Political News from Yahoo

Cantor-backed groups face uncertain future in wake of stunning defeat

Before his stunning defeat, Majority Leader Eric Cantor didn’t just believe he would be the next speaker of the House. He also believed he would be a thought leader in the Republican Party. In 2011, Cantor dispatched a top aide to build a network of high-profile outside groups to cement his place in a GOP shaped in his own image and set the agenda for the party as a whole. Now, rejected by Virginia Republican primary voters, Cantor is reeling personally from the loss, of both his seat and his leadership ambition. But the groups he helped build to promote his ideology are in flux, too. Donors and establishment Republicans who once poured millions of dollars into them must decide whether it’s still a good investment to fund organizations that advocate for policies and candidates reflective of Cantor’s vision for the party’s future.

What to watch for in today's heated House GOP leadership elections

Nine days after Eric Cantor’s shocking primary loss, House Republicans will gather on Thursday behind closed doors to elect new leaders in the congressional equivalent of a papal conclave. And while such an event seems, on its surface, to be the sort of political sport that engages only the inside-the-Beltway class, it also has potential ramifications for the larger GOP moving forward, as conservatives and establishment members square off over the future of their party. The secret-ballot election, which will take place at 2 p.m. in the Longworth House Office Building’s ornate Ways and Means Committee room, could last for hours. Members are at a minimum choosing a new majority leader, replacing Cantor, and most likely also voting in a three-way race for majority whip. Though leadership elections are often messy affairs, this particular election seems especially fraught, as the conference’s insurgent conservatives hope not to squander the political window opened by Cantor’s upset loss at the hands of a tea party challenger.

Israel fears Iraq crisis may spark US concessions to Iran

Israel fears that a jihadist offensive that has swept up swathes of Iraq may prompt concessions to arch-foe Iran from its longtime ally the United States. "If Washington needs Tehran's help to solve the Iraq crisis, the United States will need to be more flexible in negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme," public radio cited a senior official as saying. Tourism Minister Uzi Landau warned: "We're in a situation where, to confront the threat from the global jihad, we rely on Iran and its allies." The rise of the jihadist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has seized Iraq's second city Mosul and a swathe of its north and centre over the past 10 days, has prompted talk of possible cooperation between Washington and Tehran to help stop the insurgency.

US must not be Iraq 'air force for Shiite militias': Petraeus

The man who led the US troop surge that preceded Washington's exit from Iraq after a costly eight-year war says there should not even be US air support without major change in Baghdad. The comments from General David Petraeus, who commanded US troops in Mosul -- Iraq's second city which fell to jihadists last week -- during a long military and intelligence career, came as the Shiite-led government in Baghdad formally asked for air support. Petraeus made a name for himself during the Sunni Arab insurgency that followed the US-led invasion of 2003 for questioning policies that he said risked fanning the resentment of the minority community that dominated Saddam Hussein's regime and all previous governments in Baghdad.

Iran position in nuclear talks 'worrying': Western diplomat

Iran's position in critical nuclear talks is "worrying", with no change on most issues, a Western diplomat said Thursday on the sidelines of negotiations in Vienna. "It is worrying that there is no evolution on the part of the Iranians on most subjects, including sanctions," the diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Paul Haggis Is Here to Raise Questions

Never shy with his opinions, the filmmaker chats about the ‘Crash’ Oscar backlash, being famous for being an ex-Scientologist, and his controversial new film, ‘Third Person.’

The Coming Gay Marriage Witch Hunt

Is this the new McCarthyism? With the battle over gay marriage beyond hope, some conservatives say they fear being run out of public life for being on the losing side.

The Supreme Court Must Free This Man

He offered inconsistent confessions for his daughter’s murder, and the DNA of another man—a serial rapist—was found at the crime scene. But South Carolina was determined to convict. Now the Supreme Court can bring him justice.

Float Like a Ballerina, Sting Like a Bee

Photographer Paula Lobo spent a year traveling the globe, capturing dancers in their natural habitats. The result? A new tome that celebrates the art of movement.

Why Liberal Arts Isn’t for Losers

Americans starting with Benjamin Franklin have been suspicious of liberal arts higher education. But lately the critics’ knives are out in earnest.

Charged With Murder for a Miscarriage

A woman survived kidnapping, rape, and savage beatings—but her unborn child did not. Now Oklahoma City police are calling the death a homicide, and her missing ex is wanted for murder.

Uproar Over Bar Bathroom Pregnancy Tests

Word spread fast online about Alaska’s initiative to put pregnancy tests in bar bathrooms. Here’s why the tests are a good, and necessary, idea.

Can Google Save Graffiti?

Graffiti has made it on to the walls of museums, while Banksy’s work is as coveted as any modern master. Now Google has created a set of special galleries showcasing the best graffiti from around the world.

Stop Everything and Go Watch ‘Rectify’

There are no cathartic ‘gotcha’ moments, no easy answers, and no rapid-fire dialogue. ‘Rectify’ is to drama what ‘Louie’ is to comedy—an emotional marathon unlike anything on TV.

Just Don’t Call Her a ‘Model’

Yes, these women get paid millions to have their pictures taken for magazines and fashion shows. But they’re not, you know, the m-word.

Masturbation Isn’t Just for Bad Girls

A recent study sparked debate over how often women please themselves—some argued the numbers were much too low. Was the data right, or did stigma win out?

The Torturer in Charge of Mosul

ISIS’s success in Mosul could have something to do with the Iraqi government putting a general accused of carrying out systematic torture in charge of the city’s security.

Lawsuit: Extending eagle death permits illegal

WASHINGTON (AP) — A conservation group says it's suing the Obama administration over a new federal rule that allows wind-energy companies to seek approval to kill or injure eagles for 30 years.

Veteran wounded by grenade gets Medal of Honor

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is presenting the Medal of Honor to a veteran who took the blow from a grenade to protect a fellow Marine in Afghanistan, sustaining major wounds, including the loss of his right eye.