Political News from Yahoo

Historic Jewish community holds out on Tunisia island

Djerba (Tunisia) (AFP) - Jews and Muslims have coexisted for hundreds of years on Tunisia's Djerba island, but while relations between the two are good, some members of the tiny Jewish community say the atmosphere is stifling. "We, the Jews, have been living here for more than 2,000 years," said Claudine Saghroun, who lives in the Hara Kbira, the island's large Jewish neighbourhood. Not any more," Tunisia's Grand Rabbi Haim Bittan said, adding that there were some 1,500 Jews in the country, mostly in Djerba. "We even share our names," the cobbler says, referring to his surname that is also used by Tunisian Jews.

For Syrian refugees, election shreds hope of return

Tripoli (Lebanon) (AFP) - For Abu Nur, a Syrian war refugee in northern Lebanon, next week's certain re-election of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad buries any hope he had of returning home soon. It will now take a "miracle from God, the all-powerful" to end the more than three-year-old conflict in Syria, the forty-something said from his grubby lodgings in the port city of Tripoli. His face covered with a scarf and using an alias, he recalls the mass protests in his hometown of Homs, in central Syria, calling for democratic reforms back in mid-March 2011. "The demonstrations against the regime were a miracle and this war will only end with a miracle," said Abu Nur, who shares a makeshift home with his wife and their five children.

Britain condemns 'barbaric' murder of Pakistani woman

British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned on Thursday the "barbaric" murder of a pregnant woman by her family outside a courtroom in Pakistan. Hague urged the Pakistani government to fully investigate the killing of 25-year-old Farzana Parveen and stamp out the practice of killings to defend family "honour". "I am shocked and appalled by the death of Farzana Parveen: both for the appalling manner of her death, and the unspeakable cruelty and injustice of murdering a woman for exercising her basic right to choose who to love and marry," Hague said a in a statement. "There is absolutely no honour in honour killings and I urge the government of Pakistan to do all in its power to eradicate this barbaric practice.

Nigeria's Jonathan vows 'total war' against Boko Haram

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday vowed total war against terrorism as the country's security forces stepped up efforts to rescue more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram Islamists 45 days ago. "I am determined to protect our democracy, our national unity and our political stability by waging a total war against terrorism," Jonathan said in an address marking 15 years since the return to civilian rule in Africa's most populous country and largest economy. Nigeria returned to democracy on May 29, 1999 after nearly 16 years of military rule but the country has recently been blighted by a five-year Islamist insurgency in north and central Nigeria that has claimed thousands of lives. The mass abduction of teenage girls on April 14 from a secondary school in Chibok in northeastern Borno state has sparked global outrage and drawn unprecedented attention to Boko Haram's extremist uprising.

Clegg defends Cable in Lib Dem leadership row

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg defended Vince Cable Thursday, denying claims that his Liberal Democrat colleague was involved in an attempt to dislodge him as party leader. Clegg rejected the "endless plots and conspiracy theories" surrounding Cable who faces questions over an opinion poll commissioned by his close friend Lord Oakeshott appearing to undermine the Lib Dem leadership. He said Business Secretary Cable was "absolutely not aware of the polls elsewhere" which indicated that the Lib Dems would do better if Clegg resigned.

India PM Modi stays silent on key priorities

India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi instructed top ministers Thursday to prepare their agendas for the first 100 days but did not reveal which of the country's many problems would be tackled first. Speculation has been mounting about what the Modi government would grasp first given the scale of India's economic problems, including creaking infrastructure, energy shortages, high inflation and poor public finances. After attending a cabinet meeting chaired by Modi on Thursday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu refused to say what was top of the list amid sky-high expectations.

Injuries, arrests in Barcelona on third night Barcelona clashes

Thirty people were arrested and 14 others hurt when police clashed with stone-throwing youths in a third night of riots sparked by a squat eviction in Barcelona, officials said Thursday. Rioters then tipped over and burned bins, broke windows and pelted police with missiles. Regional government spokesman Francesc Homs blamed the violence on well-organised radicals on the fringes of the protest.

Iran welcomes Saudi invitation to Islamic bloc meeting

Saudi Arabia has invited Iran to attend a meeting of Islamic bloc foreign ministers in Jeddah next month, an Iranian official said in comments published Thursday. Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian welcomed the "friendly" gesture by Iran's regional rival, with which relations have been strained by the Syrian conflict and the fallout from unrest in Bahrain. An exchange of visits by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif was high on Tehran's agenda, he told the Etemad newspaper. The two-day meeting of foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation opens in Jeddah on June 18.

Russia signs deal on economic union with Belarus, Kazakhstan

Astana (Kazakhstan) (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed a deal creating an economic union with Belarus and Kazakhstan, with Ukraine conspicuously absent after it turned its back on Moscow. "Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are going over to a fundamentally new level of cooperation," Putin said at the signing ceremony in the Kazakh capital of Astana.

Abbas names PM as unity govt talks stall over foreign minister

Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas chose a prime minister to head a unity government on Thursday but announcement of the lineup was held up over the foreign affairs portfolio, officials said. Abbas sent a "letter of designation" to Rami Hamdallah, who is currently serving as premier within the West Bank-based government, an official in Ramallah said. "The government is ready, but there is only one problem, and that is that Fatah and Hamas reject Riyad al-Malki as foreign minister, something Abbas is insisting on," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. Malki is a veteran diplomat who has served as foreign minister since 2007.

White House touts energy policies as rules loom

WASHINGTON (AP) — Setting the stage for upcoming restrictions on coal-fired power plants, the Obama administration is making a concerted effort to cast its energy policy as an economic success that is creating jobs, securing the nation against international upheavals and shifting energy use to cleaner sources.

It’s Hard Out Here for a Diva

Before Beyoncé and Adele, when something like a diva existed, one woman arguably reigned supreme in the ’90s. Her name was Mariah.

Silicon Valley’s Soft Sex Ban

The tech world is all about innovation—yet refuses to retire the Old World value of ‘no adult content.’ Why the digital world needs to stop failing sex.

How I’ll End the War

An officer in Afghanistan volunteers to help teach English to Afghan students and ends up making art with them.

A Million Ways to Kill the Quality Spoof

Seth MacFarlane’s ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ comes off like ‘Blazing Saddles’ ’ tame older cousin. Where did the poorly written genre go so horribly wrong?

Mad Men’s Most Random Guest Stars

Is that Rory Gilmore having sex with Pete Campbell? Mr. Belding, why are you hawking Cool Whip? A look at the forgotten TV veterans to guest star on ‘Mad Men.’

Al Qaeda Grows as U.S. Withdraws

American forces are headed for the exit in Afghanistan. But new U.S. intelligence assessments say that the terrorist threat there is on the rise.