Political News from Yahoo

Obama due in Seoul as N. Korea nuclear test fears grow

Barack Obama headed to Seoul Friday on the second leg of a tour of Asia, as new satellite images suggested North Korea was defiantly readying to stage a nuclear test. Pyongyang's apparent push could further complicate his visit to a country raw with emotion, where around 300 people are dead or missing after a ferry carrying hundreds of school children capsized last week. The US president is expected to offer personal condolences to his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-Hye over the tragedy, but the nation's unpredictable neighbour is set to dominate the agenda. Satellite photos taken just two days ago showed additional activity at the Punggye-ri test site that is "probably related to preparations for a detonation," the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said.


What Bundy’s Fans Said, Before and After

The Nevada rancher’s breathtakingly racist comments Wednesday left Republican supporters racing to distance themselves. What they’re saying now.


Colorado lawmakers advance bill to crack down on 'revenge porn'

By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - A bill that would criminalize the posting of intimate images over the Internet as an act of humiliation - so-called "revenge porn" - passed its first test in the Colorado state legislature on Thursday, sailing unanimously through a key committee. The bipartisan proposal passed through the state House Judiciary Committee by an 11-0 vote after members heard more than two hours of testimony. The bill's Republican sponsor, Representative Amy Stephens, said after the hearing that victims of such activities would be vulnerable if an ex-partner decided to post embarrassing photos or videos online, making them readily accessible to the general public or an employer, for example. "I'm pleased that Colorado is taking steps to protect victims of cyber crime," she said.

California lawmakers aim to tighten handgun restrictions

By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - A bill banning the sale of single-shot handguns that can be modified into semi-automatic weapons advanced in the California legislature on Thursday as lawmakers sought to close what the bill's supporters say is a loophole in the state's gun safety laws. Gun control advocates say thousands of weapons are sold in California each year without a required safety feature that indicates when a bullet is in the chamber, endangering children and others who may be shot accidentally. "Right now there is a very large opening in the law that permits guns that otherwise we wouldn't consider safe for sale and purchase in California," said Sacramento assemblyman Roger Dickinson, a Democrat who authored the bill. Under existing law, semi-automatic weapons must have an indicator showing when there is a bullet in the chamber.

Pedophile Drugged and Abused 90 Students

How did an American educator’s child-molesting past elude authorities on four continents? Officials say thou-sands of International school boys may have crossed paths with William Vahey.


Japan minister says no accord with US over TPP trade deal

Japan's economy minister said Friday that Tokyo had not reached a basic accord with Washington over a Pacific-wide trade deal despite intense talks after a bilateral summit. There had been hopes that Tokyo and Washington might break an impasse in the stalled talks during US President Barack Obama's visit to Tokyo. Speaking hours before Obama's departure, however, Japanese economy minister Akira Amari said what had been achieved was "not a basic accord although there was progress".


South Korea ferry disaster may cloud Obama visit

TOKYO (AP) — When President Barack Obama arrives in South Korea on Friday, he will be thrust anew into the role of consoler in chief in a time of crisis, a responsibility he has become all too accustomed to in the United States.


Nevada rancher defends remarks, loses supporters

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada rancher who became a conservative folk hero for standing up to the government in a fight over grazing rights lost some of his staunch defenders Thursday after wondering aloud whether blacks might have had it better under slavery.

Arkansas judge voids state voter ID law

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas judge struck down the state's new voter ID law on Thursday, saying it violates the state constitution by adding a requirement that voters must meet before casting a ballot.

Washington loses waiver on No Child Left Behind

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state is losing its independence to decide the best way to spend about $40 million in federal dollars to improve how students perform in its public schools, education officials said Thursday.

FBI seeks victims of major international pedophile

The FBI was Thursday hastily seeking to identify victims of a serial pedophile who drugged and molested dozens of children over four decades teaching at international schools around the world. William James Vahey, 64, committed suicide in March in a Minnesota hotel room while the subject of an international sex crimes probe covering his teaching in nine countries, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said. "When Vahey was confronted about the images, he reportedly admitted molesting boys throughout his entire life and said he gave the minors sleeping pills prior to the molestation," the FBI said in an alert. Vahey taught overseas from 1972 until days before his death including at private academies that served children of American diplomats and military personnel, as well as locals, according to the FBI.


Obama administration may unveil new deportation policy in two stages

By Julia Edwards and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House is considering small steps in the near term to ease the threat of deportation for some undocumented immigrants, but advocates in communication with the administration expect President Barack Obama to make bigger changes later in the year. With legislation to reform U.S. immigration policy stalled in Congress, Obama has come under increasing pressure from the immigrant community to take executive action to curb the rate of deportation that has reached a record level under his presidency. In the coming weeks, an Obama-ordered review of deportation enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security is expected to conclude that certain steps should be taken to ensure that some immigrants who have not committed serious crimes should be allowed to remain in the United States, according to several sources familiar with the review.


The Sexual Psychology of Hate Crimes

Frazier Glenn Miller, a former KKK leader and anti-Semitic murderer, was once arrested with a black, cross-dressing hooker. According to psychology and history, it’s not that surprising.


NY terror trial shown nuclear suits and pistols

The New York terror trial of British hate preacher Abu Hamza was shown Thursday a startling array of nuclear protective suits, seized along with pistols, daggers and axes from his London mosque. The stash of items impounded by British police and turned over to US authorities was loaded onto a shopping trolley and described to the 12-member jury by a British police witness. David Alexander, of London's Metropolitan Police, said the trove was seized from the top floor of Abu Hamza's Finsbury Park mosque in January 2003 and handed over to the Americans in 2008. In total, items numbering 22 pages were confiscated from the five-storey complex, along with mobile phones, computers, CDs, video and audio tapes, and documents written by Abu Hamza.


Obama faces emotional trip to South Korea

US President Barack Obama will encounter a nation mourning one of its worst maritime disasters and on edge over North Korea's nuclear brinkmanship Friday when he flies to South Korea. US intelligence agencies meanwhile are watching and waiting amid indications that North Korea could rattle the peninsula with a fourth nuclear test, in a clear challenge to Obama's strategy of cementing America's role as a Pacific power. "North Korea has engaged in provocative actions for the last several decades. US officials were puzzling over the always unpredictable Kim's next move -- wondering whether he would show his defiance with a blast during Obama's Asian tour or if activity at the North's nuclear sites was a mere propaganda move.


Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to 'super PACs'

By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new era of "super PACs" in state campaigns. District Judge Paul Crotty said the statutes could not survive First Amendment scrutiny in light of recent landmark Supreme Court decisions that have lessened restrictions on big-money political donors. "I think there is a risk of quid pro quo corruption, but the Supreme Court has not recognized it," he said during a hearing in Manhattan federal court. "We know what the Supreme Court has held, whether we like it or not, and I'm bound to follow it." The New York laws had limited the amount of money individual donors could contribute to independent political committees, known as super PACs, that operate separately from a candidate's campaign.


Pages