Political News from Yahoo

Obama: stop saying sorry for Obamacare

US President Barack Obama told fellow Democrats to stop saying sorry for his health care law Thursday, revealing that eight million people had now signed up for insurance. Obama said it was also time for Republicans to accept that the Affordable Care Act -- the cornerstone of his domestic legacy, which was plagued by a botched rollout and fierce political controversy -- works and is here to stay. "I think that Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud" of helping millions of people, Obama said at a press conference. Republicans have made opposition to Obama's law a centerpiece of their campaign ahead of mid-term elections in November.

Obama: 8 million signed up for health care

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eight million people have signed up for health care through new insurance exchanges and the proportion of younger applicants has increased, President Barack Obama said Thursday. The enrollments exceeded expectations and offered new hope to Democrats who are defending the law ahead of the midterm elections.

Obama: 8 Million Health Care Sign-Ups a Boon for Democrats

President Obama has many times declared victory for the Affordable Care Act, most recently with the announcement earlier this month that 7 million people have signed up in the law’s inaugural year. Today, with a slight grin, he added a big exclamation point. Now, 8...

Obama not sure if Ukraine deal will work

US President Barack Obama said a deal Thursday to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine was a "glimmer of hope" but cautioned he could not be sure if Russia would live up to it. I think there is the possibility, the prospect, that the diplomacy may de-escalate the situation," Obama told reporters after four-way crisis talks in Switzerland between the US, Russia, Ukraine and the EU. He called for an end to what he said was interference by Russia in eastern and southern Ukraine, where Washington has accused the Kremlin of backing pro-Moscow separatists who seized government buildings.

Obama Tells Wounded Warriors They Are 'Inspiration'

President Obama welcomed Wounded Warriors on their Ride to the White House today calling the participants “an incredible inspiration to me and to our country.” “Biking nearly 60 miles in three days would be a challenge for anybody, but for all of you, this is...

US releases $450 mln in frozen Iran funds

Washington (AFP) - The United States has authorized the release of a $450 million installment in Iranian assets that were frozen as punishment for Tehran's disputed nuclear program, the State Department said Thursday.

House Republican leaders holding up immigration reform: Obama

President Barack Obama on Thursday called on the Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, which he said was being held back by Republican leaders in the House of Representatives. "There is bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform," Obama said at a news conference. The Congress should act. "Right now what's holding us back is House Republican leadership not willing to go ahead and let the process move forward." Obama said there were Republicans in both the House and Senate who know immigration reform "is the right thing to do." "I also know it's hard politics for Republicans because there are some in their base that are very opposed to this," he said.

Obama says cannot be sure if Ukraine deal will work

Washington (AFP) - US President Barack Obama said Thursday he could not be sure if a surprise deal on Ukraine reached by Russia, Kiev and the West would work, signalling possible new sanctions against Moscow if it falls through.

Judge orders information on CIA secret prisons

Fort Meade (United States) (AFP) - A military judge at Guantanamo Bay has ordered the US government to turn over information on secret CIA interrogation centers connected to the trial of the alleged mastermind of the 2000 USS Cole bombing. Judge James Pohl instructed the government to reveal names, dates and locations of "black sites" where Saudi suspect Abd Rahim al-Nashiri was held between his arrest in 2002 and his transfer to the notorious Guantanamo detention center in 2006. Nashiri's lawyer Rick Kammen told AFP in an email that the order "directs the government to provide a huge amount of material pertaining to the RDI (Rendition, Detention, Interrogation) program." Speaking about the matter at a press conference related to preliminary hearings of alleged September 11, 2001 plotters, prosecutor Mark Martins said: "The ruling came out on Monday.

PETA Enlists Kids To Tell First Lady Easter Egg Policy is Rotten

While the annual White House Easter Egg Roll celebration isn’t one typically embroiled in controversy, three young girls are letting First Lady Michelle Obama know they aren’t happy about it. Well, three young girls on behalf of PETA, or the People for the Ethical Treatment...

FBI probed 9/11 mastermind's defense team: judge

Fort Meade (United States) (AFP) - A US military judge at Guantanamo Bay said Thursday that federal investigators had carried out checks on the legal teams of at least two accused September 11 plotters, including alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Judge James Pohl halted this week's preliminary hearings at Guantanamo after lawyers for the alleged terror plotters told the court that a member of the defense team had been visited and questioned by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. David Nevin, representing the self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, said the FBI probe had had a "chilling effect" on the defense team. After suspending proceedings in order to assess the extent of the claims, Pohl said Thursday it had been established that there had been "some type investigation by the FBI into Mr Mohammed's team."

GOP Candidate's Awkward Obama Vote

Longtime Republican operative Barbara Comstock is a frontrunner to win the GOP nomination for Congress in a Northern Virginia district. However, she may be hurt by a 2008 vote for Barack Obama.

Hotel magnate, Democratic fundraiser pleads guilty

NEW YORK (AP) — A wealthy hotel executive and Democratic fundraiser who supported Hilary Clinton for president pleaded guilty Thursday to charges he secretly funneled more than $180,000 in illegal campaign contributions to three unnamed candidates and coached someone to lie about it.

‘All Jews Must Be Registered’

Fliers in Donetsk, Ukraine tell Jews to register, pay up, or be deported. The city’s grand rabbi says he takes the threat seriously.

Lowe's agrees to minimize lead dust

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says that Lowe's Home Centers has agreed to settle violations of federal requirements that call for its contractors to minimize lead dust from home renovations.

US to send 'non-lethal' military aid to Ukraine: Hagel

The United States will send helmets, medical supplies and other non-lethal military assistance to Ukraine amid fears of another Russian incursion there, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday. Hagel said he had informed Kiev that President Barack Obama "has approved additional non-lethal military assistance for health and welfare items and other supplies." "These supplies include medical supplies, helmets, sleeping mats and water purification units for Ukraine's armed forces, as well as shelters, small power generators and hand fuel pumps for Ukraine's State Border Guard Service," the Pentagon chief said.

Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions

GENEVA (AP) — Top diplomats from the United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine reached agreement after marathon talks Thursday on immediate steps to ease the crisis in Ukraine.

Obama offers deepest sympathy to South Korea

US President Barack Obama on Thursday offered "deepest sympathies" to the families of the victims of a ferry sinking in South Korea, from which nearly 300 people, mostly children, are missing. "The bonds of friendship between the American and Korean people are strong and enduring," Obama said in a statement also offering the condolences of his wife Michelle. "South Korea is one of our closest allies, and American Navy personnel and US Marines are already on the scene assisting with the search and rescue efforts." "As I will underscore on my visit to Seoul next week, America's commitment to our ally South Korea is unwavering -— in good times and in bad."

CBO on Obama budget: Higher deficits than claimed

WASHINGTON (AP) — A report released Thursday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says President Barack Obama's budget request would mean significantly larger budget deficits than the White House claims.