Political News from Yahoo

Obama ringing in new year in low-key fashion

HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama is closing out a difficult year in low-key fashion, with hopes for better results to come in 2014, particularly for his troubled health care law.

MSNBC host apologizes for jokes about Romney baby

NEW YORK (AP) — An MSNBC host is apologizing to Mitt Romney's family after she and guests on her show joked about a Christmas picture that showed the 2012 Republican presidential candidate's adopted, African-American grandson.

Kerry to push for solutions as Israeli-Palestinian peace talks intensify

By Lesley Wroughton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hopes to narrow differences between Israelis and Palestinians in peace talks this week that are intended to guide the sides toward a deal in April, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday. Kerry departs for the region on Wednesday in his first trip after a Christmas break. Israel and Palestinians resumed peace talks in July after a three-year break aimed at producing a peace agreement within nine months to end their decades-old conflict. Such a step would also demonstrate to both Israelis and Palestinians that progress is being made.

Arkansas lieutenant governor rejects calls to step down

By Steve Barnes LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (Reuters) - Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr on Tuesday rejected a request from the governor to step down after the state's Ethics Commission found that Darr violated campaign finance rules. Amid a fight that has national political implications, Darr, a Republican and political newcomer, said in a statement his focus was on putting things right with the people of Arkansas. "He will not resign," Amber Pool, Darr's communications director, told Reuters. Darr accepted the Ethics Commission's finding on Monday of 11 violations.

Obama's tarnished health care law at a crossroads

WASHINGTON (AP) — All things good, bad and unpredictable converge Jan. 1 for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul as the law's major benefits take effect, along with an unpopular insurance mandate and a risk of more nerve-wracking disruptions to coverage.

MSNBC host apologizes to Mitt Romney

MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry has taken to Twitter to apologize to Mitt Romney's family for offensive comments made during a segment on her cable talk show on Sunday.

Ill. boy, US senator inspire fellow stroke victims

OAKWOOD, Ill. (AP) — Jackson Cunningham lurches across the gym during a recess game, racing a fellow sixth-grader toward a doorstop tossed onto the floor. His right side is outstretched, but his left side trails behind — a lingering effect of the paralysis he has endured since suffering a stroke in 2011.

DIGITS: By the numbers, 2013 a year to forget?

About half of Americans expect 2014 to be a better year than 2013, according to the recent AP-Times Square New Year's Eve poll. And judging by the typical questions pollsters use to measure the public mood, it doesn't seem like it could be much worse.

DIGITS: Optimism over 2014 roughly a 50-50 deal

About half of Americans expect 2014 to be a better year than 2013, according to the recent AP-Times Square New Year's Eve poll. And judging by the typical questions pollsters use to measure the public mood, it doesn't seem like it could be much worse.

Top 5 Obamacare Woes to Watch for in 2014

After three years of preparation, and three tumultuous months of technical glitches and high-profile hiccups, Obamacare takes full effect nationwide in less than 24 hours. January 1, 2014, is less a deadline than it is a major milestone for the Affordable Care Act — a...

Ted Cruz’s Canadian Panic

The Texas senator’s vow to renounce his dual citizenship by year’s end is just a taste of all the zany good fun a Cruz White House bid promises. So why can’t the Democrats run with it?

Worst Columns of the Year

Outraged scribbling on ‘Duck Dynasty,’ Miley Cyrus, and Paula Deen are all off-limits—but a misanthrope could find plenty of horror this year from Russell Brand, Salon, and The Nation.

New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 1913

It was a magnificent year—a year of innovation and triumph. Perhaps the best year of our lives. Charles Emmerson reflects on the year passed and what 1914 has in store for us all.

Obama’s Defining Fight in ’14

Before he left for Hawaii, the president was sending signals that government surveillance programs need an overhaul to restore the public’s faith on issues of national security.

The Economy’s Secret Success

The financial failures of the Great Recession—bank busts, foreclosures, and bankruptcies—shrank dramatically this year. And the success will feed on itself.

Drink to Your Health?

An odd new study involving rhesus macaque monkeys, ethanol, and vaccines has found some benefit to moderate drinking. So drink up tonight, then? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Best Columns of the Year

From the Boston Marathon bombings to a tribute to Margaret Thatcher and a searing reaction to the Trayvon Martin verdict, a crowdsourced collection of our 2013 favorites.

Bollywood’s Baffling Blockbuster

India’s version of ‘Fast and Furious’ is doing huge business in the States. But you’d never know from watching it that Bollywood is capable of making good movies. Warning: spoilers.