Political News from Yahoo

US has given China a 'mission impossible' on N.Korea: envoy

Washington (AFP) - The United States is giving China a "mission impossible" by insisting it exert pressure on neighboring North Korea to halt its nuclear program or face US consequences, Beijing's ambassador said Thursday.

Japan, US trade talks fail to close gap over TPP

Intensive talks between Japan and the United States aimed at breaking the deadlock over a huge pan-Pacific trade deal ended Thursday without agreement, as hopes faded of progress before Barack Obama arrives in Tokyo this month. US Trade Representative Michael Froman and his Japanese counterpart Akira Amari said 18 hours of discussions had done little to reduce the "distance" between them, especially on farm and auto products. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an ambitious plan for a free trade agreement among 12 countries which, if realised, could cover 40 percent of global GDP. It is a key plank in President Obama's foreign policy, and an effort to anchor the US firmly to a region that is increasingly feeling the pull of Beijing's mighty economy.

Top U.S. lawmaker: intelligence top priority in defense bill

By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chairman of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee said on Thursday that intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities would be top priorities as the panel puts together this year's massive defense policy bill. "If you don't know what somebody else is doing, you don't even know what your risks are," U.S. Representative Buck McKeon said during a meeting with reporters. Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, covers everything from unmanned planes such as the high-altitude Global Hawk that Northrop Grumman Corp builds for the Air Force to manned surveillance planes such as Boeing's P-8 aircraft. McKeon said military commanders were reluctant to give up the manned U-2 spy planes that the Air Force wants to retire in favor of the Global Hawk planes.

Former Massachusetts Senator Brown to come out swinging on Obamacare in New Hampshire

By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Republican Scott Brown, a former Massachusetts Senator, plans to launch his campaign to represent New Hampshire in the U.S. Senate on Thursday with an attack on incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen's vote for Obamacare. Brown, who moved to his native New Hampshire late last year to explore a run for office, has focused much of his energy on attacking the Affordable Care Act, an issue that Republicans are making a centerpiece of 2014 campaigns. "I worked with Senator Shaheen in the U.S. Senate for three years.

Congress turns GM probe focus to engineers, considers legislation

By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers investigating General Motors' slow recall of 2.6 million cars are zeroing in on engineers and others who may have been aware of problems with ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. One month after congressional committees launched formal probes into why it took GM more than a decade to respond to ignition switch safety defects with the recall, lawmakers still do not know exactly how company engineers initially reacted to the problem or whether senior executives were made aware of it. ...

Rosa Parks archives remain unsold in warehouse

NEW YORK (AP) — At a time when interest in civil rights memorabilia is rekindled, a lifetime's worth of Rosa Parks' belongings — among them her Presidential Medal of Freedom — sits in a New York warehouse, unseen and unsold.

McAllister aide among few with access to kiss tape

MONROE, La. (AP) — A top aide to a Louisiana congressman videotaped kissing a married woman who is not his wife was one of the few people with access to the leaked security footage that exposed the dalliance.

House panel to hold contempt vote on IRS official

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House committee is voting on whether to hold a former Internal Revenue Service official in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions at a pair of hearings.

Our Mindless Government

From infrastructure improvements to entitlement spending, government is on autopilot, according to author Philip K. Howard. It’s a ‘form of tyranny,’ he says, and disaster is looming.

Lost Masterpieces Found in Kitchen

A retired Italian autoworker unwittingly bought two stolen art masterpieces worth millions for $32 and kept them on his kitchen wall for nearly 40 years.

Is ‘Fargo’ Bloody Good? You Betcha

Menacing and suspenseful with surprising notes of satire and pulpy violence, FX’s ‘Fargo’ is most certainly not a pale imitation of the Coens’ gruesome dark comedy.

Giving It Up in H.G. Wells’s Home

Angelica Garnett's memoir of growing up amid the weirdness of Bloomsbury features the usual literary suspects, including Virginia Woolf, and not a few surprises.

Paralyzed No More

There’s new hope for paralysis patients. A study reports electrical stimulation and physical therapy helped wheelchair-bound patients stand for more than four minutes.

When Downtown Was Cool

Greenwich Village holds a mythical place in the history of NYC. Three legends in their own right remember the neighborhood that helped shape them into the artists they have become.

How Prisons Became Insane Asylums

A new study reveals that prisons in America house ten times as many mentally ill as the state-run psychiatric wards that could actually treat them.

Life After Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon on post-band life, finding her voice as a visual artist, and the time she did a watercolor of Blondie…

We’re All Stalkers Now

Smartphones have turned us into creeps—snapping strangers’ photos, tweeting about the person next to us on the train. It’s time to check ourselves.

How Does Your Lady Garden Grow?

The decision to ‘grow out the lady garden’ rather than succumb to landscaping has become a feminist issue worth debating—if only to quiet outdated societal standards once and for all.

Hagel pushes US military ties with China's neighbour Mongolia

Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel Thursday endorsed stronger military ties with Mongolia as it seeks a US partnership as a counterweight to its powerful neighbours Russia and China. Hagel and his Mongolian counterpart Dashdemberel Bat-Erdene signed a "joint vision" statement in Ulan Bator calling for expanding military cooperation through joint training and assistance. The document is mostly symbolic but is likely to irritate Beijing, which has accused Washington of trying to hold back its rise by cultivating military ties with smaller Asian neighbours. "A strong US-Mongolia defence relationship is important as part of the American rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region," Hagel told a joint press conference, referring to a strategic "pivot" that China has eyed with concern.