Political News from Yahoo

Obama: Congress consulted on prisoner exchange

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — President Barack Obama on Tuesday defended his decision to release five Afghan detainees from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for freeing an American soldier, saying his administration had consulted with Congress about that possibility "for some time."

Primaries in 8 states for Senate, House, governor

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A nursing home scandal and a vow to "make 'em squeal" in Washington are at the center of Senate Republican primaries in Mississippi and Iowa Tuesday, as voters in eight states pick their candidates for Senate, House and gubernatorial races.

U.S. Army will not look away from any Bergdahl misconduct: Dempsey

(Reuters) - The U.S. Army will not ignore any misconduct by released Taliban detainee Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, but he should be considered innocent until proven guilty, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said. "The questions about this particular soldier's conduct are separate from our effort to recover ANY U.S. service member in enemy captivity," General Martin Dempsey said in a posting on his Facebook page on Tuesday. "Like any American, he is innocent until proven guilty," Dempsey said. On Monday, Republican members of the U.S. Congress said President Barack Obama had set a dangerous precedent with the prisoner swap and might have broken the law.

Dempsey: Army may still pursue desertion charges

BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey says the Army may still pursue an investigation that could lead to desertion charges against Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (boh BURG'-dahl), who was freed from five years of Taliban captivity in a prisoner exchange last weekend.

Eurozone inflation slows, in new signal for ECB easing

Inflation in the eurozone slowed last month to financial crisis levels, putting extra pressure on the ECB to act to fight a growing threat of deflation, data showed on Tuesday. Eurozone inflation fell to 0.5 percent in May, the same level as in March and erasing a bump to 0.7 percent in April. Inflation in the 18-nation eurozone has fallen steadily in the past year, reflecting weak demand and strength of the euro, and has raised expectations that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates at a policy meeting on Thursday. Inflation is way below the ECB's target of just under 2.0 percent and shows little sign of picking up any time soon.

Turkey PM accuses international media of spying

Turkey's embattled prime minister lashed out at international media on Tuesday, accusing news outlets of stirring unrest during the one-year anniversary of mass anti-government protests. Recep Tayyip Erdogan singled out CNN International, whose reporter was arrested live on air last Saturday while covering street clashes, accusing the network of spying. "International media organisations who came to Istanbul for provocative and exaggerated broadcasts were left empty-handed," Erdogan told members of his ruling AKP party in an apparent reference to the incident. On Saturday, police violently dispersed demonstrators in Istanbul and Ankara as they marked a year since the start of nationwide protests denouncing Erdogan's authoritarian rule.

Obama defends operation to rescue U.S. soldier from Taliban

WARSAW (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday defended his administration's operation to rescue Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl from Taliban captivity, saying the United States was committed to freeing its prisoners of war regardless of how they were captured. Obama acknowledged that the Taliban fighters who were freed from the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for Bergdahl could engage in efforts that were detrimental to U.S. security again. He said he was confident the United States could go after those individuals if that were the case. ...

Obama calls on European allies to boost defence spending

US President Barack Obama told European allies Tuesday they had a responsibility to boost defence spending in return for US protection amid new instability in Europe. "We have seen a steady decline, that has to change," Obama said, bemoaning cuts in military spending across Europe in an age of economic austerity. Obama said that with a few exceptions, including Poland, European nations had not been pulling their weight in the alliance -- a fact that was exposed by the East-West showdown over Ukraine.

Rwanda, Human Rights Watch in row over bias allegations

Human Rights Watch has reacted angrily to Rwandan allegations of bias in its reporting on the central African nation, saying it has been "misrepresented" and its staff "disparaged". The statement from the group, released overnight on Monday, came after Rwanda's justice ministry accused the rights organisation of colluding with terrorists and signalled it may no longer be allowed to work in the country. "Human Rights Watch is deeply concerned that the Rwandan Ministry of Justice has grossly misrepresented the work of Human Rights Watch and disparaged its staff," the group said in a statement. "Human Rights Watch has worked on Rwanda for more than 20 years, since before the 1994 genocide, documenting abuses against Rwandans and defending the human rights of all, regardless of their political or other affiliation," said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

