Political News from Yahoo

House votes to hold ex-IRS official in contempt

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans voted Wednesday to hold a former Internal Revenue Service official in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify at a pair of committee hearings about her role in the agency's tea party controversy.

Appeals court delays Wisconsin governor's big win

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors investigating Gov. Scott Walker's 2012 recall campaign and conservative groups that supported him won a victory Wednesday with a federal appeals court ruling that, at least for now, blocks a judge's ruling that halted the probe.

House calls for special counsel to investigate IRS

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has approved a nonbinding resolution calling on the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate the Internal Revenue Service over the way agents handled applications for tax-exempt status.

US to return ancient statue to Cambodia

An ancient statue of a warrior stolen in 1972 and which almost went on the auction block three years ago will be returned to Cambodia, US authorities said Wednesday. The 10th-century sandstone \"Duryodhana bondissant\" was stolen from the Prasat Chen temple at Koh Ker in Cambodia and first sold at auction in London in 1975. It was supposed to have come back on the auction block at Sotheby's in New York in March 2011 but the sale was stopped after Cambodian authorities made an appeal through UNESCO. The Koh Ker site is significant from a religious, historical, and artistic perspective, and the Duryodhana is considered a piece of extraordinary value to the Cambodian people and part of their cultural heritage.

NJ gov tries to revive national ambitions in Maine

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fought to revive his presidential aspirations in northern New England on Wednesday, declaring he would not be silenced by scandal while campaigning alongside one of the nation's most endangered Republican governors.

Republicans shouldn't raise money off Benghazi: U.S. lawmaker

By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The new head of a congressional panel investigating the 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, criticized on Wednesday some Republicans' use of the deadly incident to raise campaign funds. During an interview on MSNBC's \"Morning Joe\" program, Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina was asked whether he would appeal to his fellow Republicans to stop such fundraising efforts. The next day, an attack on another U.S. facility in Benghazi killed two guards. The National Republican Congressional Committee, which seeks to elect Republicans to the House, showcases Benghazi-related fundraising appeals on its website.

President Obama Surveys Arkansas Tornado Damage

After getting a first-hand look at the tornado damage, President Obama today reassured Arkansas residents that they are not alone and that “your country’s going to be here for you.” “I’m here to make sure that they know and that everybody who’s been affected knows...

US temporarily closes embassy in Yemen to the public

The United States is temporarily closing its embassy in Yemen to the public amid a spate of attacks against foreign diplomats, a top US official said Wednesday. "Due to recent attacks against Western interests in Yemen, we have temporarily suspended operations of our embassy in Sanaa to the public," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. The move comes after a Frenchman was killed on Monday and another was wounded when gunmen opened fire on their car in Sanaa's diplomatic district. Both worked for a private security firm that officials said was guarding the EU delegation in Yemen.

US doctors decry 'political blackmail' by gun lobby

A leading US medical journal on Wednesday hit out at the powerful American gun lobby for opposing the nomination for the post of top doctor, calling it a new form of \"political blackmail.\" At issue is the nomination to the post of surgeon general of a Harvard medical school physician named Vivek Murthy, whose parents were born in India. Murthy \"has lived the American dream,\" said the editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, noting his role in expanding HIV education, broadening access to healthcare and fighting childhood obesity. His nomination awaits a vote in the US Senate, but that vote may be postponed or his candidacy withdrawn, amid reports that as many as 10 Senate Democrats would vote against him, enough to keep him out of the post.

Tea Party Prepared to Fight GOP Forever

The insurgents lost to the establishment in several primaries this week, but they say the fight to control began five years ago and will go on for more.

Boehner Pledges Benghazi Select Committee 'Not Going to Be a Circus'

House Speaker John Boehner says “a line was crossed” that warranted the creation of a new select committee to investigate the Benghazi terrorist attacks when newly released documents showed “that the White House played a more significant role in the development of how they were...

US 'deeply concerned' about protest-hit Venezuela

The United States is \"deeply concerned\" at what Secretary of State John Kerry called Wednesday \"the deteriorating situation\" in protest-hit Venezuela. At least 41 people have been killed in three months of demonstrations against the leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro, with protesters railing against dire economic conditions and what they say is worsening insecurity. \"The serious and worsening economic and social challenges in Venezuela can only be resolved with the input of those people,\" Kerry told a conference on the Americas in Washington, saying demonstrators had \"legitimate grievances.\" \"We believe the future of Venezuela is for the people of Venezuela to decide,\" Kerry said.

Obama tours Arkansas tornado damage with key Senate Democrat

By Steve Holland VILONIA, Arkansas (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday toured the devastation wreaked by tornadoes that slashed through parts of Arkansas, along with a senator whose re-election is key to Democrats' hanging on to control of the U.S. Senate. Some Democratic senators in tough races this November have distanced themselves from Obama, but Senator Mark Pryor, whose state has tilted Republican in recent years, welcomed Obama to Arkansas and stood by his side as he spoke about the tragedy. Obama's Marine One helicopter provided the president with an aerial view of the destruction caused by a powerful EF-4 tornado, with winds of at least 180 miles an hour, and other deadly twisters that ripped central Arkansas last week, killing 15 people and injuring more than 150.

US to cancel Russia's preferential trade benefits

The Obama administration moved Wednesday to cut trade benefits to Russia under its GSP program, a move the White House termed \"appropriate\" given Moscow's interference in Ukraine. In a letter to Congress, President Barack Obama said he intends to withdraw Russia's privileges under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which aims to provide developing countries with preferential trade tariffs. Russia is \"sufficiently advanced in economic development\" to no longer merit inclusion, Obama explained in the letter.

Up to Speed: Nigeria’s Kidnapping Crisis

A violent abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria has shocked the world. Haven’t been paying attention until now? Here’s what you need to know.

US urges China to free activists

Washington on Wednesday demanded the release of one of China's most celebrated human rights lawyers and other activists detained during a round-up ahead of the sensitive 25th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. The US is "deeply concerned" over the reports of Tuesday's arrest of Pu Zhiqiang, said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. He and other activists were said to have been detained after taking part in a meeting to mark the June 4 anniversary "of the violent suppression of demonstrations in and around Beijing's Tiananmen Square," Psaki told reporters. "We call on Chinese authorities to release these individuals immediately, remove restrictions on their freedom of movement and guarantee them the protections and the freedoms to which they are entitled under China's international human rights commitment," she added.

US urges new elections in Thailand

The United States on Wednesday called for a "peaceful" resolution to political tensions in Thailand and new elections after the country's constitutional court dismissed the prime minister and nine ministers for abuse of power. Washington was "following closely" the developments after the court removed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office, ruling she had acted illegally by transferring a top security officer in 2011. "We continue to urge all sides to resolve Thailand's political tensions in a peaceful and democratic manner so that the Thai people can choose political leadership they deserve," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. "In keeping with Thailand's democratic ideals, a resolution should include elections and an elected government."

Why Millennials Think They Hate Feminism

Yes, Shailene Woodley’s refusal to call herself a feminist was muddled. But bullying her about it does little for feminism’s cause.

Obama, Putin should 'talk like real men': Ukraine candidate

A candidate in Ukraine's critical upcoming presidential election on Wednesday urged US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to talk through their stark differences "like real men." Obama and Putin should "open a bottle of fine French wine and talk like real men, openly and honestly, and remember that, through joint efforts, the American and Russian forces and people were able to overcome fascism and give the world a chance to continue peaceful development," Valery Konovalyuk told reporters. The pair, split over the escalating crisis in Ukraine, could meet next month in France for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.