Political News from Yahoo

Illinois Gov. Quinn faces questions about program

CHICAGO (AP) — Democratic Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, fighting to hold onto his seat and his reputation as a reformer who's cleaned up state government, is facing questions about a now-defunct anti-violence program he started in the run-up to his 2010 election after a state audit found funds were misused.

Gov't to release more Clinton White House records

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Archives says it will release previously restricted records from the Clinton White House on Supreme Court nominations, Osama bin Laden and Vice President Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign.

Treasury's Lew: U.S. has deep interest in bringing China up to global standards

It is crucial to the United States that China be brought up to world standards for how it regulates and manages its economy, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Wednesday. Lew said that, despite tensions between the countries, the U.S. will remain closely engaged with China to try to further economic reform in the country -- now the world's second largest economy behind the United States. "Realistically, the global economy depends on a good U.S.-China relationship," he said, speaking at a business conference hosted by the CNBC television network. Lew also said that in recent talks with Chinese officials he has made clear U.S. demands that China stop managing its currency, which is pegged to the value of the U.S. dollar.

Police catch top Greek fugitive after shootout

Greek police on Wednesday said they had captured far-left extremist Nikos Maziotis -- one of the country's top fugitives -- after a shootout in central Athens. "Nikos Maziotis has been arrested," a police source said, adding that a police officer had been injured in an exchange of fire near the tourist district of Monastiraki. Maziotis himself, a leading member of defunct militant outfit Revolutionary Struggle, was more seriously injured and was taken to hospital for surgery, state news agency ANA said.

Treasury's Lew urges lawmakers to stem inversion deals

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration urged Congress on Wednesday to pass a law to stem what it described as a growing trend in U.S. companies moving to other countries to reduce their U.S. tax bills. "Congress should enact legislation immediately," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told a business conference hosted by CNBC network. "It is important that this issue be addressed because we're seeing an uptick in activity, of greater interest of companies moving overseas." (Reporting by Howard Schneider and Jason Lange; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

EU weighs Russia sanctions as Ukraine toll soars

Hesitant European leaders on Wednesday launch a fresh debate on adopting new sanctions against Russia for its perceived backing of Ukrainian insurgents that could boomerang against their own fragile economies. The Brussels discussions come as three months of fighting that has already claimed more than 600 lives threatens to spill into all-out civil war with potential repercussions for neighbouring European nations. Ukraine called the incident a "provocation" by the separatists aimed at making it look like the new pro-Western leaders in Kiev were bombing ethnic Russians who cherish their Soviet-era ties with Moscow. Kiev reported the death of 11 more servicemen overnight and warned that Russia had parked thousands of troops along its entire border with Ukraine in preparation for a possible invasion.

Dutch court rules state liable over 300 Srebrenica victims

A court in the Netherlands ruled Wednesday that the Dutch state was liable for the deaths of over 300 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in the Srebrenica massacre, the worst atrocity on European soil since World War II. Families of the victims had brought a case the Dutch government over the 1995 killings, accusing Dutch UN peacekeepers of failing to protect the 8,000 slaughtered by ethnic Serb troops just a few months before the end of the Bosnian war.

Eurozone trade surplus higher in May

Countries in the eurozone posted a 15.4-billion-euro ($20.9-billion) trade surplus in May, official data showed on Wednesday, with export powerhouse Germany again leading the way. The data provided "slightly brighter news after a series of disappointing hard data releases for the month," said Christian Schulz of Berenberg Bank.

Iraqi Shiite cleric tells AFP: PM Maliki must go

The removal of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki would be an "important part" of the solution to Iraq's political crisis, the spokesman for one of the country's top Shiite clerics said. The statement is the first from any of Iraq's revered Shiite religious leaders to explicitly endorse Maliki's departure, and is one of a string of recent announcements indicating a more active national role for the usually taciturn clergy. The speedy formation of a new more inclusive government is seen as a crucial step in countering last month's onslaught by Islamic State (IS) militants, who have exploited resentment stoked by Iraq's ineffectual and fractious political leaders. An important part," said Sheikh Ali al-Najafi, spokesman for his father Grand Ayatollah Bashir al-Najafi, referring to Maliki's defenestration.

Lew: cyberattacks aim to disrupt U.S. financial system

The hundreds of cyberattacks against U.S. banks and other institutions in recent years represent a targeted attempt to more broadly disrupt the U.S. financial system, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Wednesday. In remarks on CNBC, Lew did not single out a suspected country or organization behind the attacks, but said they held the potential to cause massive economic damage if "core operational functions" of major financial institutions were compromised.

Democrat holding lead in New Hampshire Senate race: poll

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire is holding off a challenge from Republican Scott Brown, according to a poll released on Wednesday, although the former U.S. senator from Massachusetts is gaining ground. Shaheen has the support of some 50 percent of registered voters, with 42 percent favoring Brown, who stunned Massachusetts Democrats in 2010 when he won a U.S. Senate seat that had been held by liberal Edward M. Kennedy for a half-century, according to the NBC News/Marist College poll. Brown lost his re-election bid in 2012 and late last year moved back to neighboring New Hampshire, where he grew up, in anticipation of this year's campaign. Majorities of independent and moderate voters support Shaheen, a former New Hampshire governor, and 52 percent of voters overall view her favorably, while just 40 percent of the 1,342 voters polled from July 7 through 13 viewed Brown favorably.

Georgia to investigate death of TV tycoon

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Georgia's president on Wednesday called for a murder investigation into the shooting of an influential TV tycoon.

Russia 'agrees to reopen Cuba spy base'

Russia has provisionally agreed to reopen a major Cold War listening post on Cuba that was used to spy on the United States, a Russian daily reported Wednesday after President Vladimir Putin visited the island last week. Kommersant reported that Russia and Cuba had agreed "in principle" to reopen the Lourdes base, mothballed since 2001, citing several sources within Russian authorities. "The agreements were finalised while President Vladimir Putin visited Havana last Friday," the respected daily wrote.

Fallon says eurosceptic UK cabinet reflects public views

British Prime Minister David Cameron's newly eurosceptic cabinet reflects the increasing prevalence of anti-EU feelings in the country, a newly promoted minister said Wednesday. Conservative Cameron has conducted a major shake-up of his ministers, notably replacing foreign secretary William Hague with Philip Hammond, who has said he would vote for Britain to leave the EU unless it takes back more powers from Brussels. "It's certainly a eurosceptic cabinet, but the country is eurosceptic now," said Michael Fallon, who replaces Hammond as defence secretary in the reshuffle.