Political News from Yahoo

Eric Cantor Loss Is an Earthquake

How did the No. 2 man in the House lose a primary? Chalk it up to immigration and the Tea Party. It’s one of the most shocking losses in U.S. electoral history—and it’s bad for America.


How Eric Cantor Sabotaged Himself

The No. 2 House Republican was expected to coast to victory Tuesday night—but went down in flames to largely unknown Tea Partier Dave Brat, who ran on an anti-immigration platform.


Sen. Cruz formally gives up Canadian citizenship

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Canada-born U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has made good on a promise to renounce his birth country's citizenship — doing so amid speculation he could make a run at the White House in 2016.

Hearing fails to calm anger over deal to free Bergdahl

By David Alexander and Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A closed-door congressional hearing on the release of Bowe Bergdahl failed to calm Republican anger on Tuesday over the administration's secretive deal to trade five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo for the U.S. prisoner of war. But a group of former soldiers defended the exchange and accused lawmakers of stoking the furor over the prisoner swap for political gain. The Pentagon said Bergdahl, an Army sergeant, was improving at the U.S. military hospital in Germany where he was being treated. A spokesman acknowledged it was "going to be a long process." A senior lawmaker confirmed reports Bergdahl had been kept in a cage while held prisoner by the Taliban in Afghanistan.


Obama reflects on gun control's failure

WASHINGTON (AP) — A year ago, on the day a gun control push in the Senate went down in flames, President Barack Obama stood with former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and parents of Newtown victims in the Rose Garden and declared, "This effort is not over."


Brazil revs up World Cup diplomatic machine

Brasilia (Brazil) (AFP) - President Dilma Rousseff will go into diplomatic overdrive as the World Cup kicks off Thursday, with meetings planned with two dozen leaders including Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, as Brazil soaks up the global spotlight. Despite affording less time to the international arena than her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Rousseff has a chance during the Cup to strut the diplomatic stage on home turf. "Foreign policy during the Cup will be important, because of the large number of visitors at a time when Brazil's international agenda is full of pressing issues," David Fleischer, professor emeritus at the University of Brasilia, told AFP.


Shorter sentences backed for some drug prisoners

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department said Tuesday that a proposal that would result in shorter prison sentences for drug criminals should apply to some, but not all, drug felons who are currently behind bars.

Top N.Y. lawmaker must face harassment suit against ex-assemblyman

By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver must face claims that he “aided and abetted” a former assemblyman’s sexual harassment of two young female employees by failing to take official action, a U.S. judge ruled on Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres rejected Silver’s bid to throw out the lawsuit, which was filed last summer by Victoria Burhans and Chloe Rivera in federal court in Manhattan. The women accused longtime Brooklyn power broker Vito Lopez of subjecting them to a barrage of unwanted sexual advances. Silver had previously helped broker a secret settlement with two women who had accused Lopez of harassment, using $103,000 in public funds.


Obama urges national 'soul searching' over gun violence

US President Barack Obama Tuesday called for national "soul searching" over gun violence, warning that mass shootings were "off the charts" in a way no other advanced country would tolerate. Obama vented frustration and disbelief that there was no political momentum for gun reform in the wake of a new spate of mass shootings, in impassioned remarks likely to touch off a new row with the powerful firearms lobby. "We are the only developed country on earth where this happens, and it happens now once a week," Obama said at the White House, hours after a gunman shot and killed a student at an Oregon High School in the latest incident. The president tried and failed to introduce a ban on assault weapons and to require more stringent background checks for gun buyers after the Newtown massacre in which 20 children and six adults were killed in December 2012.


Obama says 'we should be ashamed' of failure to enact modest gun control measures

President Barack Obama expressed deep frustration on Tuesday at the inability by Washington to enact even modest gun control measures, in the aftermath of a rash of shootings around the United States. This is becoming the norm and we take it for granted in ways that as a parent are terrifying to me," Obama said in answer to a question at a White House online event sponsored by Tumblr. Obama spent the early part of 2013 trying to persuade Congress to approve legislation to approve legislation after a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children were killed. The move would have imposed some restrictions on gun ownership but the effort failed amid pressure from the National Rifle Association lobby.


GOP Plans Months of Bergdahl Drama

The Republican-controlled House will investigate the circumstances surrounding the disappearance and return of the soldier in a move that resembles the inquisition around Benghazi.


Obama on mass shootings: ‘We should be ashamed’

By turns angry and anguished, President Barack Obama declared on Tuesday that his “biggest frustration” since taking office has been America’s failure to take even modest steps to curb mass shootings so frequent that they threaten to become routine.

US diplomat slams Russian Internet slurs

US diplomat Jen Psaki hit back Tuesday at Russia's "propaganda machine," accusing it of being behind a series of Internet slurs mocking her for stumbling over her words. As spokeswoman for Secretary of State John Kerry, Psaki runs the gauntlet of the world's media in her daily briefings, when she is quizzed on US foreign policy in the full glare of the cameras. The attacks have been led by the Russian state-run television network RT, whose reporters have had a couple of run-ins with Psaki during the briefings, which put together a slide show called: "Jen Psaki's most embarrassing fails." But Psaki hit back Tuesday, saying the attacks on her were "sexist" and adding "many people know that there are efforts by the Kremlin and the propaganda machine to discredit a range of officials, including recently myself, as silly as that is, because the United States supports a strong, democratic Ukraine."


Rand Paul's Maine Man

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) issued an endorsement last week in a state senate race in Maine of all places. What does this mean about his plans for 2016?


Iran claims 4mbpd oil output possible if sanctions lifted

Iran's oil output could reach 4.0 million barrels per day in "less than three months" if Western sanctions are lifted over its nuclear energy programme, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Tuesday. "After lifting the sanctions, (in) less than three months we can produce four" million barrels of oil per day, Zanganeh told reporters upon his arrival in Vienna on the eve of an OPEC output meeting. That compares with Iran's current production of approximately 2.7 million bpd, according to OPEC data which cites secondary sources. Zanganeh added Tuesday that the nation's oil exports currently stand at 1.5 million bpd.


Obama calls for national 'soul searching' over gun violence

US President Barack Obama Tuesday called for national "soul searching" over gun violence, warning that mass shootings were "off the charts" in a way no other advanced country would tolerate. Obama vented frustration and disbelief that there was no momentum for gun reform in the wake of a new spate of mass shootings, in impassioned remarks likely to touch off a new row with the powerful firearms lobby. "We are the only developed country on earth where this happens, and it happens now once a week," Obama said at the White House, hours after a gunman shot and killed a student at an Oregon High School in the latest shooting incident. Obama said the "biggest frustration" of his presidency so far was that Washington had not even taken "basic steps" to keep guns out of the hands of people that can do "unbelievable damage."


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