Political News from Yahoo

Obama hails Iraq's embrace of 'right to vote'

President Barack Obama on Thursday praised Iraq's parliamentary elections, saying the vote demonstrated the country's enthusiastic embrace of democracy despite "enormous challenges." "The people of Iraq know better than anyone else the enormous challenges that they face, and yesterday's turnout demonstrated to the world that they seek to pursue a more stable and peaceful future through the political process." Obama said the election would serve to "unite the country through the formation of a new government that is supported by all Iraqi communities and that is prepared to advance tangible and implementable programs." Initial election commission figures said nearly 60 percent of Iraq's 20 million eligible voters cast ballots.

New York teachers get retroactive pay deal with city: report

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio could announce a deal as early as Thursday to settle a years-old labor dispute with city teachers who have been seeking retroactive pay worth up to $3.5 billion, according to a report in the New York Times. The report, which cites 'an official involved in the talks', said the 9-year contract will include retroactive pay of about 8 percent of wages going back to 2009 and raises of up to two percent in subsequent years, as well as healthcare savings for the city.

Kerry urges press freedoms for Ethiopia

US Secretary of State John Kerry urged Ethiopia on Thursday to allow greater freedoms for civil society and journalists, expressing concern for a group of bloggers and journalists arrested last week. "They need to create greater opportunities for citizens to be able to engage with their fellow citizens and with their government by opening up more space for civil society," Kerry told reporters. Rights group accuse Ethiopia of having one of the most closed press environments in the world. Washington is one of Ethiopia's largest donors, and Kerry urged Addis Ababa to support a free press as an essential precursor to a legitimate democracy.

How to Turn the President Into a Comedian in 5 Easy Steps

Presidents give hundreds of speeches every year on topics from the mundane to the consequential, but there are only a handful of times when they have to be funny – on purpose. Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner will be one of them when President...

US urges fast African troops response in S. Sudan

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The United States urged eastern African nations on Thursday to quickly send enough peacekeeping forces to South Sudan to quell nearly six months of deadly violence between ethnic groups.

Pentagon due to announce 50 percent jump in reported sex assaults

The Pentagon is expected to announce a 50 jump in sexual assault reports on Thursday when it releases its annual study of the problem amid continuing revelations of questionable behavior by military officers responsible for dealing with the issue. The annual study was expected to show a 50 percent jump to about 5,000 reports of sexual assault in the military in the 2013 fiscal year that ended on September 30, congressional aides said, a figure in line with preliminary numbers released by the Pentagon in December. By comparison, the Pentagon's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office said 3,374 cases of sexual assault were reported in the 2012 fiscal year. Sexual assault is a hugely underreported crime, and a separate military survey conducted in 2012 concluded there were some 26,000 sex crimes in the military that year, from rape to abusive sexual contact.

Who's Looking Out for the Little Person? Small Businesses Fly; Congress Flunks

Americans overwhelmingly say small businesses are on their side, followed by local news media and local government. But helpfulness scores turn middling to mildly negative for a range of other institutions in society – and sharply negative for one, the U.S. Congress. The latest ABC...

India invites U.S. to discuss IP, market access after election

By Manoj Kumar NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India said on Thursday it would hold trade talks on intellectual property rights with the United States after its general election, buying time to address friction over drug patents until a new government is formed. Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher praised a decision by the U.S. Trade Representative not to label India with its worst offender tag in an annual scorecard on protecting U.S. patents, copyrights and other intellectual property. "It is a very sensible decision," Kher, India's chief trade negotiator, told Reuters, saying India was committed to protecting copyrights and reining in piracy. "They know very well that India is in transition." But he defended India's right to overrule patents in special cases - a bone of contention between the U.S. drugs industry and New Delhi, which wants its 1.2 billion people to have access to affordable medicines.

John Oliver: U.S. Politics ‘Nauseating’

The newly minted host of HBO’s ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ sat down to discuss his new gig, the strange state of U.S. politics, and more over coffee.

The Clippers’ Cruella de Vil

If Mrs. Sterling has any intention of attending more playoff games—much less holding on to the team—she needs to explain her role in her husband’s effort to push out minority tenants.

There’s No Shame in ‘Walks of Shame’

Elizabeth Banks stars as a woman who has to traverse a city after losing her wallet post-one night stand. The movie is probably entertaining fluff. The phrase is far more damaging.

My First Week Back in Afghanistan

A military officer chronicles his first week back in Afghanistan readjusting to the strange rhythm of life on an overseas military base.

The Art World’s New Gang War

For decades, the Nahmads, a family of art collectors, have played it safe. But now they’re branching out, gambling with riskier shows that challenge the Gagosians of the art world.

The Woman Who Could Beat Scott Walker

She’s a political novice—and that may be what it takes to knock off Wisconsin’s governor, of whose jobs plan she says: ‘I’ve seen eighth-graders’ term papers that are more thoughtful.’

Squares in Cubes: A History of Offices

White-collar office culture has changed a lot since it emerged in the 19th century, but one thing has remained constant: It’s the bosses’ world. You just work there.

Military Turns On Rape ‘Victim’

The Air Force is going after one of its own for falsifying a rape charge. But it's the military brass, not the young woman, who may soon be under fire.

Genitalia: Tools, Toys, and Even Weapons

The sex organs of animals and insects are sources of infinite mystery and controversy—are they more about courtship or sexual warfare? The jury is still out.

Inside the Bizarre World of ‘Bronies’

They build motorcycles. They drink beer. And they love ‘My Little Pony.’ And—would you believe—there’s not anything wrong with that.

Supreme Court Won’t Kill Death Penalty

Capital punishment is constitutional, but the way its performed may never be. Only the public can shut down the machinery of death—if it sees it killing.

GOP Turns Firehose on Virginia Tea Party

Turning the insurgents’ own tactics against them, the party used a ‘firehose primary’ of rabid voters to give the congressional nomination to an insider’s insider.