Political News from Yahoo

The Bergdahl rescue: What's known and not known

WASHINGTON (AP) — That feel-good moment in the Rose Garden seems like a long time ago. Just a week after the president announced that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had been freed in Afghanistan, details emerging about the soldier, the deal and how the rescue came together are only adding to the list of questions.

Everything’s Coming Up Rosés

Don’t dismiss the pink stuff because of its bad old days. How to find the best quality for your sunny-day pleasure.

Bergdahl swap a flashpoint of rival charges

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and Democrats who initially praised the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after his five years in captivity quickly scrubbed their welcoming tweets amid questions about whether the Army soldier was a deserter and an outcry over the exchange of five Taliban officials for his freedom.

After 2014, no more NATO medevacs for wounded Afghans

Forward Operating Base Shank (Afghanistan) (AFP) - The American troops gingerly lifted the wounded Afghan out of the ambulance on the dark runway, carrying him in a stretcher up the ramp of the cargo plane. The evacuation -- ordered at a moment's notice -- is a routine event for US-led forces in Afghanistan. The vast majority of the 51,000 troops in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are leaving Afghanistan by the end of the year, and they are taking most of their aviation medical squadrons with them. The emergency evacuations are in high demand amid a dramatic rise in casualties among Afghan security forces.

Ukraine readies for new president amid glimmers of hope

Ukraine will swear in its new president Saturday, amid glimmers of hope for a solution to a crisis that has pitted it against its giant Russian neighbour. Ukraine's new leader, Petro Poroshenko, will take the oath in Kiev's parliament the day after he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, widely seen in Ukraine as the country's nemesis, during World War II commemorations in northern France. "The dialogue has begun, and that's a good thing," Poroshenko said on Ukrainian television after the brief encounter. He added that a Russian representative would travel to Ukraine for talks Sunday amid the first bilateral steps towards resolving their differences.

Wary US unlikely to restore full Egypt aid soon

As Egypt prepares to swear in its fourth leader since 2011, a huge slice of $1.5 billion in US aid remains in deep-freeze amid fears the nation is sliding back into authoritarianism. Former general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will be crowned as the next president on Sunday after three years of political turmoil since the ousting of long-time iron-fisted leader Hosni Mubarak. But far from welcoming Sisi as a step toward stability, some analysts are urging Washington to re-think its decades-old, military-based aid program amid concerns over human rights abuses and a crackdown on civil liberties. In a sign of Washington's unease, no senior US cabinet members will be attending the inauguration, with State Department Counselor Thomas Shannon asked to lead the delegation.

Federal judge strikes down Wisconsin ban on gay marriage

By Brendan O'Brien MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A federal judge deemed Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional on Friday to the delight of gay couples who immediately began rushing to county offices to wed as word of the ruling spread. The ruling marked the latest in a string of decisions by federal judges who have struck down gay marriage bans in a number of states, although the Wisconsin ruling sparked some confusion over whether such marriages could now legally go ahead. Clerks in two counties issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Friday night, and in response Wisconsin's attorney general filed an emergency motion asking the judge to stay her ruling. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which Wisconsin adopted in 2006, violates gay couples' fundamental right to marry and their equal protection rights under the U.S. Constitution.

Who Should Be the Next Indiana Jones?

Star Wars isn’t the only celebrated franchise getting the Disney reboot treatment. With rumors that the Twilight star is being eyed to don the hat and whip, it begs the question: who should play everyone’s favorite adventurer-archaeologist?

CIA Chief’s Push to Free The Taliban 5

As far back as 2011, top Obama aides argued privately that five Taliban leaders could be released. Those aides eventually won the day—and the deal for Bowe Bergdahl was struck.

Clinton papers: Concerns over Commerce, Rwanda

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new batch of records from former President Bill Clinton's administration shows the ex-president musing about Republican plans to abolish a federal agency led by a black official, White House concerns about mass killings in Rwanda and political strategizing against former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

The Man Who Made Ecstasy

An American chemist known as the ‘Godfather of Psychedelics,’ Alexander Shulgin originally promoted the drug now known as Ecstasy as an aid to talk therapy.

The Week’s Best Longreads

From the mind of an elephant killer to the future of American soccer, the Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

Fasting Might Regenerate Immune System

Could you live without food for a few days, if it was good for your health? Researchers at USC found that fasting for 4 or 5 days causes the body to generate new immune cells.

Italy’s Lost Generation

Nine years ago, making 1,000 euro a month was a nightmare for overqualified 30-somethings. Now, with youth unemployment at 46 percent, it’s a dream for many, and the future looks dim.

Clinton describes daylight with Obama on Egypt

WASHINGTON (AP) — Distancing herself from some of the Obama administration's handling of the Arab Spring, Hillary Rodham Clinton says in her upcoming book that she pushed for Hosni Mubarak to initiate an orderly transition of power in Egypt but was overruled by President Barack Obama's call for the strongman to stand down immediately.

AmeriCorps to provide legal aid to immigrant kids

WASHINGTON (AP) — Young lawyers and paralegals are being sought for the community service program AmeriCorps to provide legal assistance in immigration proceedings to children who come to the U.S. illegally.

Labour's Hain to step down as MP

Former Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain is to step down as an MP at next year's general election, he has said. Hain, Labour MP for Neath in south Wales since 1991, said he had decided to "draw stumps" on his career following discussions with Labour leader Ed Miliband. "However, after considerable thought and in discussion with Ed Miliband, leader of the party and for many years my close colleague, I have decided to draw stumps on my House of Commons career.

Clashes in northern Iraq kill 59 as police battle militants

Mosul (Iraq) (AFP) - Clashes between Iraqi security forces and militants killed 59 people in Mosul on Saturday, as heavy fighting in the northern city entered its second day, officials said. The dead comprised 21 police and 38 militants, a police lieutenant colonel and a mortuary employee said. Fighting broke out in Mosul on Friday morning and continued into the night, while twin suicide bombings targeted a minority group east of the city and soldiers shot dead suicide bombers to its south. At least 36 people were killed in Friday's violence in Mosul and elsewhere in Nineveh province.