Political News from Yahoo

The Putin Pulitzers

Russia’s boss handed out awards for journalistic “professionalism” today. And by professionalism, he means toeing the Kremlin’s line.

U.S., Singapore reach agreement on tax evasion: U.S. Treasury

Singapore has reached a tax information-sharing agreement with the United States under a new law meant to combat offshore tax dodging by Americans, a U.S. Treasury Department spokeswoman said on Monday. Set to take effect on July 1, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2010 (FATCA) will require foreign banks, investment funds and insurers to hand over information about Americans' accounts that have more than $50,000 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Foreign firms that do not comply face a 30 percent withholding tax on their U.S. investment income and could effectively be frozen out of U.S. capital markets. The Singapore deal, known as an intergovernmental agreement, was expected for more than a year and is significant because it broadens FATCA's dragnet to a major Asian financial center, sources have said.

Former nuke officer reprimanded in gambling case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Navy admiral fired last fall as the No. 2 commander of U.S. nuclear forces was given a letter of reprimand Monday and ordered to forfeit $4,000 in pay but will be allowed to remain on duty as a Navy staff officer, the Navy said.

U.S. Supreme Court backs prayer before government meetings

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday gave local government officials across the United States more leeway to begin public meetings with a prayer, ruling that sectarian invocations do not automatically violate the U.S. Constitution. The court said on a 5-4 vote that the town of Greece in New York state did not violate the Constitution's ban on government endorsement of religion by allowing Christian prayers before monthly meetings. Although such prayers have long been a tradition in some communities, the high court had never before expressly said sectarian prayers could be constitutional in some circumstances or specifically held that prayers could be given before meetings of local government entities. Politicians from both major political parties, including President Barack Obama, a Democrat, had backed the town.

Ex-fundraiser for U.S. Representative Grimm says not guilty of campaign violations

By Bernard Vaughan NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Texas woman pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of arranging illegal contributions to the 2010 campaign of embattled U.S. Representative Michael Grimm, a New York Republican. Diana Durand, a former fundraiser for Grimm, pleaded not guilty in New York to charges of funneling more than $10,000 to two candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 with the help of straw donors, in violation of a federal law that capped individual contributions to political candidates at $4,800. The three-count indictment handed down last month does not name Grimm, though Durand's lawyer, Stuart Kaplan, confirmed after Monday's hearing at federal court in Brooklyn that Grimm was one of the candidates in question. The complaint filed against Durand included an excerpt from an April 2010 e-mail in which prosecutors said she thanked two straw donors, who use someone else's money to make campaign contributions in their own name.

The Dangers of the Circus

After the horrific Rhode Island circus accident at the weekend, we look at a history of deadly big-top accidents and animals.

A Visit from the Goop Squad

Why settle for reading Gwyneth’s tips for living like Gwyneth and purchasing Gwyneth-endorsed products from a webshop when you can go to a shopable, brick-and-mortar version?

South Carolina congressman tapped to lead House panel on Benghazi

By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former prosecutor and critic of the Obama administration's handling of the 2012 Benghazi attacks was picked on Monday to head a Republican-led congressional investigation of the deadly assault that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy, a member of the House Oversight Committee, will lead a new panel investigating the attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya. "I know he shares my commitment to get to the bottom of this tragedy and will not tolerate any stonewalling from the Obama administration," House Speaker John Boehner said, announcing Gowdy as his pick as chairman of the select committee. Boehner had announced he was forming the new panel on Friday, the same day the Oversight Committee announced a rare subpoena of a cabinet official, Secretary of State John Kerry, to testify about Benghazi.

Brendan Eich Is Like Donald Sterling

Did Donald Sterling ever try to use the power of the state to annul the marriages of thousands of people he never met because he disapproved of them? Ex-Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich did.

New York City mayor unveils affordable housing plan

By Edith Honan NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released a plan on Monday to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade - a centerpiece of his strategy to address economic inequality in the nation's largest city. The liberal mayor's proposal, requiring a $41 billion investment to build 80,000 units and preserve 120,000 more, would provide enough housing for more than half a million New Yorkers. "And so we are marshaling every corner of government and the private sector in an unprecedented response." De Blasio, who took office in January as the city's first Democratic mayor in two decades, campaigned for office decrying the "tale of two cities" that has emerged as New York is torn by a yawning gap between rich and poor. A report released last month by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer found that almost half of all New Yorkers spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, while a third spend at least half on housing.

Condi Backs Out Of Rutgers Commencement

After protests by students and faculty, former Secretary of State under George W. Bush announced she will not be giving the Rutgers University commencement speech.

Hollywood's Hotel Fatwa

After the owner of The Beverly Hills Hotel, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, said he'd implement strict Sharia Law—like stoning homosexuals to death—Hollywood is boycotting the establishment.

Alanis Composes Song For CA Candidate

Canadian pop singer Alanis Morissette composed a campaign song for self-help guru Marianne Williamson who is running for Congress in California.

High court ruling favors prayer at council meeting

WASHINGTON (AP) — A narrowly divided Supreme Court upheld decidedly Christian prayers at the start of local council meetings on Monday, declaring them in line with long national traditions though the country has grown more religiously diverse.

High court nixes NJ appeal on gun rights in public

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday let stand New Jersey's requirement that gun owners demonstrate a justifiable need in order to carry firearms in public, turning away another case over whether Americans have a constitutional right to be armed outside the home.

Conservatives Can’t Take a Joke

They complain the president and Joel McHale were too mean, but what about all the hate the right heaps on liberals and minorities?

Maryland latest U.S. state to hike minimum wage to $10.10 per hour

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley on Monday approved a gradual hike in the state's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour as fellow Democrats seek to make raising the wage an issue ahead of this year's midterm congressional elections. O'Malley's signature will raise the state's base wage to the new rate by July 2018 in stages from its current level of $7.25 an hour, which is also the federal minimum. Maryland joins California, Hawaii, Connecticut and the District of Columbia in passing legislation or signing into law increases in the minimum wage. "Strengthening Maryland's middle class has been the North Star of my administration," O'Malley, who is weighing a run for the presidency, said in a statement.