Political News from Yahoo

Kerry visits papal diplomat to talk Mideast peace

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Intrigued by signals of an invigorated papal diplomacy, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry enlisted a new ally Tuesday in his push for Mideast peace in what he described as a "common enterprise" between America and the Holy See.

South Carolina lawmakers take aim at healthcare law

By Harriet McLeod CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - South Carolina lawmakers say they have found a way to stop implementation of the U.S. Affordable Care Act in their state, an effort that could provide a template for other Republican-led legislatures looking to derail the federal program. The proposed measure would ban state agencies from helping carry out President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform law and prevent federal money flowing through state coffers from being spent on it, said Republican state Senator Tom Davis. The legislation would give South Carolina oversight of insurance rates offered through its federal exchange and require healthcare navigators, which help people sign up for the healthcare benefits, to be licensed by the state, said Davis, who chairs the committee drafting the measure. "Even though the federal government may pass a law, and even though that law may be constitutional, that doesn't mean that the federal government can direct the state to spend state dollars to implement it," he said.

Phone firms balk at proposed spy data shift

WASHINGTON (AP) — Telephone companies are quietly balking at the idea of changing how they collect and store Americans' phone records to help the National Security Agency's surveillance programs. They're worried about their exposure to lawsuits and the price tag if the U.S. government asks them to hold information about customers for longer than they already do.

Christie seen shifting focus in speech amid scandals

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, facing investigations over a traffic snarl-up and the use of federal money for an ad campaign, will likely try to shift attention back to his second-term agenda when he gives a key speech on Tuesday. Two sets of emails last week appeared to show that Christie's aides had orchestrated lane closures last September in a stretch of highway leading to the George Washington Bridge, which spans New Jersey and Manhattan, and lied about it. Christie has denied any knowledge of a scheme to snarl traffic to wreak political payback against the Democratic mayor of the city of Fort Lee, New Jersey, and said there is nothing in the emails to suggest he had any direct knowledge of it.

Obama to press jobs agenda with executive actions

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is picking up the pace of his jobs message and making a case that he can still be relevant to people struggling in the up-and-down recovery despite a divided Congress.

An Ode to the Wrap Dress

Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg opens up about the four-decade-long legacy of her famous piece that "will always make women feel like the best versions of themselves."

The Corsican Mafia Love Nest

As rumors circulate about the president of France’s alleged amorous indiscretions, the French media digs up a shadowy link with organized crime.

The Debate Over Brain Death

In simpler times we were here and then gone. But recent cases have shown us there is a complicated grey area where the brain is dead but the heart is very much alive.

From Tryst to True Love?

“If he cheats once, he’ll cheat again” is age-old wisdom, but it can be wrong. The reason for the cheating makes all the difference.

Top Iraq Deputy Warns of Civil War

Iraq’s second-highest ranking Sunni Arab politician is in D.C. to ask Obama to send election monitors. He believes that free and fair elections will save Iraq from civil war.

7 Ways ‘American Idol’ Changed TV

Many people have already written off ‘American Idol’ as a past-its-prime reality TV corpse. Before its season 13 premiere, here’s a reminder of why that’s definitely not true.

Couch Potato Calorie-Burner

‘Wii Fit U’ says I’m a world class salsa dancer. ‘Xbox Fitness’ has me crawling on the floor. Can I lose weight playing video games?

Egypt's Day of Rage

Egypt’s military rulers want voters to pass a new constitution which they say will protect minorities like Christians and women— opponents say it could pave the way for dictatorship.

Monster Porn Is a Thing

Forget brawny cowboys and sadomasochistic millionaires. ’50 Shades’ opened the door for every horny monster, space alien, minotaur, leprechaun, and gargoyle imaginable. Can you say ‘cryptozoological erotica’?

The Making of a Fashion Legend

“There’s something heroic about Yves Saint Laurent,” marveled Jalil Lespert, the film director of Yves Saint Laurent. His directorial début, starring the young French YSL-lookalike Pierre Niney, was released in theaters throughout France last week. The director spoke with Pierre Bergé, the late Saint Laurent’s business/life partner, on Friday at Colette’s Water Bar in Paris before a packed-to-the-gills audience of fashion acolytes.

No Recess for Obama

The Supreme Court is certain to declare the White House’s filling of jobs without the Senate’s approval illegal. The question is how far the court, which rather likes executive power, will go.

Who But Christie Can Beat Hillary?

Even without Bridgegate, Chris Christie wouldn’t get the Republican nomination. That leaves a pack of conservatives vulnerable to Clinton.

Fed Reserve Is Insanely Profitable

On February 1, Janet Yellen will take over America’s central bank, a cash cow that makes the Fortune 500 look like peanuts.

Preview of Chris Christie's State of the State Address

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has kept a low profile since his nearly two-hour press conference last week where he apologized and denied having any knowledge of close aides plotting the politically motivated lane closures leading to the George Washington Bridge. But he can’t lay...