Political News from Yahoo

Disunited and Without States

Americans no longer take states seriously as political units. And that means federalism is probably doomed.

Don't Believe the Hype on Big Data

A new book heralds the promise that big data will reveal more and more about how we live our lives and what we think, but is it really that useful?

Beirut’s Captured Qaeda Mastermind

DNA testing has reportedly confirmed the identity of the jihadist believed to be behind the suicide attack on Iran’s embassy in November.

Hope and Change in the Vatican

Pope Francis, the first Pope from a developing nation, sees the world through the eyes of the poor and dispossessed.

What Adult Stars Want in 2014

Think your year was wild? This may change your mind. Ron Jeremy and more adult stars reflect on their fondest memories of last year—and what they’re looking forward to in 2014.

Sen. Paul says he's suing over NSA policies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Rand Paul says he is filing suit against the Obama administration over the data-collection policies of the National Security Agency. And on his website, he's urging Americans to join the lawsuit, in his words, "to stop Barack Obama's NSA from snooping on the American people."

Embattled Florida Congressman Radel to return to Capitol Hill

By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - Six weeks after he pleaded guilty to cocaine possession and checked into a rehab clinic, Florida Congressman Henry "Trey" Radel will rejoin Congress when the new session begins next week, his spokesman said on Friday. Radel spokesman Greg Dolan declined to immediately confirm a report by Gannett that the Republican representative is enrolled in an out-patient program in Washington. Radel, 37, whose election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 had the backing of the conservative Tea Party movement, was charged in November with buying 3.5 grams of cocaine in Washington on October 29, in the presence of an undercover agent. "I look forward to getting back to work next week, representing my neighbors in Southwest Florida as they face the burdens of Obamacare, a jobless recovery, and a federal government that continues to spend more than it takes in," Radel said in a statement.

US spy court: NSA to keep collecting phone records

WASHINGTON (AP) — A secretive U.S. spy court has ruled again that the National Security Agency can keep collecting every American's telephone records every day, in the midst of dueling decisions in two civilian federal courts about whether the surveillance program is constitutional.

Sniping shadows Kerry's pursuit of Mideast peace

JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's closed-door diplomacy to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians has burst into a public spat, with both sides trading blistering criticisms, Republican senators showing up in Jerusalem to argue Israel's side, and Palestinian demonstrators protesting his visit.

Democrats breaking GOP's long lock on Cuban vote

MIAMI (AP) — For more than two decades, running for Congress in this sun-soaked capital of Cuban exiles has required two things: a Republican registration card and a hard line toward the Castro regime.

Exclusive: Turmoil at East-West Center in Hawaii as energy team quits

By Ken Wills HONOLULU (Reuters) - The East-West Center in Hawaii, a U.S. government-funded institute to promote better relations with Pacific and Asian nations, is hardly a center of harmony these days. At yearend, the four-person energy research team resigned, protesting funding and job cuts and accusing the center's president of jeopardizing the viability of the 54-year-old institution, which receives about $16 million in federal funding and has been a respected forum for geopolitical research and discussion. The resignations followed a steady paring of the center's research staff during the 16-year tenure of President Charles E. Morrison, reflecting what he says is a more cost-effective strategy. The program on population was famous worldwide, the program that I ran for many years was famous worldwide, and now they have all been shut down or greatly reduced," Fereidun Fesharaki, a senior fellow for 34 years and leader of the energy team, said in an interview on Thursday.

Government moves to appeal surveillance ruling

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government lawyers are asking the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington to overturn a federal judge's ruling that threatens the National Security Agency's practice of collecting every Americans' telephone records every day.

Obama to speak on unemployment benefits extension Tuesday

President Barack Obama will ratchet up his administration's push for an extension of emergency unemployment benefits on Tuesday with an event at the White House attended by people whose benefits have expired. Obama, who is on vacation in Hawaii, and his advisers have been pressing Congress to extend the federal aid to help out-of-work Americans who are searching for jobs and avoid damage to the economy. "The president will talk about the toll that allowing unemployment benefits to expire has had on 1.3 million Americans, and he'll warn of the negative consequences for the broader American economy if Congress fails to act quickly on this urgent priority," the White House said in a statement. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, has vowed to bring to a vote a bill extending federal unemployment insurance benefits as soon as Congress returns from its holiday recess on January 6.

Obama admin proposes new gun background check measures

The Obama administration on Friday announced it was taking two new executive actions on gun control, proposing a regulation to clarify gun restrictions for the mentally ill and another that would make it easier to add information about mental health restrictions into the federal background check system. President Barack Obama tried last year to bring in sweeping new gun control measures in the aftermath of a Connecticut school shooting, but most of his measures were defeated in Congress. "The Administration's two new executive actions will help ensure that better and more reliable information makes its way into the background check system," the White House said in a statement.

Obama proposes firearm background check changes

HONOLULU (AP) — The Obama administration on Friday announced a pair of executive actions aimed at strengthening federal background checks for gun purchasers, with a particular focus on limiting firearm access for those with mental health issues.

Interior Department ends federal 'Blueway' program

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A U.S. Interior Department program intended to recognize conservation efforts along the nation's waterways was dissolved on Friday amid opposition from landowners and politicians who feared it would lead to increased regulations and possible land seizures.