowledged concerns about the flow of foreign fighters into Syria. "I can confirm that this individual was a US citizen involved in a suicide bombing in Syria.

Two aid workers killed in Mali landmine blast

Two Malian aid workers were killed when their vehicle drove over a landmine in restive north-west Mali, officials told AFP Friday. "Two Malian humanitarian workers, who were on board a UNHCR vehicle, were killed when their vehicle blew up Thursday on a landmine in the north-west of Mali," an official from the governorate of Timbuktu told AFP. The blast took place near Goundam, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Timbuktu, said local police officer Nouhoum Diabate. "I saw two bodies blown to smithereens," he said, adding that the two aid workers were employees of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Power Couple

Samar Badawi has done jail time to advance women’s rights, and now husband Walid Abulkhair will represent himself in court against the kingdom.

Thousands rally for Libya ex-general in Tripoli, Benghazi

Thousands rallied Friday in Libya's two main cities to a rogue general who has been pressing an offensive against jihadist militias in the east of the country for two weeks. The crowds chanted slogans criticising new Prime Minister Ahmed Miitig, whose cabinet is already mired in a political standoff with its predecessor. Khalifa Haftar, head of the so-called National Army, launched his assault on Islamist militias in the eastern city of Benghazi on May 16, and has won the support of units from the regular army and air force, as well as some militias who fought to oust dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. In Benghazi, hundreds of people gathered outside the Tibesti Hotel, where they chanted slogans in support of Haftar's offensive and against terrorism.

IMF frees $4.6 billion in aid for Greece

The International Monetary Fund released $4.6 billion in aid to Greece Friday, after a yearlong delay to ensure Athens was meeting targets set by bailout lenders. The Fund said the Greek government had surpassed targets on closing its budget gap, but warned of a number of challenges still facing the country in fully stabilizing its finances and returning to sustainable growth. "The Greek authorities have made significant progress in consolidating the fiscal position and rebalancing the economy," said Naoyuki Shinohara, IMF deputy managing director.

Erdogan urges young to ignore Taksim protest anniversary

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged young Turks on Friday to ignore a call to mark the anniversary of last-year's Taksim Square protests that mushroomed into a revolt against his rule. Turkish police were already mobilising to face down marches announced for Saturday as opposition sympathisers mourned the death of a 64-year-old Turkish woman who had fallen into a coma during a crackdown on protesters in December. "One year later, people, including so-called artists, are calling for demonstrations, but you, Turkey's youth, you will not respond to the call," Erdogan told a crowd of a thousand young people in Istanbul. Despite a government ban on gatherings at Taksim Square, a symbolic rallying point, activists have called for a demonstration there to mark the one-year anniversary of the unrest, which left eight people dead and thousands wounded when police cracked down on peaceful protesters.

Romney returns to Iowa to campaign for Ernst

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Mitt Romney returned to Iowa Friday for the first time since he lost the presidential election in 2012 in an effort to showcase U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst to mainstream Republicans, and said he's opening his campaign donor list to the little-known farmer and national guard officer.

News Guide: What Benghazi means in US politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — To congressional Republicans, "Benghazi" is shorthand for incompetence and cover-up. Democrats hear it as the hollow sound of pointless investigations.

Prosecutors: Misleading testimony in Blackwater

WASHINGTON (AP) — Prosecutors say a witness in the criminal case against four former Blackwater Worldwide security guards gave misleading testimony to a jury investigating the 2007 Baghdad shooting that killed 14 Iraqi civilians and injured at least 18 others.

Obama press secretary steps down

US President Barack Obama said Friday his press secretary Jay Carney was stepping down after more than three years as the first line of defense for his administration. Obama interrupted Carney's daily press briefing to announce that his spokesman had resigned and would be replaced by his deputy Josh Earnest. "It's bittersweet," Obama said, referring to Carney, a former Time Magazine journalist, as "one of my closest friends in Washington." Earnest goes back a long way with Obama, after serving as his communications director in the state that made his national political career, Iowa, during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Eleven killed in northern Kenya ethnic clashes

At least 11 people have been killed and several others wounded in fighting between rival clans in Wajir in Kenya's remote northeast, police said Friday. I can confirm 11 people dead and seven wounded," police spokeswoman Zipporah Mboroki told AFP. Officials said security has been tightened in the area, one of Kenya's poorest regions.

Death threats made against Mandela during US trip

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly released documents show the FBI investigated death threats against former South Africa president Nelson Mandela during his 1990 visit to the U.S.

Obama says spokesman Carney to step down, names deputy Earnest as replacement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama interrupted the White House daily press briefing on Friday to announce that his spokesman Jay Carney is stepping down, and named as a replacement Josh Earnest, Carney's deputy. Obama said he would miss Carney and his advice, but called Earnest "a straight shooter and a great guy" who had been part of his team since he first ran for president. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Doina Chiacu)