Political News from Yahoo

Happy birthday, super PAC!

Name for 'independent expenditure-only committee' turns 4 years old, but still not fully integrated into common language.

What is Martin O'Malley thinking?

On a Friday night two weeks ago, Democrats in Manchester, New Hampshire, packed a half-size banquet room for a party fundraiser. Like everyone else with access to cable TV or the Internet these days, the politicians and activists in the room already knew whom Democrats were going to nominate for president in 2016. About the only one who didn't seem to know the score was Martin O'Malley, the square-jawed, serious-minded governor of Maryland.

Obama aims to put human face on economic struggles

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama, in an attempt to put a human face on the economic policies he and Democrats are championing, is spending a day with a Minneapolis mother who wrote the White House about her struggles to make ends meet.

FAA eyes lower building height limit near airports

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government wants to dramatically reduce the allowable height of buildings near hundreds of airports — a proposal that is drawing fire from real estate developers and members of Congress who say it will reduce property values.

Tea party losses don't stop cash or curb influence

WASHINGTON (AP) — Desperate to knock off GOP incumbents in this year's Republican primaries, the nation's tea party groups have spent millions only to fall short in election after election.

Officials say Iraq pullout hurt US spying

WASHINGTON (AP) — When John Maguire was a CIA officer in Beirut in the late 1980s during that country's bloody civil war, he spent weeks living in safe houses far from the U.S. Embassy, dodging militants who wanted to kidnap and kill Americans.

Sending children illegally into US 'pointless'

The United States Thursday warned Central American families to stop sending their unaccompanied children across the Mexican border into the United States, calling the trip dangerous and pointless. These children will not be granted residency, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in Nogales, Arizona as he visited a detention center housing 900 minors who came to America alone. There are no 'permisos' for your children who come to the US," Johnson said, referring to the coveted residency permits that are hoped for at the end of the journeys. Johnson said the United States is taking measures to boost ties mainly with Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

US drone strikes set ‘dangerous precedent’

America’s reliance on secretive drone missile strikes against terror suspects has set a "dangerous precedent" that could be imitated by other countries and trigger wider wars around the world, former senior US officials said in a report Thursday. The ex-officials acknowledged that the robotic aircraft are a useful tool that is "here to stay," but urged President Barack Obama to lift the veil of secrecy that surrounds their use, introduce stricter rules for the strikes and take a hard look at whether the bombing raids were genuinely effective. "US practices set a dangerous precedent that may be seized upon by other states -- not all of which are likely to behave as scrupulously as US officials," it said.

Kenya arrests governor after coastal attacks

Kenyan police have arrested the governor of the coastal Lamu district in connection with three recent massacres in which over 60 people were killed, officers said Thursday. Governor Issa Timamy was arrested late Wednesday in connection with killings last week over two consecutive nights in the town of Mpeketoni and a nearby village that claimed nearly 60 lives. "The governor is in custody," Kenya's Criminal Investigations Department chief Ndegwa Muhoro said, adding he was due in court Thursday. Despite an immediate claim of responsibility from the Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab for the Mpeketoni attack, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has blamed "local political networks" along with an "opportunist network of other criminal gangs".

Out of touch? Hillary Clinton hits back after wealth gaffe

Hillary Clinton sought to nuance her remark that she and ex-president husband Bill were "dead broke" when they left the White House, insisting she was not out of touch. The widely-anticipated 2016 Democratic presidential candidate earlier this month kicked off her book tour telling ABC television the Clintons left the White House "not only dead broke, but in debt." You know, it was not easy," said Clinton, a Yale-educated lawyer herself before entering public service.

Paid holidays for Chinese dissidents - with minders

As top Communist leaders gathered in Beijing, veteran Chinese political activist He Depu was obliged to leave town -- for an all-expenses-paid holiday to the tropical island of Hainan, complete with police escorts. He, 57, had not been charged with any crime, but officers took him 2,300 kilometres (1,400 miles) to Hainan for 10 days to ensure he was not in the capital for this year's annual meeting of China's legislature, he said. "We had a pretty good time, because a decent amount of money was spent on the trip, the local government paid for everything." In 2011 police and court staff announced they and her family were going on a trip to Hainan -- a place of internal exile for criminals, disgraced officials and renegade poets as early as the Tang dynasty of 618-907.

