Political News from Yahoo

Obama touring Arkansas tornado devastation

VILONIA, Ark. (AP) — By air and on foot, President Barack Obama was getting an up close and personal look Wednesday at Arkansas communities devastated by recent deadly tornadoes during a quick visit with political implications for the state.

EPA pledges cooperation in internal investigations

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency assured Congress on Wednesday it will resolve a sensational dispute with its inspector general over allegations that an EPA office run by President Barack Obama's top political staff interfered with independent investigations.

House voting to hold ex-IRS official in contempt

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is preparing to vote Wednesday on holding 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.

House panel works on bill to rebuff Pentagon cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are sparing Cold War-era aircraft, military bases and ships from Pentagon cuts as even tea partyers abandon their drive to slash federal spending in an election year.

Christie joins LePage amid 'bully' criticism

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Two tough-talking GOP governors are appearing together in Maine after struggling through largely self-inflicted controversies that now jeopardize their political futures.

US Secretary of State Kerry to travel to Mexico

Washington (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry will head to Mexico for a two-day trip aimed at increasing trade and security cooperation between the North American neighbors, his office said on Wednesday.

'No evidence' of Russian pull back: White House

A White House spokesman said Wednesday that US officials have seen "no evidence" that Russian troops have pulled back from the tense border with Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin had earlier said that the estimated 40,000 Russian troops deployed on the frontier had withdrawn to their usual training grounds. But, speaking to reporters on Air Force One, White House deputy spokesman Josh Earnest said that "to date" there has been "no evidence that such a withdrawal has taken place." Earnest made his remarks after the Russian leader met with Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, current chief of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Clay Aiken Still Deadlocked in Tight N.C. Race: What Happens Next?

The race between Clay Aiken and textile entrepreneur Keith Crisco is still close too call this morning with the Associated Press reporting the former “American Idol” star is still leading by just 372 votes with 100 percent of precincts reporting. Aiken has 40.8% of the...

US envoy vows Central Asia 'commitment' after Afghanistan exit

The United States will remain committed and engaged in Central Asia after this year's troop pullout from Afghanistan, US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said in ex-Soviet Uzbekistan on Wednesday. "My message is straightforward: America's commitment to Central Asia and to Uzbekistan is enduring because America's interest in Central Asia and in Uzbekistan are enduring," Burns told reporters in Tashkent. Burns said discussions with Uzbek officials focused on the US drawdown in Afghanistan as well as American concerns about Russia's "aggressive and provocative actions" in Ukraine, looking at "how much these developments can affect other countries such as Uzbekistan." Uzbekistan, Central Asia's most populous country, shares a 100-kilometre-long border with northern Afghanistan and a rail link to the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif, making it a key hub for the transfer of non-lethal goods to Afghanistan.

Hillary Takes On the NRA

In a speech Tuesday, Hillary Clinton raised eyebrows by calling for increased restrictions on carrying firearms in public.

China and US battle for influence in Angola

Africa's second biggest oil producer and one of its fastest growing economies, Angola is at the centre of a race for influence between China and the United States, both greedily eyeing its huge trade potential. The competition is on full display this week, with Angola's capital Luanda welcoming Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday for a 48-hour visit, just three days after it laid out the red carpet for US Secretary of State John Kerry. "The intention of (US President) Barack Obama, just like China, is to diversify trade with Angola to deepen cooperation with the country and, more generally, with Africa," said Vicente Pinto de Andrade, economics professor at the Angola Catholic University.

US economy on 'solid growth' track in Q2: Yellen

The US economy is on track for "solid growth" in the second quarter after the winter freeze, US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday. But with the housing industry slowing and unemployment still high, the economy still needs "a high degree of monetary accommodation," she told a congressional committee. Yellen said the growth stall in the first quarter was "mostly reflecting transitory factors, including the effects of the unusually cold and snowy winter weather." "With the harsh winter weather behind us, many recent indicators suggest that a rebound in spending and production is already under way," she said.

US FBI agent arrested with bullets at Pakistan airport

An American FBI agent arrested in Pakistan for trying to board a plane while carrying pistol ammunition has been remanded in police custody until the weekend, officials said. The man was held at Karachi airport Monday when security staff found 15 bullets for a 9mm handgun during routine checks for a flight to Islamabad. Sources close to the case said Wednesday he was an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, while the Washington Post described him as an FBI staffer on temporary assignment in Pakistan to help local authorities investigate corruption. The Airport Security Force detained the man before handing him over to police.

US changes visa rules to keep foreign talent

The United States said Tuesday it will soon start issuing work visas to the spouses of some foreign workers as part of a drive to retain highly skilled people. The change will affect the spouses of people with so-called H-1B visas, a limited-term working visa that employees obtain when they are sponsored by their companies. When spouses cannot work foreign families tend not to settle in the United States, depriving it of many workers highly skilled in science and technology. Under the changes, spouses of people with H-1B visas who have applied for permanent residency 'green cards' can also apply for permission to work.

RNC Plays Catch-Up On Data, Ground Game

ABC’s Shushannah Walshe and Chris Good report:  After getting walloped by President Barack Obama’s vaunted targeting and turnout operation in 2012, the Republican National Committee promised to make both a priority for the next election cycle. With more field staffers across the country and a...

'Three US navy planes crushed in Japan snow'

At least three US Navy P-3 Orion surveillance planes were crushed "beyond repair" when unusually heavy snowfall swept across Japan in February, a US military daily reported Wednesday. The planes were inside a contractor's hangar near the US Navy air facility in Atsugi, west of Tokyo, the Pacific Stars and Stripes said in its online edition, citing a US Naval spokeswoman. Tokyo and its vicinity on the Pacific board are not used to heavy snow storms.

House Democrats protest plan for Benghazi panel

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats insist that a special select committee on the deadly 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, be evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, raising doubts about their participation in the election-year investigation of the Obama administration.

Obama's top advisers set to spill insider details

WASHINGTON (AP) — Over the next month, two of President Barack Obama's closest first-term advisers will spill insider details on the administration's handling of the early days of the Great Recession, the White House's cautious response to the Syrian civil war and the genesis of clandestine talks with Iran.

GOP's point man on Benghazi is seasoned prosecutor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Republicans' newest point man on the Benghazi attack, is a seasoned prosecutor determined to apply his well-honed courtroom skills to an election-year examination of the Obama administration's actions.