Political News from Yahoo

Cameron ready to force EU vote on Juncker

British Prime Minister David Cameron will force fellow EU leaders to vote on who should head the bloc's executive body if they try to impose Jean-Claude Juncker, Downing Street sources said Sunday. Cameron, who views the former long-serving Luxembourg prime minister as a federalist who will not adopt the modernising reforms he says the European Union badly needs, has vowed to "fight this right to the very end". London feels Juncker is an EU insider to the bone, who will not heed the backlash voters inflicted in last month's European Parliament elections, but instead press on regardless with Brussels business as usual. European centre-left leaders meeting in Paris on Saturday backed Juncker -- who is from the centre-right -- and the row is set to dominate the two-day summit of all 28 EU leaders starting Thursday.

US, EU welcome release of top Belarus activist

The European Union and the United States have welcomed the unexpected release of prominent Belarus rights activist Ales Belyatsky, while urging the government to free other political prisoners as well. Belyatsky had been imprisoned since 2011 as part of President Alexander Lukashenko's crackdown on the beleaguered opposition. I believe that other political prisoners should be released soon." Belyatsky, director of human rights organisation Vyasna (Spring) which helps victims of political repression under Lukashenko, has won several top European awards and has been repeatedly nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Albuquerque protesters put police chief 'on trial'

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Protesters advocating for drastic changes within a police agency criticized by the U.S. Justice Department over its use of force put the embattled police chief "on trial" during a rally Saturday.

Kerry heads to Middle East as Iraq's sectarian divide deepens

US Secretary of State John Kerry headed to the Middle East Sunday seeking to overcome the sectarian divide in Iraq where Sunni militants seized more ground in an offensive that could rip the country apart. Shiite fighters paraded in Baghdad on Saturday in a dramatic show of force aimed at their Sunni opponents who took control of a Syrian border crossing. Washington's new diplomatic bid is aimed at uniting Iraq's fractious leaders and repelling insurgents whose lightning offensive has displaced hundreds of thousands, alarmed the world and put Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki under growing pressure. Kerry flew out of Washington on Saturday, headed to Amman, then Brussels and Paris.

Fresh clashes threaten Ukraine ceasefire

Ukraine's unilateral ceasefire hung in the balance Sunday after clashes engulfed the separatist east and Russian President Vladimir Putin put troops on "full combat alert". The resurgence of violence in the 11-week pro-Russian uprising threatening to splinter the ex-Soviet state came as Washington accused the Kremlin of covertly arming the rebels and sternly warned Putin against sending troops into Ukraine. "There is no ceasefire," a woman named Lila Ivanovna said Saturday just four kilometres (two miles) southwest of the battled-scarred rebel stronghold city of Slavyansk. Ukrainian border guards said the militia used sniper fire and grenade launchers to strike a base in the eastern Donetsk region four hours after President Petro Poroshenko declared a unilateral halt to hostilities that have claimed more than 375 lives.

Massive manhunt for S. Korean soldier who killed five comrades

South Korea's military on Sunday pursued a massive manhunt near the tense border with North Korea for a soldier who shot dead five comrades in a rare shooting incident. The army sergeant, surnamed Lim, opened fire on other soldiers at a guard post on the eastern section of the heavily guarded inter-Korea border Saturday night. The shooting spree left five dead and seven injured -- all members of Lim's own unit at the 22nd infantry division in the western province of Gangwon. Another official told AFP that Lim was due to be discharged in the next few months after completing his compulsory military service.

Canada announces more sanctions over Ukraine crisis

Canada announced economic sanctions and travel bans on 11 Russians and Ukrainians, as well as a Crimean oil company, saying they facilitated the violation of Ukrainian sovereignty. The move came as a unilateral ceasefire in the ex-Soviet state hung in the balance with clashes engulfing the separatist east and Russian President Vladimir Putin putting troops on "full combat alert." "Russia's illegal occupation of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine and provocative military activity remains a serious concern to the international community," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement. "The measures we are announcing today against additional Russian and Ukrainian individuals and an entity that have facilitated the violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial sovereignty will continue to increase economic pressure on those responsible for the crisis in Ukraine."

The Real Cheeseburger Paradise

Connecticut may not be the first spot that comes to mind when thinking of the perfect burger, but that all changes once you try the glorious, cheesy creation from Shady Glen.

Does a Robot Need to Be Cute?

The sagas of one adorkable robot and 47,000 immigrant children make me wonder if we’re developing more empathy for technology than humans.

The Black Hole Smokescreen

One black star is giving astronomers the show of a lifetime, perhaps teaching us more about the strange objects than ever before.

The Week in Viral Videos

From a swarm of ducks to animated Mormons, watch our countdown of this week’s buzziest videos.

America's Dumb Evolution Divide

Despite the existence of nuanced religious positions on evolution, polls show Americans—including many former believers—have come to believe there’s an unbridgeable gulf between faith and science.

Pride Isn’t a Sin in June

Most of the time, Christianity rightfully views pride as a sin. But a healthy sense of pride—the ability to claim who you truly are—is something to celebrate.

How I Learned to Hate Robert E. Lee

Michael Korda’s superb new biography of the Confederate general, ‘Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee,’ chisels away at the myth. You may not like what’s underneath.

God Save Us From This Court

Operating on elitism and mystique, America’s highest court is increasingly a threat to our ideal of self-government—leading to an important debate about how to fix it.

Why We Depend on Russian Flying Monkeys

The Kremlin won’t sell us more of the rockets we use to power our satellites? No problem—Congress is about to prohibit us from buying them. But both sides need to keep playing the game.

Tupac’s Godfather Wore Tweed

Tupac didn’t live to see the Broadway musical made about him. Neither did the columnist who wrote so perceptively about the rap star that Tupac’s mom asked him to help save her son.

US Rep. Rangel confident he'll win NY primary

NEW YORK (AP) — With Primary Day just days away, longtime congressman Charles Rangel said Saturday he's not overconfident he'll prevail over his closet rival — but insisted that voters would stick with a veteran lawmaker, dismissing criticism that he was too old to continue serving in Washington.

GOP establishment choice wins Iowa's House contest

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) — In a setback for the tea party and libertarian forces in Iowa, establishment Republicans on Saturday nominated their candidate for a House seat in one of the nation's most competitive congressional districts.