U.S. small businesses lobby for survival of embattled Ex-Im Bank

By Howard Schneider and David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - If the battle over the U.S. Export-Import Bank is Washington's latest political tempest, then Don Nelson from Bakersfield, California is aiming at the eye of the storm. Nelson's small oilfield equipment company is part of new House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's district, and he wants the suddenly powerful politician to know that the Republican right's war on what it sees as "crony capitalism" at the export credit agency could claim hometown casualties. "It would be a disaster for our company," if the Ex-Im Bank is shuttered as McCarthy and a faction of House Republicans hope, said Nelson, president of ProGauge Technologies, Inc., who said he voted for McCarthy. With two-thirds of his business and perhaps half of his company's 100 jobs dependent on deals Ex-Im helps finance, "I need to meet with Kevin McCarthy and let him know, this is not a good thing for America." The 80-year-old bank provides about $37 billion a year in direct loans to foreign buyers of U.S. products, credit guarantees to American companies and credit insurance to aid exports.

Obama aims for 'day in the life' of Minneapolis woman

By Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama heads to Minneapolis on Thursday, the first stop in series of summer road trips where he will aim to spend a "day in the life" of an ordinary American and convince voters that the White House understands their challenges. Obama will have lunch with a woman named Rebekah - the White House has not provided her full name - who wrote to him earlier this year. The trip is also aimed at reconnecting Obama with Democrats ahead of midterm elections where Republicans stand a good chance of taking control of the Senate, jeopardizing the chance to accomplish goals for his last two years in office. Obama's job approval ratings have slid to 41 percent, Gallup said on Tuesday, with voters concerned about the economy and with the way the White House has handled the insurgency in Iraq.

WWI looms large at Ypres EU summit

A scene of carnage in World War I, the small Belgian town of Ypres is a warning written in blood for EU leaders Thursday of what happens when statesmen fail to preserve the peace. Now a bustling, busy place, Ypres and its proud medieval cloth hall were reduced to rubble by incessant German shelling. The symbolic centrepiece of Thursday's EU summit, hosted by European Council head Herman Van Rompuy, is the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate, the imposing monument which honours the dead of the armies of the British empire "who stood here ... and who have no known grave." "It will be a moving ceremony because we are here testifying what Europe is -- a project of peace, a project of solidarity, a project of cooperation," Van Rompuy said recently.

Obama warns more sanctions await Moscow on Ukraine

US President Barack Obama warned additional sanctions would be in store if Russia does not move swiftly to reduce tensions in eastern Ukraine. In a telephone call with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Obama also vowed to press Russia to persuade separatist groups to abide by a ceasefire agreement, the White House said. The two leaders agreed to "coordinate measures to impose additional costs on Russia if it fails to take rapid action to deescalate the situation in eastern Ukraine," where 400 people have died in unrest since April, it added in a statement. Obama and Renzi "also stressed the need for Russia to use its influence over separatist groups to persuade them to abide by the cease-fire and for Russia to take immediate concrete steps to stop the flow of weapons and militants across the border," the statement said.

Obama mocks foes who brand climate change a 'liberal plot'

US President Barack Obama mocked Republicans who reject global warming as a "liberal plot," as he pumped up a crowd of environmental activists in Washington. "Folks will tell you climate change is a hoax or a fad or a plot," Obama said at a League of Conservation Voters dinner. "It's a liberal plot," Obama said, sarcastically. "'They say, hey, I'm not a scientist,' which really translates into, 'I accept that manmade climate change is real, but if I say so out loud, I will be run out of town by a bunch of fringe elements that thinks climate science is a liberal plot.'"

Two Koreas resume talks on Kaesong industrial park

North and South Korea resumed talks Thursday on managing their Kaesong joint industrial zone, after a six-month hiatus caused by rising tensions between Pyongyang and Seoul. The two Koreas set up a joint committee to run Kaesong after the zone shut down completely in April for five months as military tensions on the Korean peninsula surged to dangerous levels. Since its last meeting on December 19, however, the joint committee has sat idle as tensions rose again with North Korea's angry protests over the South's annual military exercises with the United States.

A Love Letter to ‘The Notebook’

Ten years on, relive how Gosling and McAdams build a kind of Bogey and Bacall chemistry that keeps the movie grounded and natural, even at its most melodramatic heights.

Cameron headed for defeat in EU posts battle

Britain's David Cameron headed for defeat at an EU summit Thursday after being abandoned by his allies in a battle to block the nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission chief. European Union leaders gather at the World War I killing fields of Ypres in Belgium to kick off two days of fiery talks in what is the most bitter dispute seen in Europe since the height of the euro crisis. With tensions high between Cameron and his European peers, European Council president Herman Van Rompuy is to issue a statement after the dinner. "We will support Juncker's candidacy," Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told parliament shortly after Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt made a similar statement before a Swedish parliament committee.