Political News from Yahoo

Boehner: 'We're Going to Pay' for Bergdahl Deal

House Speaker John Boehner predicted today that the release of five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay will cost U.S. lives, as criticism rises over the prisoner swap involving Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. “We’re going to pay for this. There is not any doubt in my mind there...


Clinton 'dead broke' remark prompts partisan pushback

By Gabriel Debenedetti NEW YORK (Reuters) - Accused of being out of touch after making comments about her finances, likely presidential candidate Hillary Clinton headed for a speaking engagement on Tuesday that could earn her up to $250,000. Clinton's address to food trade groups in Chicago comes as she takes heat for comments that her family was "dead broke" when it left the White House in 2000, despite the considerable income she and former president Bill have earned subsequently along with the luxury real estate assets they have managed to acquire. "Between their million-dollar mansions in New York and Washington and her ridiculously expensive speaking fees, it's clear nobody could be more out of touch than Hillary Clinton," said Republican National Committee spokesman Jahan Wilcox. The fuss over her comments in an ABC News interview released Monday overshadowed the launch in New York on Tuesday of Clinton's latest book, "Hard Choices," seen as a prelude to a campaign for the 2016 presidential election.


Rand Paul Calls Hillary's Benghazi Explanation A 2016 'Deal Killer'

Congressional Republicans were unimpressed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s primetime interview with ABC News, knocking the perceived frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and questioning her ability to serve as president. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, who also is considered a presidential contender,...


CIA disciplines 15 officers in harassment cases

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Ilana Sara Greenstein was a CIA case officer working at headquarters a decade ago, she said, a married senior manager who was responsible for her promotions made sexual advances toward her.


Palestinian official plays down unity disputes

Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - A senior Palestinian official Tuesday played down a financial dispute with Hamas, as the Islamist movement criticised authorities for not paying government workers and for "assaulting" members at a rally. The row over pay for Hamas-appointed government workers in Gaza, which flared last week, was the first hitch in a reconciliation deal between Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organisation that began with the formation of a new unity government. "Reconciliation does not need to derail because of money," said Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior member of Fatah, which dominates the PLO, and by extension the Palestinian Authority.


'Qaeda' gunman kills Yemen soldier in southern town

A suspected Al-Qaeda gunman killed a soldier in a Yemeni provincial capital on Tuesday, bringing the death toll in the southern town of Huta to three in as many days. Tensions have run high in Huta since a wave of arrests targeting suspected Al-Qaeda militants prompted a Sunday assault on the police station where they were being held, killing a soldier. Lahij province is home to the Al-Anad air base, north of the main southern city of Aden, where Yemeni officials have said Washington has personnel deployed gathering intelligence for its drone war against Al-Qaeda. In late April, the Yemeni army launched a ground offensive against Al-Qaeda in Abyan and Shabwa provinces farther east.


Bahrain hands heavy jail terms to Shiite protesters

The trial was the latest in a string of prosecutions for protests among the Gulf state's Shiite Muslim majority that prompted Human Rights Watch to warn last month that the Sunni ruling family was using the courts as a tool to maintain a "highly repressive political order." The defendants were detained after protesters clashed with riot police in the Shiite village of Sitra outside the capital Manama on August 6, 2012, the judicial official said. In a report released on May 29, Human Rights Watch charged that the heavy jail terms handed down against scores of Shiite protesters were part of "a highly functional injustice system" operated by the Bahraini authorities.


Afghan poppy crop threatening reconstruction

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. watchdog for spending in Afghanistan says Afghans are growing more opium poppies than ever before and it is threatening to wipe out gains made to help the impoverished country improve health, education and governance.

Senate panel seeks $2.28 billion to aid immigrant children

By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Senate panel, responding to what President Barack Obama calls an "urgent humanitarian situation," on Tuesday advanced legislation significantly increasing funds to handle a surge of foreign children entering the United States illegally. Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, included up to $2.28 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services to feed and shelter the estimated 130,000 minors expected to arrive in the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1. That is up from the $868 million that Congress urgently provided this year to handle an estimated 60,000 undocumented children who will leave their homes in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and other countries and travel to the United States without their parents or other relatives. A Senate aide familiar with the issue told Reuters appropriators also intend to have a "significant" increase in funds for the Department of Homeland Security next year.

Mauritania president urges '100 percent' vote turnout

Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has responded defiantly to an opposition boycott of this month's presidential election, calling for "100 percent" turnout in a vote he is widely expected to win. Abdel Aziz has urged "everyone to come out and vote" in the June 21 election, since campaigning began last week. Mauritania's opposition National Forum for Democracy and Unity, a loose collection of lawmakers including Islamists and civil society activists, announced on Tuesday its intention to snub the vote. Mauritania, a mainly Muslim republic between the Atlantic Ocean and the Sahara Desert, is viewed as strategically important by the West in the fight against Al-Qaeda-linked groups within its own borders, in neighbouring Mali and across Africa's Sahel region.


