Political News from Yahoo

SEC probing New Jersey Governor Christie's transport funding: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal securities regulators are probing whether New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's administration improperly diverted funds from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for use on transport projects in New Jersey, the publication Main Justice reported on Friday. The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into New Jersey's use of up to $1.8 billion in tax-exempt bond financing from the Port Authority to fix a bridge and roadways feeding into the New Jersey side of the Holland Tunnel, Main Justice reported, citing unnamed sources. ...


Egypt diplomat seeks new path for US relations

WASHINGTON (AP) — Egypt is seeking to chart a new direction with the United States, the Arab nation's top diplomat said Friday, following several years of upheaval and uncertainty that has forced delays in American aid to Cairo and spurred tensions between the two governments.

Russian aircraft violated Ukraine's airspace: US

Washington (United States) (AFP) - Russian warplanes violated Ukraine's airspace several times in the past 24 hours, a Pentagon spokesman said Friday, in the latest sign of a mounting confrontation between Moscow and Kiev. "I can confirm that on several occasions in the last 24 hours, Russian aircraft have entered Ukrainian airspace," said Colonel Steven Warren. He did not provide more details, including where the incidents occurred or what kind of Russian planes were involved. Warren urged Russia to take "immediate steps to de-escalate the situation."


Two key IRS executives in Obamacare rollout to retire: memo

(Reuters) - Two senior Internal Revenue Service executives who were instrumental in the rollout of President Barack Obama's new healthcare law are retiring, according to an internal IRS memorandum obtained by Reuters on Friday. Sarah Hall Ingram will step down at the end of April and James Taylor by the end of May, said the memo sent to IRS staff on behalf of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Taylor has been senior director of Affordable Care Act operations and Ingram, director of services and enforcement in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) office. ...


Oregon's broken healthcare exchange to shift to federal network

By Shelby Sebens PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - Oregon, whose health insurance network has been dogged by technical glitches that have prevented even a single subscriber from enrolling online, will move its state health exchange to the federal system, officials said on Friday. A state that fully embraced the Affordable Care Act, Oregon endured one of the rockiest rollouts of President Barack Obama's healthcare law, requiring tens of thousands of applicants to use paper forms since launching on October 1. Managers of the state exchange, Cover Oregon, determined it would cost about $78 million to fix the beleaguered exchange, well above the projected cost of switching over to the federal system. On Friday, the Cover Oregon Board of Directors voted unanimously to accept a recommendation by a technology advisory group to shift the private insurance side of the program to the federal exchange.

New York Republican congressman Grimm to be indicted, lawyer says

Federal prosecutors intend to bring criminal charges against Michael Grimm, a Republican U.S. congressman from New York who has been under investigation for campaign finance violations, his lawyer said on Friday. Attorney William McGinley condemned the expected charges as a "politically driven vendetta" against the congressman, who generated headlines in January when he threatened to throw a television reporter off a balcony after an interview in the U.S. Capitol building. Grimm's confrontation with the reporter, which was caught on camera, took place on the evening of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address to Congress. "I will break you in half," Grimm told the reporter with cable channel NY1 News, who had asked the Republican about the federal investigation into possible campaign finance violations.


New Orleans Dishes Out the Musical Gumbo

As New Orleans kicks off its 44th Jazz and Heritage Festival this weekend, gospel, Bounce, the Blues, and the Boss reaffirm the city’s reputation as a hospitable cradle for all things musical.


US warship leaves Black Sea as Ukraine crisis heats up

The US guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook has left the Black Sea, two weeks after it was deployed there to reassure Eastern European allies worried by the Ukraine crisis, the Navy said Friday. The presence of the warship, which departed on Thursday, was an "example of the US Navy's commitment to enhancing interoperability at sea, serving as a cornerstone of NATO's military strength, while demonstrating the US and allied forces' capability to provide the right presence, in the right place, at the right time." Word of the Donald Cook's departure came as Kiev accused Moscow of seeking to trigger a "third world war." During its stint in the Black Sea, the destroyer carried out exercises with the Romanian navy, as well as with the American frigate USS Taylor.


Guantanamo review board: Yemeni should be repatriated

Washington (AFP) - A review board Friday recommended US officials repatriate a Yemeni man detained at Guantanamo for 12 years, saying the suspected Osama bin Laden bodyguard no longer poses a threat to US security.


Putin Stops Talks With White House

As new U.S. sanctions against Russia loom, the Kremlin has shut down—at least for now—intensive high level communications between top U.S. and Russian officials.


Avril Surrenders to Total Stupidity

While Avril could have portrayed Japan in a more nuanced, less stereotypical fashion, it’s not surprising that a song about making out at sleepovers has an inane and clichéd video.


SpaceX sues US Air Force over satellite contracts

SpaceX has filed a lawsuit against the US Air Force over its decision to issue multibillion dollar national security launch contracts with a single company, CEO Elon Musk said Friday. The US military spends billions yearly with United Launch Alliance, a merger of aerospace giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin, to launch government satellites. "This is not right," Musk told reporters, describing the policy of "uncompeted procurement" by the Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. "SpaceX has decided to file suit and protest the Air Force EELV block buy," Musk said.


Number of suicides in US military drops in 2013

Suicide levels, however, have not dramatically changed even though large numbers of US forces are no longer engaged in combat in Afghanistan and have withdrawn from Iraq. Although the overall number had declined for 2013, suicides increased five percent among those in the US Army National Guard and Reserves, the report said. The relentless pace of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade has often been cited as a likely trigger for the suicide problem in the armed forces, but the latest figures failed to support that hypothesis. When fighting peaked for American troops in Iraq, the number of suicides reached 268 in 2008 and 309 in 2009, figures that are similar to the past two years.


McConnell's GOP Challenger Caught Attending a Cockfighting Rally

The Tea Party candidate challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to a primary challenge has been caught in an undercover video attending a cockfighting rally last month and there is evidence that he lied repeatedly about the event. Matt Bevin, who is seeking to wrest...


Dems seize on Boehner comments on immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats and immigration advocates are calling out House Speaker John Boehner over comments mocking his own Republican lawmakers for their reluctance to take up immigration legislation.

Greece: 14 protests per day since bailout

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's Public Order Ministry says it has policed an average of 14 protests per day since the country's bailout four years ago, and defended its frequent use of tear gas at violent street rallies.

WHITE HOUSE NOTEBOOK: Obama salutes new citizens

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — They had come from 14 countries, their lives and loves somehow fated to end up in South Korea. Many wore a U.S. military uniform. And it was here, in Asia, that they became citizens of the United States in the presence of their president.


Canada still betting the U.S. will approve Keystone XL

By Euan Rocha MISSISSAUGA, Ontario (Reuters) - Canada remains confident Washington will ultimately approve the Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast, two prominent cabinet ministers said on Friday, adding that the latest U.S. delay is political and not based on environmental concerns. In his first public remarks on the controversial project, the country's new energy minister, Greg Rickford, said he hoped the Obama administration will "depoliticize" its decision on Keystone XL and give it the green light. "On the Keystone, we're still very hopeful ... that this will go ahead sooner rather than later, and it will simply add to the economic benefits of pipeline transmission of energy products," Rickford told reporters after a speech in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga on Friday. "Obviously we hope sooner rather than later that this is depoliticized, if you will, and that the communities along the pipeline, which include Canada and the United States, can reap the tremendous economic benefits of Keystone," he said.


McConnell: Jobs comment taken out of context

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said Thursday that his comments to a local newspaper that it is "not my job" to bring employment to a struggling Kentucky county were taken out of context.

Pages