WASHINGTON (AP) — Reports of sexual assaults by members of the military rose 50 percent after the Pentagon began a vigorous campaign to get more victims to come forward, prompting defense officials to order a greater focus on prevention programs, including plans to review alcohol sales and policies.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court opinions are rarely susceptible to the kind of fact-checking that reporters usually employ on politics. But Justice Antonin Scalia's hearty dissent in an environmental case this week contained such a glaring error of fact — misreporting an earlier case in which Scalia himself wrote the majority opinion — that the justice changed the opinion. The court quietly posted the corrected version on its website without notice.
By Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama blasted Senate Republicans on Wednesday just hours after they blocked one of his top legislative priorities, a bid to increase the federal minimum wage for the first time since 2009. "They (Republicans) prevented a raise for 28 million hard-working Americans. They said no to helping millions work their way out of poverty," Obama said at the White House, backed up by low-wage workers. On a nearly party-line vote of 54-42, Obama's Democrats fell short of the needed 60 Senate votes to end a procedural roadblock against a White House-backed bill.
By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans are relishing the chance to use confirmation hearings for Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President Barack Obama's nominee as U.S. health secretary, to re-energize their election-year attacks on his signature healthcare initiative. Republicans, who are seeking to take control of the Senate in the November 4 congressional elections, view a pair of Senate hearings for Burwell as their best chance to put a spotlight on Obamacare since the program's botched rollout in October. Burwell's first hearing is scheduled for May 8 before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Wednesday denied that a staff member's email three days after the deadly attack on the U.S. mission at Benghazi, Libya, was actually about the attack. Critics have branded the electronic missive as evidence that the Obama administration sought to deceive the public about the true circumstances surrounding the deaths of four Americans during the final months of the 2012 presidential campaign.
By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and his Republican opponents traded accusations over the minimum wage and a deadly attack at a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, on Wednesday in their drive to get voters focused on the November congressional elections. With five months before voters go to the polls, little actual governing is getting done and much of Washington is all about political posturing ahead of elections that may well determine Obama's ability to govern in his last two years in office. Obama, whose tepid public approval rating threatens to sag Democratic attempts to maintain control of the Senate in November, appeared with low-wage workers in the White House East Room to press his case for reducing income inequality. He zeroed in on what Democrats consider a major issue for them heading into the campaign season - raising the minimum wage paid to millions of Americans.
The head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency and his deputy will step down later this year, officials said Wednesday, but denied reports they were being forced out. Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who had served as director of the DIA since July 2012, and deputy David Shedd, said in a joint memo to employees that "they will depart the agency and retire by early Fall 2014," according to an agency statement. Their "retirements have been planned for some time," said Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby in an email. Flynn played a key role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, serving under General Stanley McChrystal as part of US efforts to dismantle insurgent networks through raids by special operations forces.