Political News from Yahoo

Gunmen shoot dead three policemen, wound nine in Cairo: ministry

Gunmen travelling in a car opened fire on Tuesday on a group of Egyptian policemen outside Cairo's Al-Azhar university, killing three and wounding nine others, the interior ministry said. The attack comes just days ahead of a presidential election on May 26-27, which former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to win. The number of attacks targeting policemen has risen since Sisi ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July last year. The latest came as some students of Cairo's Al-Azhar university, a prestigious seat of Sunni Islamic teaching, were protesting in favour of Morsi, the ministry said in a statement.

Thailand's army invokes martial law: military TV

Thailand's army on Tuesday declared martial law across the crisis-gripped kingdom to restore order following months of anti-government protests that have left 28 people dead and hundreds wounded. An announcement on military-run television said martial law had been invoked "to restore peace and order for people from all sides", stressing that the move "is not a coup". The imposition of martial law risks angering supporters of the government if it is seen as tantamount to a coup. The dismissal of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra earlier this month in a controversial court ruling has sent tensions soaring in the kingdom, which has endured years of political turmoil.

Obama offers $50 million to South Sudan refugees

President Barack Obama announced Monday that the United States would offer an extra $50 million to help tackle a growing refugee crisis spawned by fighting in South Sudan. "Months of conflict between the government of South Sudan and rebel forces have exacted a terrible toll on the people of South Sudan," said National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden. Hayden said the $50 million in extra emergency aid would be part of a $300 million grant the US delegation will formally unveil at a pledging conference in Oslo on Tuesday and would bring total US humanitarian assistance since the start of the conflict in South Sudan last year to around $433.6 million. The United Nations says $1.26 billion is needed in conflict-torn South Sudan to avoid a major humanitarian crisis threatening millions of people.

US Supreme Court to hear whistleblower case

The US Supreme Court will consider later this year whether an air marshal was lawfully sacked for disclosing sensitive information on flight safety to the media, it said Monday. Air Force veteran Robert MacLean was among the first US air marshals recruited after the September 11, 2001 terror strikes to provide security on flights. In 2003, he told a US broadcaster that his employer, the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS), to save money, had decided not to put agents on some late flights because that would require overnight hotel stays. He had discussed his concerns with FAMS that terrorists might take advantage of the apparent security hole, but was told the decision would stand, court documents show.

Obama to meet New Zealand's Key at White House on June 20

Washington (AFP) - President Barack Obama will welcome New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key to the White House next month for talks on a proposed Asia-Pacific trade pact, military cooperation and climate change.

FBI’s Huge Hacker Bust Could Be Bogus

Dozens have been arrested in a king-sized global hacker crackdown. But it’s unclear whether the charges against these supposed cyber criminals will actually stick.

Senate panel to consider Burwell health secretary nomination on Wednesday

The Democratic-controlled Senate Finance Committee will hold a business meeting on Wednesday to consider the nomination of Sylvia Mathews Burwell as U.S. secretary of health and human services, a panel aide said on Monday. The 24-member committee, which includes 13 Democrats and 11 Republicans, is expected to conduct an up-or-down vote on whether to forward Burwell's nomination to the Senate floor for a final confirmation vote. The aide said Burwell's nomination will need support from a majority of lawmakers to make it to the Senate floor.

White House vows CIA will not stage fake vaccine programs

The White House has promised the United States will not use vaccination programs as cover for spy operations -- after the move was attempted during the hunt for Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. As Pakistan suffers a resurgence of polio, a top White House official pledged in a letter dated May 16 that intelligence agencies would foreswear the tactic, which is partly blamed for the spread of the crippling disease. Islamic militant leaders are reluctant to embrace vaccination programs after Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi attempted to help the CIA track down the Al-Qaeda terror chief through a fake vaccine project.

‘Calamity Jill’ Rises Again

Resilience was Jill Abramson’s theme talking to graduates, in her first public speech since being fired from The New York Times.

McConnell will have to pivot after likely Kentucky primary win

By Nick Carey LOUISVILLE (Reuters) - Facing a challenge from a Tea Party candidate in this year's race to fill his Senate seat, Mitch McConnell has sought to appeal to conservative Republicans by stressing his pro-gun, anti-immigration and anti-abortion stance. Going into Tuesday's Republican primary in Kentucky, the Senate minority leader is ahead of his opponent, Louisville-based businessman Matt Bevin, by a wide margin, according to opinion polls. But once victory is secured, McConnell will have to tack back toward the political center ahead of a tight November contest against Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes. When McConnell sought re-election in 2008 he ran on a record of bringing jobs and federal largesse to his home state of Kentucky, including some of the pork barrel spending be has been arguing against, and was low key about the social issues.

