Political News from Yahoo

Iraq parliament fails to reach quorum for emergency session

Iraq's parliament failed to reach a quorum Thursday, officials said, preventing it from voting on a request to announce a state of emergency to deal with a major jihadist offensive. A senior government official told AFP only 128 of 325 MPs attended, and another official confirmed a quorum was not reached. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the president's office submitted a request for parliament to declare a state of emergency on Tuesday, as jihadists overrun swathes of territory. The failure of the session showcased how dysfunctional the Iraqi parliament, which has passed little significant legislation in years and is often poorly attended, has become.


Romney tries to re-emerge as force in GOP politics

BOSTON (AP) — Once fearing he would be viewed as "a loser for life" if he failed to win the presidency, Mitt Romney is trying to re-emerge as a force in Republican politics.


Freed Taliban leaders may remain in Qatar beyond one-year travel ban: sources

Five Taliban leaders released by the United States have told visitors that they are likely to seek to remain in Qatar beyond an agreed one-year travel ban, sources who have spoken to the visitors told Reuters. The United States released the men from Guantanamo in exchange for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl, held prisoner in Afghanistan for five years. Under the terms of the swap, mediated in secret by Qatar, the leaders must remain in the Gulf kingdom under surveillance for at least a year. Domestic critics of President Barack Obama's decision say the men could return to the battlefield in Afghanistan, where the U.S. is winding down its 13-year military presence.

Islamabad condemns US drone strike despite suspicions of cooperation

Pakistan on Thursday condemned the first US drone strikes on its soil this year despite suspicions the two countries coordinated over the attack in the aftermath of a Taliban siege of Karachi airport. The strikes took place over Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, killing at least 16 militants in the North Waziristan tribal district that lies on the Afghan border, in the first such attacks since December. They came in the same week as the Taliban claimed responsibility for an all-night siege of Karachi airport that left 37 dead including 10 attackers, shredding a nascent peace process and placing pressure on Islamabad to react decisively. The foreign office issued a tersely worded statement condemning the strikes as "a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity".


Jewish Museum suspect Nemmouche extradition ruling set for June 26

Versailles (France) (AFP) - A French court said Thursday it will decide on June 26 whether to extradite to Belgium the man suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels last month. Franco-Algerian Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, who was detained several days after the attack that left four people dead, told the court he was not opposed to his transfer to Belgium as long as he has assurances he will not be sent on to a third country. The shooting on May 24 -- the first such attack in Brussels in three decades -- raised fears across Europe of a resurgence of anti-Semitic violence and of terror attacks from foreign fighters returning from Syria. Nemmouche had spent more than a year fighting with radical jihadists in Syria.


Iran's Rouhani vows to combat terrorism in Iraq

Predominantly Shiite Muslim Iran will combat the "violence and terrorism" of Sunni extremists who have launched an anti-government offensive in neighbouring Iraq, President Hassan Rouhani warned on Thursday. "This is an extremist, terrorist group that is acting savagely," Rouhani said live on state television. The president did not elaborate on what steps Iran would take to help thwart a bid by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to push toward Baghdad after seizing several cities and towns to the north. But he said he would head to a meeting of Iran's Supreme National Security Council immediately after his speech.


Emergency measures to deal with passport fiasco

Passport applications will be fast-tracked for people with an "urgent need" to travel, the Home Secretary Theresa May said Thursday, as she battled to contain a growing row over a backlog in the system. People applying to renew passports overseas for travel to Britain will be given an automatic 12-month extension to their existing passports, May said in an emergency statement in the House of Commons. The Home Secretary also said she had ordered two separate reviews of the Passport Office, which is struggling to tackle a backlog of at least 30,000 applications. The passports fiasco worsened late Wednesday when the Home Office was forced to reverse plans to relax security checks following an embarrassing report by the Guardian.


India investigates spate of rapes in Uttar Pradesh

Lucknow (India) (AFP) - Indian police said Thursday they were investigating a spate of rapes and hangings in a troubled northern region, as the national women's rights body called for the state government to resign over the crisis. India has been trying to restore its battered reputation for violence against women, but public outrage was reignited by the deaths last month of two girls, aged 12 and 14, who were gang-raped and lynched in their impoverished village in Uttar Pradesh. On Thursday, a woman said she had been gang-raped by four officers at a police station in the state, and police said they were also investigating the death of a 19--year-old found, like the two girls, hanging from a tree. "The body was strung up using the girl's dupatta (long scarf)," senior police superintendent Ashutosh Kumar said, adding the incident occurred in a village in Moradabad district.


Bush bash: Elder ex-president marks 90th birthday

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (AP) — Former President George H.W. Bush is celebrating his 90th birthday at his family's seaside retreat in Maine, where he has spent his summers since he was a boy.


The Fabulous Life of EJ Johnson

Magic’s son is confident, funny, and unapologetic about his privileged lifestyle. And he has a message for Donald Sterling: ‘You need to look at the facts, honey.’


This Is How We’ll Fix Health Care

Americans are sicker and taking more pills than ever, and our doctors are miserable. But not all is lost. Here’s how we can fix it.


The Concealed Genius of Alec Guinness

Best-known by modern audiences for playing Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, Sir Alec Guinness’ film career featured an astonishing variety of roles—as a new film season celebrates.


Obama’s Democracy Promotion Fail

The administration is proposing to remove language from next year’s budget that would safeguard American foreign aid from repressive foreign leaders.


The Town Determined to Stop Putin

In Dnipropetrovsk, just 150 miles from the Donetsk People’s Republic, the regional governor is a very rich man with very big plans to stop pro-Russian separatists in their tracks.


Did Cooter Beat Cantor?

Ex-Rep. Ben Jones, the ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ star who once got his ‘butt kicked’ by the majority leader, wrote an open letter calling on all voters to turn out against him—and it worked.


Israel’s Tiniest Breakaway State

In 1952, a former Israeli soldier became disenchanted with his home country and decided to declare his own nation…within its borders. Welcome to Akhziv Land.


Why China Won’t Eclipse the U.S.

The World Bank has predicted that China’s economy will overtake America’s this year. Are we at the cusp of a Pax Sinica?


Cantor didn't need to move right. He needed to get real.

In all my years of covering election nights, through all the frustrations inherent in dealing with candidates and campaigns, I have never once resorted to chiding someone who ended up on the losing side.

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