Political News from Yahoo

Israel confirms 3 teens found dead, says Hamas responsible

Israel on Monday confirmed finding the bodies of three teenagers who disappeared in the southern West Bank on June 12, blaming the Islamist Hamas movement for their kidnapping and murder. "During the search for Eyal Ifrach, Gilad Shaer and Naftali Frankel, the IDF discovered 3 bodies near Hebron," the Israeli army said in a statement on Twitter. Deputy defence minister Danny Danon also confirmed their bodies had been discovered, saying they had been murdered by "Hamas terrorists" and calling for a widespread operation to "eradicate" the Islamist movement. Public radio said the bodies were discovered in a field near Halhul, a town north of Hebron, about 10 minutes from the roadside in the southern West Bank where they were last seen.

Supreme Court won't intervene in California ban on gay-conversion therapy

By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider arguments against California's ban on a controversial therapy aimed at reversing homosexuality in children, allowing the prohibition to be enforced in the most populous U.S. state. The court's decision not to take up the case follows a ruling by an appeals court last year that the prohibition on so-called "gay conversion therapy" for minors is not a violation of the constitutional rights of counselors or parents, as argued by a conservative religious group that challenged the ban. "The Court’s refusal to accept the appeal of extreme ideological therapists who practice the quackery of gay conversion therapy is a victory for child welfare, science and basic humane principles," said state senator Ted Lieu, who authored the ban. "Those who oppose letting children be what they were born to be can no longer claim that the law infringes the free speech rights of therapists who wish to engage in these dangerous and long-discredited practices." Last year's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District resolved two lawsuits seeking to stop implementation of Lieu's measure, which prohibits therapists from performing sexual-orientation change counseling with children and teens under age 18.

Obama asks Congress for help, cash to stem child migrant surge

US President Barack Obama Monday lodged a request with Congress expected to top $2 billion to cope with a tide of tens of thousands of illegal child immigrants from Central America. Obama said in a letter to Congressional leaders that US border agencies faced a "significant" rise in arrests of young people from Central America, some of whom were victims of violent crime, abuse and extortion from human smuggling networks. The sudden flow of illegal child migrants has injected new venom into the debate between Obama and House Republicans over his calls for a sweeping reform of the US immigration system. Obama asked for more resources to send to the southwest border, which will speed up removal proceedings for unlawful immigrants.

U.S. justices uphold firms' religious objections to contraception

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that owners of private companies can object on religious grounds to a provision of President Barack Obama's healthcare law that requires employers to provide insurance covering birth control for women. The decision, which applies only to a small number of family or other closely-held companies, means an estimated several thousand women whose health insurance comes via such companies may have to obtain certain forms of birth control coverage elsewhere. In a 5-4 vote along ideological lines, the justices said the companies can seek an exemption from the so-called birth control mandate of the law known as Obamacare. The companies in the case said they did not object to all birth control but certain methods they said were tantamount to abortion, which they oppose for religious reasons.

Sri Lanka to tackle online hate speech, says military

Sri Lanka will clamp down on Internet hate speech following deadly anti-Muslim riots said to have been fuelled by social media sites, the military said Monday. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse has asked the law and order ministry to deal with racial and religious hatred being spread using Facebook and Twitter, military spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said. "There are some Facebook pages against Buddhism, but more pages against Islam," Wanigasooriya told AFP. He said Rajapakse, the powerful younger brother of President Mahinda Rajapakse, had asked law enforcement authorities to work out a "practical way" of dealing with online hate speech.

Jordan urges world help to face regional turmoil

Jordan's King Abdullah II on Monday appealed for international support to help his country deal with regional turmoil after jihadists in neighbouring Iraq and Syria declared an "Islamic caliphate". "It is important that the international community continue to support Jordan to deal challenges and developments in the region," a palace statement quoted the king as telling a Japanese parliamentarily delegation. A Sunni militant offensive spearheaded by the Sunni jihadists in Iraq has sparked fears in Amman that they will take their fight to the kingdom. The militants, previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), on Sunday declared a "caliphate", or Islamist state, straddling parts of Iraq and Syria.

