Political News from Yahoo

Three US troops, military dog killed in Afghan blast

A Taliban attack killed three American soldiers and a military dog in southern Afghanistan on Friday, officials said, in the latest sign of the insurgents' capability as the coalition winds down operations. NATO's International Security Assistance Force will end its combat mission later this year, leaving the Afghan police and army to take on full responsibility for battling the resilient Taliban insurgency. "Three ISAF service members and one ISAF canine died following an improvised explosive device attack in southern Afghanistan today," the NATO force said in a statement. The attack occurred in the volatile Nad Ali district of Helmand province, according to Afghan officials.

US Presbyterians vote to divest from firms to pressure Israel

The nearly 1.9 million member Presbyterian Church USA voted Friday after a contentious debate to divest from three companies that provide supplies to Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied West Bank. The 310 to 303 vote at the influential Protestant denomination's meeting in Detroit, Michigan, means the group will pull any financial investments out of Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions, according to the church's official news service. The measure also included a reaffirmation of Israel's right to exist, an endorsement of a two-state solution and encouraged interfaith dialogue, The New York Times reported. The close vote came after a week of intense lobbying and "most contentious debate of this assembly," the church's news service said, noting that divestment has historically been seen as a "last resort" after "other engagement tools have failed."

Hillary’s Secret Iowa Campaign Cadre

The possible candidate’s most ardent supporters already have been undergoing training in the first-in-the-nation primary state. What Ready for Hillary is telling its troops.

Central America presses Biden on migrant rights as U.S. vows aid

By Mike McDonald GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Central American leaders on Friday pressed visiting U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden to improve migrant rights, even as the United States committed tens of millions of dollars in extra aid to the region in a bid to stem a surge of illegal immigration. The White House said the United States would launch a $40 million program to improve security in Guatemala to reduce pressures fueling migration to the United States and a $25 million program to provide services to youth in El Salvador who are vulnerable to organized-crime pressure. ...

Donors to major parties hand over $625M so far

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donors to the campaign committees of the two major parties have forked over at least $625 million so far this election cycle and show no signs of slowing down. That heavy giving will allow the campaign committees to flood voters' televisions with ads, mailboxes with fliers, and phones with calls promoting candidates for House and Senate races.

Christie cites his anti-abortion credentials

WASHINGTON (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday declared his opposition to abortion, telling religious conservatives that "every life is a gift from God that's precious and must be protected."

Freedom Summer’s Bloody Progress

Bob Moses talks about the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer protests that he helped organize—protests that changed the status quo forever.

Dear Dick (Cheney)

Everyone’s favorite American statesman emerged from retirement this week to sound off on Iraq. What if he sounded off on our personal problems, as well? Read on and weep.

The Week’s Best Longreads

From the myth of innovative ‘disruption’ to a revolution in arson science, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

Censored and ‘Obscene’ in Solitary

After a huge hunger strike to protest the state prison system’s inhuman conditions, California is threatening to ban any written material deemed “oppositional to authority and society.”

The Fake Superbug Cure

Antibiotic resistant bacteria is the latest target for scientific ‘cures.’ But with every ‘breakthrough’ that makes the news, are we actually farther from the truth?

Threesomes are Actually a Terrible Idea

Sometimes threesomes can get—gasp—boring. What if you finish in minutes and your bedmates go on for an hour? Guys, life isn’t an XXX-film.

The Nile: Where Ancient and Modern Meet

Historian Toby Wilkinson may not see himself as a tour guide, but he makes good company as he takes us down the Nile and through that storied river’s past.

Jefferson's Dark St. Kitts Connection

On the bucolic island of St. Kitts, the scenery masks a complex history often kept secret, including the island's role in the birth of the slave trade and its connections to an American president.

Benghazi Killer Held by 9/11 Steel

Ahmed Abu Khattala is on the USS New York, a warship that contains 7.5 tons of steel from the ruins of the Twin Towers in its bow. The bad guys don’t forget 9/11. And neither do we.

Argentina's Kirchner wants 'just and equitable' deal on debt

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner signaled her willingness to enter negotiations on the country's debt, as the country faces a potential default at the end of the month. Argentine Economy Minister Axel Kicillof has proposed that Argentina initiate steps to carry out a debt exchange inside the country. Four days after the US Supreme Court decided against Argentina in its fight against hedge fund bond holders, Kirchner said her country has "the right and the need to participate in a negotiation that is just and equitable." Most creditors accepted large writedowns of the bonds, but the court ruling means Argentina now must pay the holdouts 100 percent of the debt's face value -- $15 billion in total.

VA: 65 percent of senior executives got bonuses

WASHINGTON (AP) — About 65 percent of senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department got performance bonuses last year despite widespread treatment delays and preventable deaths at VA hospitals and clinics, the agency said Friday.