Political News from Yahoo

Senate's Wyden presses government over hedge funds' tax strategy: Bloomberg

(Reuters) - Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden has asked the Obama administration why the United States failed to stop a tax-avoidance strategy used by hedge funds, including John Paulson's Paulson & Co, Bloomberg reported. Wyden asked the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service what they had done to challenge funds that channel investments through insurance companies in tax havens as a way to lower fund managers' personal income-tax bills, according to the report.

Why I Fell in Love with ‘Louie’ Again

Somewhere in the middle of Season 4, Louis C.K. stopped affixing punchlines to most of his sermons. You see, deep down, he doesn’t really trust comedy at all.

Stars and Stripes 2, Black Stars 1

In its finest World Cup victory, a valiant U.S. team gets revenge on the country that knocked it out of the last two cups.

Iran Offers Iraq ‘Everything it Needs’

As ISIS marches closer to Baghdad, the world's leading sponsor of terrorism, Iran, is offering the Iraqi government the use of its army and spies.

McCain questions 'cronyism' on Lockheed F-35 program

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Senator John McCain on Monday said he was concerned by recent revelations of U.S. government-industry "cronyism" in developing Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 fighter jet, and said the $398.6 billion program still had "major problems." McCain, a key member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he had long been troubled by the Pentagon's payment of 85-percent or higher award fees to Lockheed on the F-35 program despite cost increases and schedule delays, adding the background to those decisions was "disturbing." Former Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter last month said the Pentagon's F-35 program manager told him he had kept the fees high because he liked the Lockheed executive in charge, and the company official had said he would be fired if the fees fell below 85 percent. Carter, who was the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer at the time, made the remarks at a university event on May 16 and they were reported by InsideDefense.com on May 30.

California Democrats elect new Senate leader from progressive wing

By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - California Democratic lawmakers elected a new State Senate leader on Monday, completing a shift to a more liberal leadership that began with the ascension of Toni Atkins as State Assembly speaker last month. Senator Kevin de Leon, who represents part of Los Angeles, will take the helm next autumn as Democrats vie to hold on to their unprecedented majorities in both legislative houses even as Republicans mount efforts to woo voters in key races. "We must continue to build on our economic recovery by doing everything we can to ensure the California promise is available to every Californian," said de Leon, the first Latino to lead the Senate in 130 years.

House conservative pleads for GOP support in race

WASHINGTON (AP) — House GOP leaders have "failed to bridge the divide" with Republicans outside Washington, conservative Rep. Raul Labrador said Monday in pleading with his colleagues to back his long-shot candidacy for House majority leader.

More US troops to Iraq; special forces considered

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is urgently deploying several hundred armed troops in and around Iraq and considering sending an additional contingent of special forces soldiers as Baghdad struggles to repel a rampant insurgency, even as the White House insists anew that America will not be dragged into another war.

House panel weighs limit on Guantanamo transfers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House panel would impose new restrictions on the transfer of enemy combatants from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a reflection of congressional anger over President Barack Obama's swap of five Taliban leaders for an American soldier held captive for five years in Afghanistan.

Police fire rubber bullets in Brazil World Cup city

Curitiba (Brazil) (AFP) - Police fired rubber bullets and arrested 11 people Monday to break up anti-World Cup protesters who trashed banks and blocked traffic in the southeast Brazilian host city of Curitiba. About 200 protesters gathered in the city center and marched toward the stadium where Iran played Nigeria in a World Cup match, but were blocked by police, news website G1 reported. The protesters stopped a bus carrying fans to the stadium and blocked off several streets, setting garbage on fire to prevent cars from getting through, G1 said. The rally then broke up, but a small group of masked protesters returned to the city center and began storming banks until police fired rubber bullets to disperse them.

Prez Takes Gay Rights Into His Own Hands

Federal legislation to make employment discrimination illegal has died repeatedly in the GOP-controlled House—so the president is doing it himself with an executive order.

Italian general to head UN force in Lebanon

United Nations (United States) (AFP) - UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday appointed Italian general Luciano Portolano to head the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

US 'briefly' discussed Iraq crisis with Iran in Vienna

The United States discussed the crisis in Iraq with Iran on the sidelines of nuclear talks in Vienna, US officials said Monday, warning that no outside countries can fix the country's problems. Jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have taken control of a swath of territory north of Baghdad in a drive towards the Iraqi capital launched a week ago, leading to growing fears that the country is sliding towards chaos. "The issue did come up briefly with Iran on the margins of the P5+1 in Vienna today, separate from our trilateral meeting" which had included the EU, a senior State Department official said in a statement, asking not to be named. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf confirmed to CNN television that there were "brief discussions."

Filibuster weakened, Senate OK'ing judges faster

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seven months after curbing filibusters, Democrats are aggressively pushing President Barack Obama's judicial nominees through the Senate, speeding the pace of confirmations and shrinking vacancies on the federal bench to their lowest level since days after Obama took office.

US urges Myanmar to let people choose president

The US urged Myanmar on Monday to allow its people to freely choose the next president amid a row over a law which would ban opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from running. Since Suu Kyi became a lawmaker two years ago, the former political prisoner-turned-politician has been campaigning to amend the military-drafted constitution that effectively bars her from becoming president of the Southeast Asian nation. Suu Kyi appeared Monday to win implicit backing for her cause from the United States. "We believe constitutional reform should pave the way for the Burmese to freely choose their president in a free and fair 2015 election," the State Department said, referring to the country by its other name.

About 275 US military personnel to Iraq, says Obama

About 275 US military personnel are being deployed to Iraq to help American personnel and protect the embassy in Baghdad, President Barack Obama said Monday in a letter to Congressional leaders. The force, which began deploying on Sunday, has been sent "for the purpose of protecting US citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat," Obama wrote. "This force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed." The move comes as jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) battle Iraqi security forces for control of a strategic northern town and Washington weighs possible drone strikes against the militants.

Online E-Cigs Are a Teenage Candyland

A Harvard study found that 15-year-olds were the most likely, out of 30 million Europeans who smoked, to consume e-cigarettes. How the personal vaporizers became a teen candyland.