Political News from Yahoo

Censored and ‘Obscene’ in Solitary

After a huge hunger strike to protest the state prison system’s inhuman conditions, California is threatening to ban any written material deemed “oppositional to authority and society.”

The Fake Superbug Cure

Antibiotic resistant bacteria is the latest target for scientific ‘cures.’ But with every ‘breakthrough’ that makes the news, are we actually farther from the truth?

Threesomes are Actually a Terrible Idea

Sometimes threesomes can get—gasp—boring. What if you finish in minutes and your bedmates go on for an hour? Guys, life isn’t an XXX-film.

The Nile: Where Ancient and Modern Meet

Historian Toby Wilkinson may not see himself as a tour guide, but he makes good company as he takes us down the Nile and through that storied river’s past.

Jefferson's Dark St. Kitts Connection

On the bucolic island of St. Kitts, the scenery masks a complex history often kept secret, including the island's role in the birth of the slave trade and its connections to an American president.

Benghazi Killer Held by 9/11 Steel

Ahmed Abu Khattala is on the USS New York, a warship that contains 7.5 tons of steel from the ruins of the Twin Towers in its bow. The bad guys don’t forget 9/11. And neither do we.

Argentina's Kirchner wants 'just and equitable' deal on debt

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner signaled her willingness to enter negotiations on the country's debt, as the country faces a potential default at the end of the month. Argentine Economy Minister Axel Kicillof has proposed that Argentina initiate steps to carry out a debt exchange inside the country. Four days after the US Supreme Court decided against Argentina in its fight against hedge fund bond holders, Kirchner said her country has "the right and the need to participate in a negotiation that is just and equitable." Most creditors accepted large writedowns of the bonds, but the court ruling means Argentina now must pay the holdouts 100 percent of the debt's face value -- $15 billion in total.

VA: 65 percent of senior executives got bonuses

WASHINGTON (AP) — About 65 percent of senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department got performance bonuses last year despite widespread treatment delays and preventable deaths at VA hospitals and clinics, the agency said Friday.

US hits 7 Ukraine rebels with sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration imposed sanctions Friday on several pro-Russian separatist leaders in Ukraine, including self-proclaimed rebel mayors, governors and commanders in chief of cities under siege, for refusing to cede to the central government in Kiev. The sanctions came as U.S. officials renewed accusations that Russia is providing the separatists with tanks and heavy weaponry and as Ukraine's president announced a unilateral ceasefire that Washington urged Moscow to support.

US to open immigrant family detention center in NM

WASHINGTON (AP) — New detention facilities will be opened to house immigrant families caught crossing the border illegally amid a surge from Central America, the Obama administration said Friday.

Obama expands government benefits for gay couples

WASHINGTON (AP) — A year after the Supreme Court struck down a law barring federal recognition of gay marriages, the Obama administration granted an array of new benefits Friday to same-sex couples, including those who live in states where gay marriage is against the law.

House committee ordered to hearing as SEC probes insider trading

By Nate Raymond, Jonathan Stempel and Sarah N. Lynch NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Friday directed the House Ways and Means Committee and a staffer to appear at a July 1 hearing to address their alleged refusal to respond to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenas as part of an insider trading probe. The order by U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in New York covers both the committee and Brian Sutter, staff director for its healthcare subcommittee, and came at the SEC's request. The SEC said it is examining whether material nonpublic information concerning an April 1, 2013 announcement by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of 2014 reimbursement rates for a Medicare program was leaked improperly, and whether anyone traded on that information. The case could prompt a courtroom showdown between the SEC's authority to enforce U.S. securities laws against Congress' power to manage its own affairs.

California lawmakers to get 2 percent pay raises

A California compensation commission voted on Friday to give state lawmakers a 2 percent raise this year, boosting the nation's highest legislative salaries. The California Citizens Compensation Commission, which meets annually to set pay rates for lawmakers, approved the increase for Governor Jerry Brown and the state’s 120 full-time lawmakers on a 4-1 vote. Commission chairman Thomas Dalzell said the raise still leaves salaries below pre-recession rates, but that the commission based its decision on the 2 percent pay increase all state employees are slated to receive this year. Eight other statewide elected offices and four leadership positions within the state legislature also come with six-figure salaries.

Benghazi suspect faces U.S. criminal, not military, court

A suspected leader of the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, captured by U.S. forces and spirited out of the country, can expect to move quickly through the initial steps of the criminal justice system within hours of arriving on American soil. Seized in a raid last Sunday, Libyan militant Ahmed Abu Khatallah is the suspected leader of a group implicated in the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound and CIA base in Benghazi. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Abu Khatallah was aboard the USS New York, an amphibious transport ship traveling toward the United States at normal speed. When the U.S. decides they're going to indict someone abroad, they're going to bring them to the criminal justice system," not to military prisons as during the George W. Bush administration, said Karen Greenberg, the director of Fordham University's Center on National Security.

Obama warns Iraq on unity

US President Barack Obama warned Friday that no amount of US firepower could keep Iraq together if its political leaders did not disdain sectarianism and work to unite the country. Obama told CNN, a day after announcing the dispatch of 300 special forces advisors to Iraq following a lightning advance by extreme Sunni radicals, that American sacrifices had given Iraq a chance at a stable democracy, but it had been squandered. "We gave Iraq the chance to have an inclusive democracy.

Lawyers say UN chief served with Haiti lawsuit in NY

Lawyers for more than 1,500 victims of Haiti's deadly cholera epidemic said Friday they had served UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with a personal summons to appear in US court. Stanley Alpert, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, accused Ban and the United Nations of "ducking service in these lawsuits for months." A lawsuit was filed against the United Nations in March in US federal court in Brooklyn, demanding the UN take responsibility, compensate the victims and provide critical sanitation. There had been no cholera in Haiti for at least 150 years until it was allegedly introduced by Nepalese UN peacekeepers sent there in the wake of the devastating January 2010 earthquake.