Political News from Yahoo

US 'not playing fair' in trade with Europe

The United States is not playing fairly in its trade with Europe and is deliberately undermining Europe's banking system, the heads of German and French industry said in newspaper interviews Friday. "It cannot be that America is weakening the European financial system and then buying up a bank here or there," the head of the powerful BDI industry federation Ulrich Grillo said in an interview published both in the German daily FAZ and the French newspaper Les Echos. French bank BNP was recently fined nearly $9.0 billion (6.6 billion euros) for violating US sanctions against blacklisted countries including Iran and Sudan. The US authorities are similarly investigating Germany's second-biggest bank Commerzbank on the same suspicions and the country's biggest lender Deutsche Bank has set aside billions of euros in provisions in case it is fined too.


Hague to attend Iran nuclear talks in Vienna

London (AFP) - British Foreign Secretary William Hague will travel to Vienna on Sunday for talks over Iran's nuclear programme, the Foreign Office said.


Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers blast Britain over report

Pro-democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong hit back Friday at former colonial ruler Britain over a report they said showed no "commitment" to the city and strived to avoid embarrassing Beijing. The British parliamentary report comes as tensions rise over complaints of increasing interference from China in the semi-autonomous city, and Beijing's insistence that it vet candidates for Hong Kong's next leader in 2017. In a foreword to the report, released Thursday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the city's "unique constitutional framework has worked well" and that there was no "perfect model" for electoral reform. Britain and China signed trade deals worth more than $24 billion in June, during a visit to London by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.


Clashes near Ramadi kill 11 Iraq police: officer

Ramadi (Iraq) (AFP) - Clashes between Sunni militants and Iraqi security forces near Anbar provincial capital Ramadi killed 11 police and wounded 24, an officer and a doctor said on Friday.


Japan PM says horrors of war must never be repeated

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Friday said the horrors of war must never be repeated as he visited a World War II battlefield in Pacific nation Papua New Guinea. He was also due to visit Cape Wom, the site of the Japanese Army's surrender in PNG on the final day of a Pacific swing that also took him to New Zealand and Australia. "I pledged in front of the spirits of the war dead that Japan wants to be a country that thinks about world peace with its friends in Asia and around the world." His comments come at a time of heightened regional tension over Japan's wartime record, with China and South Korea in particular raising concerns that Abe's right-wing government is failing to face up to the country's history of aggression.


Obama official says immigrant kids draining funds

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Homeland Security agency responsible for removing immigrants who are in the country illegally will run out of money by mid-August unless Congress approves President Barack Obama's emergency request for $3.7 billion to help deal with a flood of child immigrants crossing the border illegally without their parents, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says.


Amnesty details widespread kidnapping and torture in Ukraine

A new Amnesty International report on Friday highlighted the "hundreds" of abductions and incidents of torture by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, and also criticised the excessive force used by government forces. Amnesty's report paints a grim portrait of rampant kidnapping, extortion and torture in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian forces seized control of key cities earlier this year and are currently engaged in a desperate battle against government forces. The rights group said it was impossible to provide reliable statistics amid the chaos, with no attempt by authorities to create a single register of incidents or victims.


Fresh attack in Kenya's coastal Lamu region: officials

Unidentified gunmen raided a village near Kenya's restive coastal town of Lamu early Friday, Kenyan officials said, the latest in a string of attacks in the region. Officials said more than 10 raiders struck at Pandanguo village, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Mpeketoni -- where close to 50 people were massacred in an attack last month -- stole guns from police reservists and torched houses and other buildings. The Kenyan Red Cross said there were no reports of any casualties in the latest attack. "The heavily armed attackers raided the village at around 1:00 am today (Friday) and disarmed six police reservists," Kaviha Charo Karisa, a local area assistant chief, told AFP.


In Afghanistan, Kerry seeks path in voting crisis

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry sought Friday to broker a deal between Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates as a bitter dispute over last month's runoff election risked spiraling out of control.


Fall elections loom over governors' meeting

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Partisan divisions over immigration, education and health care are intensifying as dozens of the nation's governors meet just months before elections thick with presidential implications.