Democrats look for political silver lining in Hobby Lobby contraception ruling

Leading Democrats on Monday vehemently disagreed with the Supreme Court’s decision to limit the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, but some also saw in the ruling a political opportunity to galvanize female voters, whom they view as crucial to keeping the Senate majority in November. Senate Democrats immediately pounced on the high court’s 5-4 decision, vowing a legislative fix to undo the damage to the administration’s efforts to provide preventive health care services to more women. The decision, they said, only highlighted the importance of preserving the Senate’s Democratic majority as a check on the Republican House and the increasingly powerful conservative voices on the Supreme Court appointed by Republican presidents.

Iraq jihadists 'selling oil to Assad', says France

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday that jihadists spearheading a militant offensive in Iraq have sold oil from captured areas to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Fabius said the sale was evidence of the "confusing" nature of the escalating conflict in the Middle East in which Assad and the jihadists are in theory on opposing sides. The rebels, previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), declared a "caliphate", or Islamist state, straddling Iraq and Syria at the weekend.

Two Egypt officers killed defusing bombs near palace

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pledged "retribution" after two police officers were killed defusing bombs outside his Cairo palace Monday, almost a year after he overthrew his predecessor. An Islamist militant group, one of several that have carried out attacks since president Mohamed Morsi's ouster on July 3 last year, warned several days ago that it had planted bombs near the east Cairo palace. It was not immediately clear whether Sisi, who was the defence minister when he toppled Morsi and then won a May presidential election, was in the Ittihadiya palace at the time.

Bulgaria scrambles to stop bank run after EU approves aid

Bulgaria on Monday scrambled to reassure savers its beleaguered banking system was "functioning normally" after Brussels extended a credit line to stop a run on two banks turning into a full-blown crisis. Non-eurozone Bulgaria has blamed the situation, which has raised fears of a repeat of the country's devastating banking crisis of 1996-97, on "criminals" spreading false rumours. On June 20 the central bank closed temporarily the fourth-largest private lender, Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB), after doubts about its solvency led panicked customers to try to empty their accounts. Late last week, more rumours online and via mobile phones sparked a run on First Investment Bank (FIBANK), the third-largest, provoking scenes of near-hysteria outside branches.

France on security alert for World Cup showdowns

Hundreds of riot and other police were deployed in French towns and cities Monday as authorities braced for possible unrest linked to World Cup showdowns involving France and its former colony Algeria. Right-wing mayor Christian Estrosi issued a decree temporarily outlawing what he termed the "ostentatious display of foreign flags" in the centre of the Riviera city, which is home to many people of Algerian heritage. "Since the start of the World Cup we have sadly seen intolerable behaviour that severely disrupts public peace," Estrosi added. Some celebrations of Algeria's historic qualification for the second round of the World Cup spilled over into violence last week with more than 70 people arrested for rioting or looting across France.

Senegal ruling party fails to win over voters: early results

Senegal President Macky Sall's party has been beaten in the capital Dakar and in a number of key cities across the country, preliminary results from municipal and provincial elections showed on Monday. The polls on Sunday were seen as a key test for the president whose Alliance for the Republic (APR) party is riven by divisions two years after winning a bitterly disputed election. Early results published by local media showed that in Dakar the APR had been beaten by a coalition led by the outgoing mayor of the city, Khalifa Sall, from the Socialist Party (PS). The PS, which led Senegal from 1960 to 2000, is part of the ruling coalition, but leaders failed to agree on shared party lists for the local elections.

Read Justice Ginsburg's Passionate 35-Page Dissent of Hobby Lobby Decision

On Monday, the Supreme Court sided with Hobby Lobby on the company's challenge to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate, ruling that the mandate, as applied to "closely held" businesses, violates the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Addressing the majority of her colleagues — including all but one of the six men sitting on the Supreme Court — Ginsburg wrote:  In the Court’s view, RFRA demands accommodation of a for-profit corporation’s religious beliefs no matter the impact that accommodation may have on third parties who do not share the corporation owners’ religious faith—in these cases, thousands of women employed by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga or dependents of persons those corporations employ.

High court rejects Google appeal in snooping case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has declined to hear Google's appeal of a ruling that it pried into people's online lives through their Wi-Fi systems as part of its drive to collect information for its Street View mapping project.

Court rejects Arab Bank's plea in terrorism suits

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal to lift sanctions imposed by a judge on Arab Bank, PLC in lawsuits seeking to hold the bank partially responsible for terrorist acts in the Middle East.

Court won't allow Madoff trustee to sue banks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will not let the trustee working to recover money for Bernard Madoff's investors sue major financial institutions for their role in Madoff's massive fraud.