Obama leaves White House for lunch with Duncan

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — President Barack Obama and his education secretary, Arne Duncan, had lunch Tuesday at an Alexandria, Virginia, neighborhood known for its good restaurants.


House votes to ensure speedier care for US vets

WASHINGTON (AP) — United and eager to respond to a national uproar, the House overwhelmingly approved legislation Tuesday to make it easier for patients enduring long waits for care at Veterans Affairs facilities to get VA-paid treatment from local doctors.


Air Force to launch fixes to nuclear program

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Air Force is launching an ambitious campaign to repair flaws in its nuclear missile corps, after recent training failures, security missteps, leadership lapses, morale problems and stunning breakdowns in discipline prompted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to demand action to restore public confidence in the nuclear force.


Colombia, ELN guerrillas launch peace process

Colombia's government and the country's second largest guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army, announced Tuesday they have opened peace talks, with presidential elections just days away. The government already is in the midst of peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, Colombia's largest rebel group, which were begun in November 2012. So far, the government and the National Liberation Army, or ELN, have agreed to hold talks about the victims of the conflict and the rebel group's "participation in society." The surprise announcement comes as President Juan Manuel Santos, who is seeking a second term, finds himself in a close run-off election on Sunday.


Iraqi militants threaten entire region: US

Jihadists who have seized Iraq's second city of Mosul pose a threat to the entire region, the United States warned Tuesday, voicing deep concern about the "extremely serious" situation. Condemning militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) "in the strongest possible terms," White House spokesman Josh Earnest called on Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and other leaders to do more to address "unresolved issues" to ensure they are governing "with the interests of all Iraqis in mind." "It should be clear that ISIL is not only a threat to the stability of Iraq, but a threat to the entire region," said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, in a statement. She stressed that Washington backed "a strong coordinated response to push back against this aggression."


A Song of Twitter and George R.R. Martin

The scribe behind the Song of Ice and Fire series joined Twitter, journeying deeper into an expansive, violent world full of cruel creatures and hordes of naked women you can pay for.


Jihadists seize Iraq's second city, Nineveh province

Mosul (Iraq) (AFP) - Jihadists overran Iraq's second city of Mosul, the surrounding Nineveh province and parts of Kirkuk on Tuesday, in a major blow to a government apparently incapable of stopping militant advances. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki responded by asking parliament to declare a state of emergency and announcing the government would arm citizens to fight the militants. "All of Nineveh province fell into the hands of militants," parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi told journalists in Baghdad, adding the gunmen were heading south towards neighbouring Salaheddin province. An army brigadier general told AFP hundreds of militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) launched a major assault on the security forces late on Monday.


Massachusetts Governor unveils $20 million plan to tackle opioid drug abuse

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on Tuesday unveiled a $20 million package of proposals to tackle what he described as a crisis of addiction to opioid drugs in the state, and called for a summit of all six New England governors to address a broader regional response. A commission appointed by the governor, who in March declared addiction to opiate drugs a public health emergency, called for steps including a expanding treatment for drug addicts in state prisons and to create new live-in centers to treat addicts as young as 13 years old. "These actions will help enhance our network for treatment and recovery services to help communities and families struggling with addiction," Patrick said at a Boston high school that provides treatment services for addicted teens. In Massachusetts alone, some 668 people died from opioid drug overdoses in 2012, almost double the level in 2000, according to the state report.


Jihadists seize areas in Iraq's Kirkuk province, say police

Kirkuk (Iraq) (AFP) - Jihadists seized several areas in Iraq's Kirkuk province on Tuesday, a police officer said, after the militants took control of a whole province to its west. The militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) overran the Hawijah, Zab, Riyadh and Abbasi areas west of the city of Kirkuk, and Rashad and Yankaja to its south, Colonel Ahmed Taha said.


U.S. House panel defeats bid to save A-10 'Warthog' aircraft

The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee defeated an amendment to a defense spending bill on Tuesday that would have preserved funding for the U.S. fleet of A-10 "Warthog" aircraft. The Pentagon, facing budget cuts, decided to eliminate all 283 of the tank-killer jets, saying it would save $3.7 billion over the next five years plus another $500 million in planned aircraft upgrades. The committee voted 23-13 against the amendment to the annual appropriations bill, which was introduced by U.S. Representative Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican. The 40-year-old, slow-flying Warthog is enormously popular among soldiers and Marines.

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