U.S. indicts five in China's secret 'Unit 61398' for cyber-spying

After years of complaining that China is engaged in stealing trade secrets from American companies, the United States on Monday for the first time filed cyber-espionage charges against individuals belonging to a unit of the Chinese military, accusing them of hacking trade secrets since 2006 from five domestic manufacturers and the steelworkers union. The indictment, filed by the US Attorney's Office for the western district of Pennsylvania, where several of the US companies are based, names five Chinese nationals who worked for China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Unit 61398, a cyber-intelligence-gathering section. The PLA workers named in the indictment are not in US custody, and probably never will be. By taking this legal action, the US is signaling to China that its tolerance of economic cyber-spying, which results in loss of American firms' competitive position on the world market, is at a breaking point.

Why Putin Really Will Pull Back

The Russian president has announced once again that he’s backing his troops away from the Ukrainian brink. This time he probably means it, and he has good reason.

Louisiana lawmakers want drivers to 'arret'

Drivers in the southern US state of Louisiana -- many of whom trace their colonial roots to France -- may one day soon find themselves stopping at bilingual signs that warn: "Stop-Arret." A new law passed last week by local lawmakers authorizes parishes -- the state's version of counties -- to translate their road signs into "Louisiana French." The law now passes to Governor Bobby Jindal, a conservative Republican, for his signature or veto. Jindal has thrown out previous versions of the bill, but local lawmaker Stephen Ortego, a Democrat who authored it, urged the governor to sign this time.

US man jailed for 25 years for Obama ricin plot

Washington (AFP) - A Mississippi man who concocted and then sent potentially lethal ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and other senior US officials was jailed Monday for 25 years.

Today in Forty-Five Seconds

Oregon legalizes gay marriage, California Chrome gets one step closer to the Triple Crown, a UN official makes a plea to tax unhealthy foods, and today's other top stories.

US top court sides against MGM in 'Raging Bull' case

The US Supreme Court Monday dealt a blow to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, siding with the daughter of a screenwriter behind Oscar-winning boxing drama "Raging Bull" over her right to sue for copyright claims. Paula Petrella, whose now deceased father Frank Petrella worked on the script for the 1980 film, sought damages from infringement of a copyright that she inherited after her father's death. In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court said that Petrella could go forward with her suit against the studio, which she first filed in 2009. The justices sought to determine whether the "doctrine of laches" -- which says a lawsuit cannot be filed after an unreasonable delay -- applied in the case.

UN group of 58 urge Council over Syria

United Nations (United States) (AFP) - A group of 58 countries led by Switzerland on Monday expressed "strong support" for a French proposal to drag Syria before the International Criminal Court, a move expected to be nixed by Russia and China. In a letter on behalf of the group, the Swiss ambassador to the UN, Paul Seger, urged the UN Security Council to adopt a draft resolution "to send a strong message of political support."

U.S. accuses China of cyber spying on American companies

By Aruna Viswanatha and Jim Finkle WASHINGTON/BOSTON (Reuters) - A U.S. grand jury has indicted five Chinese military officers on charges of hacking into American companies for information on nuclear plant design, solar manufacturing and other secrets in the toughest action taken by Washington to address cyber spying. China denied the charges, saying they were "made up" and would damage trust between the two nations. Officials in Washington have argued for years that cyber espionage is one of the nation's top national security concerns because foreign hackers have stolen secrets from defense contractors and technology secrets that could pose a threat to U.S. prosperity. Yet the indictments mark the first time the United States has filed charges against specific officials of foreign governments, accusing them of corporate cyber spying.

New round of Atlantic trade pact talks opens in Washington

US and European negotiators opened a new round of talks on creating a transatlantic free trade zone Monday amid rising political and public resistance to the deal on both sides. The fifth round of negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will cover the details of proposals from the US and EU sides, with no aim to resolve the most difficult divisions between the two sides, officials said. TTIP could eventually establish the world's largest free trade and investment zone, covering some 820 million people and more than $1 trillion in annual two-way trade Public resistance has risen as well.