Political News from Yahoo

Presidential checklist: jockeying for position

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the latest prep work for a presidential campaign, Rand Paul is conspicuously courting moderate and establishment Republicans while Ted Cruz keeps up a travel schedule that has 2016 written all over it. Jeb Bush is stirring from something of a political snooze and a half-dozen other credible prospects are getting their voices heard in the din.

VA's Top Health Official Asked to Resign In Wake of Scandal

The Department of Veterans Affairs top health official was asked to resign Friday by VA Secretary Eric Shinseki in the wake of the growing scandal over whether wait times in care at a Phoenix VA Medical Center may have resulted in patient deaths. The VA...

Top U.S. veterans' healthcare official resigns amid scandal

By Phil Stewart and David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top health official at the Department of Veterans Affairs resigned on Friday amid a scandal over allegations of deadly healthcare delays, but critics dismissed the gesture as "damage control" because he planned to retire this year anyway. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said in a statement he accepted the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, VA undersecretary for health, and acknowledged the need to ensure more timely treatment of America's military veterans. The White House said President Barack Obama supported Shinseki's decision. Petzel's resignation, which came a day after he and Shinseki testified before Congress, appeared unlikely to calm the anger over the scandal, with one critic rejecting the move as "damage control" and the American Legion renewing its call for Shinseki himself to step down.

Obama invites new India leader to visit despite past visa ban

By David Brunnstrom and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama congratulated new Indian leader Narendra Modi on his election victory on Friday and invited him to the White House, even though he was barred from the country less than 10 years ago over massacres of Muslims. Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies swept India's elections, putting him in position to be prime minister, and ousted the ruling Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in a seismic political shift that gives the Hindu nationalist and his party a mandate for sweeping economic reform. Obama told Modi by telephone that he looked forward to working closely with him to "fulfill the extraordinary promise of the U.S.-India strategic partnership," the White House said. "The president invited Narendra Modi to visit Washington at a mutually agreeable time to further strengthen our bilateral relationship." A U.S. visit could come as soon as the U.N. General Assembly in New York in September, when Modi could also visit Washington.

Obama names new deputy chief of staff to oversee healthcare

President Barack Obama has named a new deputy chief of staff, Kristie Canegallo, to oversee implementation of his trademark healthcare law and other policy efforts, the White House said on Friday. The new position was created out of frustration within the White House over problems with the rollout of the healthcare law last year, particularly the glitch-filled website, HealthCare.gov. Canegallo has served most recently as a special assistant to Obama and adviser to chief of staff Denis McDonough, leading White House efforts on implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, after October 2013.

Study: Political TV ads on health law total $445M

CHICAGO (AP) — A new analysis finds the nation's health care overhaul deserves a place in advertising history as the focus of extraordinarily high spending on negative political TV ads that have gone largely unanswered by the law's supporters.

Conyers files appeal to get back on ballot

DETROIT (AP) — Longtime Michigan Congressman John Conyers on Friday appealed a decision that he lacked enough valid signatures on petitions to get on the August primary election ballot, part of larger legal campaign to restore his name and run for a 26th term.

GOP leader to block military immigration measure

WASHINGTON (AP) — A spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says he'll block a vote next week on legislation giving a path to citizenship to people living here illegally who serve in the military.

Read the Email That Rocked the NYT

As the struggle for power at the New York Times intensified, a top editor at The Guardian was wooed with talk of becoming the Times’ editor.

It's Barbara Walters's Turn to Cry

How do you say goodbye to her, after five decades of trailblazing journalism? You call Oprah. And Hillary Clinton. And, of course, you cry.

Why Modi matters

Never has India had a prime minister like Narendra Modi. A self-made man whose father sold tea at a railroad station, his blunt style, poor English, and disdain for social graces have made him as distasteful to India’s traditional ruling class as he is popular elsewhere. Mr. Modi, a barrel-chested man with a neatly trimmed white beard and mustache, is the first leader of a provincial state to win India’s top political prize. “He is a doer … who could galvanize the country,” says Gurcharan Das, a multinational company executive turned author.

Senate expected to vote on Fischer's Fed post next week

The Senate is expected to vote next week on Stanley Fischer's nomination for vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, securing his spot ahead of the May recess. Locking in Fischer is a key step in replenishing the Fed's governing body, which has an unusual number of vacancies at a sensitive time, as the central bank faces several critical measures for U.S. monetary policy. The Senate is likely to hold an initial vote on Tuesday to proceed to consider the nomination, setting up action for a final confirmation the following day, according to a Senate Democratic aide. But it appeared unlikely that the Senate would act next week on two other pending Fed nominees: U.S. Treasury official Lael Brainard, 52, and current Fed Governor Jerome Powell, who has been nominated to serve another term.

Will Rand Paul Launch Another 13-Hour Filibuster?

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, held a 13-hour filibuster last year over drones, and he may be preparing to do it all over again. He said he will filibuster the nomination of David Barron to be a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the...

Hagel says US won't let Iran build nuclear weapon

JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel pledged to Israeli leaders Friday that the U.S. "will do what we must" to prevent the Jewish state's greatest fear of a nuclear-armed Iran.

US Took Months to Send Kiev Spare Tires

In early March, Ukraine’s military begged the U.S. for the simplest of gear to help them cope with an advancing Russia. Washington’s response was a long, slow pause.