Political News from Yahoo

The US Marine Who Disappeared in Syria

A Marine combat veteran, Austin Tice was in law school when he went to Syria and disappeared. Like Tice, a group of veterans has returned to the Middle East drawn by nostalgia for war.


In Cold Blood In Ukraine

The murder of a small-town politician is tied to the network of Russian agents, mobsters and local thugs now running much of eastern Ukraine.


US condemns 'unacceptable' Odessa violence

The United States condemned "unacceptable" violence on the bloodiest day since Kiev's Western-backed government took power, urging both Ukraine and Russia to restore order. At least 31 people died in a fire in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa, with local media reporting that pro-Russian militants were believed to have been in the burning building at the time. "Today, the international community must stand together in support of the Ukrainian people as they cope with this tragedy," State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement mourning the "heartbreaking" loss of life. Amid the most serious rupture in West-Moscow relations since the Cold War, the United States earlier threatened to hit Russia with new sanctions within three weeks over what Washington called its continued "destabilization" of Ukraine.


Obama, Merkel still struggle over spying but agree on trade

By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel could not hide differences on Friday over U.S. surveillance practices despite Obama's offer of "cyber dialogue" with Berlin and a pledge to bridge gaps that have tarnished their relationship. The two leaders have been at odds over the U.S. National Security Agency's spying habits since revelations from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last year showed the United States had listened in on many of its allies, including Merkel. Obama has since banned the practice of eavesdropping on allied political leaders, but the measure has not placated Germany. "We have a few difficulties yet to overcome," Merkel said in a joint news conference with Obama at the White House, referring to the conflict and pointedly declining to say, when asked, that trust between the two nations had been restored.


Advocates see last window for immigration bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Advocates for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally are mounting a final push to persuade the House to pass immigration legislation this summer, seeing one last window to act that will soon slam shut for good.

FBI chief warns of growing threat from Syrian civil war

The head of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation said Friday he was "determined" to keep any 9/11-type scenario from growing out of Syria, as more foreign fighters flock to the conflict. FBI Director James Comey compared the civil war in Syria to Afghanistan in the 1980s and 90s, when fighters there eventually formed Al-Qaeda and declared war on the US, leading to the September 11, 2001 attacks. "There are still thousands and thousands of foreign fighters in Syria, and it's a focus of mine... and a huge focus especially of my European counterparts.


Exclusive: U.S. anti-money laundering authority faces hiring probe - sources

By Emily Flitter and Brett Wolf NEW YORK/ST LOUIS (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department temporarily froze all recruitment by its anti-money laundering arm and forced the agency to rescind 11 job offers, after an investigation found it violated the federal employment code during an aggressive hiring push, according to several government officials. The Office of Personnel Management, a federal agency that governs labor practices in the government, determined that the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCEN, illegally screened candidates in a quest to hire only lawyers for certain jobs, the officials said. It has recommended further investigations by two other federal agencies into FinCEN's practices, they added. Rules for hiring at government agencies make it illegal to screen candidates for qualifications that aren't stipulated in the job description, and the jobs FinCEN had posted weren't designated as being only for lawyers, the officials said.


Obama to raise money for Democrats in California

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is traveling to California next week to raise money for the Democratic Party and receive a humanities award from film director Steven Spielberg.

Arkansas judge rules voter ID law unconstitutional

By Suzi Parker LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (Reuters) - An Arkansas judge ruled unconstitutional for the second time in about a week a new law requiring voters to show a photo ID, but said on Friday there was not enough time to prevent officials from applying the law at primary elections this month. Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox said he was staying his order because to do otherwise would create "turmoil" in thousands of precincts. Last week, he said the law was "void and unenforceable." Nearly three dozen U.S. states have voter identification measures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Arkansas attorney general on behalf of the state's election board and the election commission of Pulaski County, the state's most populous, filed separate briefs with the Supreme Court on Friday.

US to build 2 gasoline reserves in Northeast

NEW YORK (AP) — The federal government offered New Yorkers smarting from Superstorm Sandy some hope Friday that they won't see a repeat of chronic gasoline shortages, announcing plans to create gas reserves to ease future weather-related disruptions.


US, Germany warn Putin not to disrupt Ukraine vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel threatened tough sanctions Friday on broad swaths of Russia's economy if Moscow disrupts Ukraine's May 25 presidential elections, putting President Vladimir Putin on notice for harsher penalties even if he stops short of a full invasion.


Obama, Merkel still struggle over spying but agree on trade

By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel could not hide differences on Friday over U.S. surveillance practices despite Obama's offer of "cyber dialogue" with Berlin and a pledge to bridge gaps that have tarnished their relationship. The two leaders have been at odds over the U.S. National Security Agency's spying habits since revelations from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last year showed the United States had listened in on many of its allies, including Merkel. Obama has since banned the practice of eavesdropping on allied political leaders, but the measure has not placated Germany. "We have a few difficulties yet to overcome," Merkel said in a joint news conference with Obama at the White House, referring to the conflict and pointedly declining to say, when asked, that trust between the two nations had been restored.


US tells S. Sudan warring leaders to set talks date

United Nations (United States) (AFP) - The United States Friday pressed South Sudan's warring leaders to set a date for face-to-face talks, urging the UN Security Council to consider sanctions to stop attacks on civilians. Secretary of State John Kerry said during a visit to South Sudan that President Salva Kiir and rebel commander Riek Machar were both committed to holding direct talks. The meeting, which would be the first face-to-face talks since the conflict erupted four months ago, is to be held in Ethiopia.


US warns of possible hotel attack in Lagos

US diplomats in Nigeria on Friday claimed that "groups associated with terrorism" could be planning to attack a hotel in the financial capital, Lagos, in a travel note to citizens warning of security risks. "As of late April, groups associated with terrorism allegedly planned to mount an unspecified attack against the Sheraton Hotel in Nigeria, near the city of Lagos," the US Consulate General in Lagos said in an emailed advisory. "There was no further information regarding which of the two Sheraton Hotels in Lagos was the possible target, or if both of the Sheraton Hotels are possible targets.


Obama and Merkel: differences remain on spying

US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted Friday that differences remained in a damaging row over US spying which has strained their personal and diplomatic relationship. Merkel on Friday made her first visit to the White House since revelations broke last year about National Security Agency (NSA) spies eavesdropping on her mobile phone, as well as about wider US surveillance programs. The claims embarrassed Obama, who sees Merkel as a key European ally, and led Merkel to say amid an uproar in Germany at the time that spying between friends is "just not done." On Friday, in a news conference in the White House Rose Garden, Merkel and Obama were at pains to play down ill feeling over the NSA claims made by fugitive leaker Edward Snowden.


Florida lawmakers approve medical marijuana bill

By Bill Cotterell TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) - Florida legislators voted on Friday to allow doctors to prescribe a special strain of "non-euphoric" marijuana for treatment of chronic epileptic seizures and some other severe illnesses. Governor Rick Scott said he will sign the bill into law when it reaches his desk. It was historic," said Ron Watson, a lobbyist whose 8-year-old son, Dylan, died of leukemia. Watson and several other parents, many wheeling their stricken children into the Capitol, testified at committee hearings and contacted House and Senate members throughout this year's 60-day session of the Florida Legislature.


Real-Life Celeb Walks of Shame

From January Jones to Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, see celebrities who’ve taken walk of shames.


Boehner to appoint select Benghazi committee

WASHINGTON (AP) — House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Friday declared he would schedule a vote to create a special committee to investigate the Benghazi attack, escalating a political battle that has raged since the final days of President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.


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