Fraud fears as Indonesia awaits end to presidential deadlock

With both presidential candidates declaring victory in Indonesia's knife-edge election this week, anxiety is growing that fraud and dirty tactics could twist official results due to be announced later this month. Jakarta governor Joko Widodo and his rival, former general Prabowo Subianto, used different unofficial tallies Wednesday to claim victory in the world's third-biggest democracy. Now more than 130 million ballot papers from the vast archipelago that sprawls the distance of London to New York are being counted and collected, and then sent on to the capital Jakarta. "The most vulnerable part of the Indonesian election is the counting process," Jakarta-based independent analyst Paul Rowland told AFP.


Officers say no 'stand-down order' for Benghazi

WASHINGTON (AP) — Military officers testified that there was no "stand-down order" that held back military assets that could have saved the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans killed at a diplomatic outpost and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya. Their testimony undercut the contention of Republican lawmakers.


Kerry in Kabul on key mission to calm election turmoil

US Secretary of State John Kerry began a difficult mission to mediate an end to the political crisis in Afghanistan Friday, warning a bitter dispute over presidential polls threatened the country's future. "Obviously we are at a very critical moment for Afghanistan," Kerry said as he met the head of the UN assistance mission Jan Kubis in the heavily fortified US embassy in Kabul. Later Friday he will meet poll rivals Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, who are locked in a bitter row over who won last month's run-off election to choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Kubis vowed the UN would do its utmost to help Afghanistan "finalise and complete the political transition... in a way that will strengthen the stability and unity of the country."


Australia PM plays down setback in carbon tax repeal plan

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Friday brushed off a defeat in the Senate on repealing the country's carbon tax, calling it normal "argy bargy" that would not derail a key election promise. The government must walk a tightrope in the upper house, needing the backing of minor party senators such as those from PUP to get its legislative agenda passed if it cannot secure support from Labor or the Greens. This includes not only scrapping the carbon tax but the massive spending cuts it has planned to bring the budget under control.


Border Patrol suspends transfer of undocumented migrants to San Diego

By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - The federal government has suspended its plan to send the San Diego area hundreds of the Central American migrants who have been flooding into Texas illegally from Mexico, U.S. Border Patrol officials said on Thursday. San Diego's Border Patrol agents will instead help manage the influx by processing paperwork and conducting intake interviews via computer and telephone, according to Gabe Pacheco, a spokesman for the agents' union, the National Border Patrol Council. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials declined to give a reason for the change.

Putin seeks to increase Russian investment in Latin America

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hopes to increase Russian investments in and trade with Latin America. During a tour in Cuba that will also take him to Argentina and Brazil, the Russian leader said he was focusing on enhancing technological cooperation and investment, especially in the sectors of energy, nuclear power and machinery. "We are interested in creating technological production and partnership projects with countries in the region to maximize the potential for economic cooperation in critical areas such as oil and gas, hydropower and nuclear power, plane and helicopter construction and infrastructure, as well as biopharmaceutical and information technology," Putin said. "Latin America is a rich source of natural resources, such as oil and bauxite, fresh water and food."


Germany kicks out top US intelligence officer in spy row

Germany expelled the CIA station chief in Berlin over alleged spying by the United States which has refused to break its silence over the escalating row between the Western allies. The expulsion Thursday came after two suspected US spy cases were uncovered in less than a week in Germany, where anger still simmers over the NSA surveillance scandal sparked by revelations from fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. "The representative of the US intelligence services at the embassy of the United States of America has been told to leave Germany," German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.


FBI details 2007 Blackwater killings

Blackwater guards fired dozens of shots into cars and people, an FBI expert testified, in an example of the brutality of the 2007 killings that left 14 Iraqis dead in Baghdad. Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, Dustin Heard and Nicholas Slatten appeared dressed in suits and ties before a federal court in Washington as the second trial in the case entered its fifth week. FBI expert Douglas Murphy said he traveled to the site of the killings twice to examine the cars involved in the shootings. Asked about the weapons and ammunition used by the four defendants that day, Marine expert Shelby Lasater stressed the grenades used are "designed to penetrate armor and to cause casualties or kill."


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