Obama defends deal with Taliban to free US soldier

President Barack Obama on Tuesday defended a prisoner swap deal with the Taliban to free a US soldier held for five years, following attacks from his Republican foes. Obama said that he saw an opportunity for a swift deal amid concerns for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl's health and that he had a "sacred" obligation to try to free captured US servicemen and women. "We seized that opportunity," Obama said, adding that there had not been time to fully consult Congress on the swap. Bergdahl -- the only US soldier held by the Taliban after being captured in Afghanistan -- was freed on Saturday in a dramatic deal brokered by Qatar.

US worried to very end about Bergdahl's release

WASHINGTON (AP) — Right up until the moment Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was freed, U.S. officials weren't sure the Taliban would really release the only American soldier held captive in Afghanistan in exchange for high-level militants detained at Guantanamo Bay.

California primary kicks off divisive election season for Democrats

By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - Californians head to the polls on Tuesday for a primary election likely to highlight divisions in the state's dominant Democratic party, as incumbent labor-backed candidates fight reformers positioning themselves to take on unions in several races. The election to choose candidates for governor, secretary of state and numerous legislative and congressional offices could be the kickoff to a long and politically bloody election season for Democrats, as the state's open primary system allows the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, to square off against each other in November, and in many cases both will be Democrats. "It’s going to be like scorpions in a bottle," said political analyst David Mark, editor of the Palo Alto based website Politix. In Los Angeles, 18 candidates were certified to run for the seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Henry Waxman, including former City Council member and mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel, State Senator Ted Lieu and New Age inspirational author Marianne Williamson.

In Poland, Obama reassures eastern Europe allies over Ukraine

By Roberta Rampton and Jeff Mason WARSAW (Reuters) - President Barack Obama assured Poland and its eastern European neighbors on Tuesday that the U.S. commitment to their security was sacrosanct at the start of a four-day trip meant to show U.S. resolve after the Russian intervention in Ukraine. The White House unveiled plans for a $1 billion initiative to send more of its military to Europe on a temporary basis but stopped short of promising to beef up its permanent presence as some of Washington's allies are seeking. Speaking in an aircraft hangar at Warsaw airport where he met U.S. airmen taking part in a joint program with the Polish air force, Obama said U.S. commitments to Poland and the region were a cornerstone of the United States' own security. "As friends and allies we stand united together," said Obama, whose two-day stay in Warsaw will include meetings with Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko and other central and eastern European leaders.

From 'Fat Years' to reality for Chinese author Chan Koonchung

Chan Koonchung's novel "The Fat Years", set in a China of the near-future where a dark moment of history has been erased from public memory, has never been published on the mainland. The book released in 2009 presents a dystopian vision of 2013 in which China's rise coincides with the economic weakening of the West. But its chances of being published in China were always going to be slim, given its allusions to the Communist Party's censorship machine and the way events such as the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown 25 years ago this week have been virtually deleted from official history. "My novels are unpublishable (in China)," said Chan in an interview in Hong Kong.

Remembering an Unlikely Malcolm X Ally

The Japanese-American activist, who died Sunday at 93, rushed to Malcolm X’s side after he was shot—and was no means a quiet bystander in the civil rights struggle.

Chiquita Blocks Help for 9/11 Survivors

For years, the conglomerate paid off Colombian militias. So it’s no wonder the company is now furiously lobbying to stop a bill that would make it easier to sue terror financiers.

Would You Buy a URL as Art?

You can’t hang them on your wall or loan them to a gallery. But that doesn’t mean Rafael Rozendaal’s Internet-based works aren’t art. For a relatively reasonable $6500, you can own one.

God Can’t Pick a Campaign Winner

Herman Cain is just the latest in a long line of GOP candidates who say God told them to run for president—but apparently God never mentioned anything about winning.

When Doctors Ignore ‘Do Not Resuscitate’

Over 88 percent of physicians don’t want to be kept alive in a situation where doing so only prolongs their existence. So why aren’t they listening to patients who ask for the same?