What happened in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District Tuesday night amounted to a political earthquake, with shockwaves that will be felt across the national political landscape. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., fell to conservative challenger Dave Brat — and not just by a little. Brat’s...
Hollywood director Oliver Stone has acquired movie rights to a political thriller penned by US whistle-blower Edward Snowden's Russian lawyer, the pro-Kremlin attorney said on Wednesday. "The rights to my book have been handed over to Oliver Stone and producer Moritz Borman," Anatoly Kucherena told AFP. "He (Stone) met with me, he did not meet with Snowden. Kucherena is completing a potboiler dubbed the "Time of the Octopus" which tells the story of a US whistle-blower and is loosely based on Snowden's experiences.
London Mayor Boris Johnson offered on Wednesday to be sprayed by water cannon to demonstrate that they are safe, after buying the riot control equipment for the capital despite having no permission to use it. Water cannon were routinely used to disperse crowds during the civil unrest in Northern Ireland but have never been used on mainland Britain, and the issue is contentious. After a wave of rioting in London in August 2011, police said there could be limited use of water cannon in any future unrest, but the government is still considering the issue. Defending his decision on London's LBC radio, Johnson said he was "prepared to do anything to show that they're safe within reason".
An Egyptian court on Wednesday sentenced in absentia prominent activist Alaa Abdel Fattah to 15 years in jail on charges of participating in an illegal protest, his lawyer said. Twenty-four other defendants were sentenced, also in absentia, to 15 years in jail each on the same charges. Abdel Fattah, who helped spearhead the 2011 uprising that toppled strongman Hosni Mubarak, was arrested in November, charged with taking part in an illegal and violent protest. His arrest came amid a widespread crackdown by the military-installed authorities against Islamist and secular dissent in the wake of the army's ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) - The Central African government announced on Wednesday that it had requested the International Criminal Court to investigate the most serious crimes committed during more than a year of violent unrest. "The intervention of the International Criminal Court appears to us indispensible in seeking the prosecution and conviction of those who have carried out the most serious of these crimes, which will not go unpunished," said Minister of Justice Isabelle Gaudeuille in a statement read of government radio. The government lodged an official request with the ICC on May 30 "to investigate the situation that has been continuing in CAR since August 1, 2012". On February 7, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda opened a preliminary investigation into abuses committed between March 2013 and January 2014 when the Muslim Seleka rebels had temporarily seized control of the country.
Iraq's oil production and crude exports have so far been unaffected by the jihadist sweep into Iraq's second city and a swathe of northern territory, a senior official said Wednesday. Iraq, which boasts among the highest reserves of oil and gas in the world, produces about 3.5 million barrels of oil per day, with exports in February reaching 2.8 million bpd, the highest such figure in at least a quarter-century. Most the oil and gas fields however are in the centre and the south, although militants have seized territory in Iraq's oil-producing Kirkuk province. The Sunni militants spearheaded by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) overran Mosul on Tuesday, dealing the Shiite-led Iraqi government a spectacular blow and sparking a mass exodus of an estimated half a million people.
South African President Jacob Zuma, who is suffering from exhaustion, has handed more duties to his deputy as he prepares a state of the nation address, the presidency said Wednesday. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will stand in for Zuma at the funeral on Saturday of Epainette Mbeki, mother of former president Thabo Mbeki, and at Youth Day celebrations on Monday. Zuma spent the weekend in hospital for tests after officials from his African National Congress asked him to take a break because "the punishing election programme was taking its toll". The presidency said Wednesday Zuma had requested next week's state of the nation address to be brought forward from Thursday to Tuesday so he could attend the African Union summit in Equatorial Guinea.
The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Wednesday it is willing to help Baghdad in the fight against "terrorism", a day after jihadists overran Iraq's second city Mosul. "The foreign-backed terrorism that our brothers in Iraq are facing is the same that is targeting Syria," said the foreign ministry. Damascus is "ready to cooperate with Iraq to face terrorism, our common enemy", it said in a statement. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is a radical jihadist group operating in Iraq and Syria.
From their perches as chairs of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees, Patty Murray and Barbara Mikulski have effectively — but quietly — put a moratorium on the successive fiscal crises that dominated Washington between 2011 and 2013. That makes Murray and Mikulski not just powerful women senators. That makes them powerful U.S. senators, period.