Political News from Yahoo

Australia to buy 58 US F-35s for $11.6bn

Australia will purchase 58 more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at a cost of Aus$12.4 billion ($11.6 billion), the government said. The new aircraft will bring Australia's total JSF force to 72 aircraft, with the first due to arrive in Australia in 2018 and enter service in 2020. "The F-35 will provide a major boost to the Australian Defence Force's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities," Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a statement released late Tuesday. The deal is in addition to 14 F-35s Australia already approved in 2009.


Sen. Rand Paul says school choice could expand GOP

CHICAGO (AP) — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said voters in perennial Democratic strongholds such as Chicago and Milwaukee will think differently if they see Republicans not just visiting these places, but discussing issues pertinent to their circumstances.


AP source: Egypt cleared for some US military aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has certified that Egypt is upholding its 35-year-old peace treaty with Israel and therefore qualifies for some military and counterterrorism assistance, The Associated Press has learned.

Colorado lawmakers move to tighten edible marijuana laws

By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - Colorado lawmakers are moving to tighten laws governing the sale of marijuana-infused edibles, an issue that has gained attention following two deaths possibly linked to the ingestion of cannabis products, the measures' main sponsor said on Tuesday. The state House of Representatives this week unanimously passed a bill limiting the amount of concentrated marijuana that can be sold, and another bill requiring more specific labeling of pot-laced products, such as candies and baked goods. Rep. Frank McNulty, a Republican from suburban Denver, said the measures are needed to protect the public and assure that edibles are not mistakenly consumed by children. "The packages of edibles are labeled that they contain marijuana, but once they're out of the package, they're indistinguishable from a brownie or lollipop bought at a grocery store," he said.


New Jersey panel orders testimony on traffic jams

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey legislative committee is ordering current and former aides to Gov. Chris Christie and two officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to testify in its probe on politically motivated traffic jams last year near the George Washington Bridge.

Obama congratulates US winner of Boston Marathon

OSO, Wash. (AP) — President Barack Obama has congratulated Meb Keflezighi (kehf-LEHZH'-gee) on becoming the first American man in 31 years to win the Boston Marathon.


Obama views mudslide scene, mourns with survivors

OSO, Wash. (AP) — Swooping over a terrain of great sadness and death, President Barack Obama took an aerial tour Tuesday of the place where more than three dozen people perished in a mudslide last month, then mourned privately with those who lost loved ones in the destruction.


The Court Was Right on Race

The Supreme Court let states ban race as a factor in college admissions. That’s a good first step toward race-blind education that can focus on root problems.


Moscow’s War on Social Media

The CEO of Europe’s second-largest social network was sacked this week as the Putin regime’s campaign to silence its internal critics went into overdrive.


Top US court wrestles with TV, copyright and 'cloud'

A powerful coalition of the broadcast and cable TV industries asked the panel to rule against the startup Aereo, which allows customers to rent a tiny Internet-linked antenna to watch or record over-the-air broadcasts, raising difficult copyright questions. A similarly strong alliance that includes several technology firms and consumer groups is pressing for a different outcome, saying a ruling for Aereo would send a signal in favor of technological innovation. Justices appeared ambivalent at times, questioning whether Aereo was violating copyright law and mulling a possible impact on the burgeoning cloud computing sector, which stores all kinds of materials online. Justice Stephen Breyer queried what might happen if Aereo were found to be in violation.


States can ignore race in university admissions: US top court

The US Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that states can disregard race as a factor in university admissions, in a fresh blow to a legacy of the 1960s civil rights movement. The 6-2 ruling upheld the constitutionality of a measure passed by referendum in Michigan that disallowed so-called affirmative action in college admissions. Effectively favoring voter initiatives over the courts, the decision was expected to have repercussions far beyond Michigan -- governors of Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and West Virginia had supported Michigan's appeal. The ruling was the latest to chip away at a practice used to promote racial and ethnic diversity of university student bodies while countering the effects of racial discrimination.


Jimmy Carter urges US, China leadership on climate

Former US president Jimmy Carter on Tuesday urged his country and China, two of the world's biggest fossil fuel polluters, to take the lead on halting climate change. If the two economic and political giants could agree on a way forward, the rest of the world would likely follow their lead, the statesman told AFP on the sidelines of a climate change discussion with students at the Paris Institute of Political Science. He said he had encouraged Chinese President Xi Jinping along these lines, and has had discussions with US Secretary of State John Kerry. Carter took part in the Paris meeting on Earth Day as a representative of The Elders, a grouping of global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007 to promote peace, justice and human rights.


Do not hurt Russian people with sanctions: Jimmy Carter

Former US president Jimmy Carter said Tuesday the West should not impose sanctions that would hurt the Russian people over their leaders' actions in Ukraine. "So far, we have limited the sanctions to the leadership of Russia, and I think that is the proper approach," the Nobel peace laureate told AFP on the sidelines of a discussion in Paris on climate change. US Vice President Joe Biden earlier warned Russia of "more costs" and "greater isolation" if it continued to "pull Ukraine apart". Carter, who is credited with brokering the 1978 Cape David peace accords between Egypt and Israel and establishing US diplomatic relations with China, said Russia's takeover of Crimea had been "inevitable".


GOP: Ukraine Is Obama’s New Syria

Bob Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sees disturbing parallels between the Obama administration's current policy in Ukraine and what he sees as its failures in Syria.


Passover Hell Week

The events in Ukraine and Kansas City that occurred around Passover week offer tragic reminders of the heritage of Jewish oppression.


U.S. official responsible for reforming Medicare is leaving post

By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Tuesday announced the departure of the top health official responsible for reforming Medicare under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law. Jonathan Blum, Medicare director and principal deputy administrator of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), has presided over a range of reform initiatives during a five-year tenure including efforts to move the $635 billion healthcare program for the elderly and disabled away from costly fee-for-service medicine. During Blum's tenure, Medicare has seen annual per capital cost growth slow to historic lows, though analysts are divided over how much credit can be attributed to reforms ushered in by the law known as Obamacare. His resignation, announced in an internal memo from CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, follows months of controversy over two separate proposals to scale back Medicare Advantage payments to private health insurers for 2015 and to reform the program's popular Part D prescription drug benefits.

US 'closely monitoring' N.Korea for feared nuclear test

The United States said Tuesday it was watching North Korea "very closely" following South Korean warnings that Pyongyang may be preparing a fourth nuclear test ahead of a visit to Seoul by President Barack Obama. "North Korea has a history of taking provocative action and we are always mindful of the possibility that such an action could be taken," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One as Obama departed for his week-long trip to Asia. Carney said any action by North Korea would "most likely be in violation of numerous commitments that the DPRK (North Korea) is bound by but of course, that is something that they unfortunately have done many times." He declined to comment on the validity of a South Korean defense ministry briefing which cited increased activity at North Korea's main nuclear test site.


Uber’s “Safety” Fee

Popular ridesharing app Uber announced a $1 “safe rides fee” after a wave of complaints. They say the fee will go towards driver background checks, new safety features, and more.


The Internet’s ‘fhqwhgads’ Cartoon

Before Twitter and Buzzfeed, there was Homestar Runner. As the aging homepage wallpaper peeled away revealing the html beneath, the gang finally returned to the Internet.


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