Political News from Yahoo

Judge tosses Wisconsin senator's health care suit

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A federal judge on Monday dismissed a U.S. senator's lawsuit challenging a requirement that congressional members and their staffs to obtain government-subsidized health insurance through small business exchanges, saying the senator had no grounds to sue.

Iran's Rouhani says nuclear talks 'only way' forward

More negotiations are the only solution to Iran's decade-long nuclear standoff with the West, President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday. Rouhani's remarks were his first on the four-month extension until November of talks with world powers agreed in Vienna last week after the two sides said progress made so far was still short of a final breakthrough. "Negotiations are the only way that is before us and we are hopeful of success in these negotiations," Rouhani was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the US -- plus Germany, want to render Iran incapable of developing an atomic weapons capability.

Erdogan chooses anti-Israel diatribes over Gaza mediation

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sacrificed any possibility of Turkey playing a mediation role in Gaza in favour of seeking to impress voters ahead of presidential polls with the toughest ever anti-Israeli rhetoric from a Turkish leader. Before the rise to power of Erdogan's Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) over a decade ago, NATO member Turkey was Israel's key ally in the Islamic world, a policy enthusiastically cheered by the United States. Erdogan has long presented himself as a champion of the Palestinian cause and leader of the entire Sunni Muslim world.

Senate panel to debate wave of corporate tax-avoidance deals

By Kevin Drawbaugh WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As more U.S. corporations do deals to cut taxes by shifting their tax domiciles overseas, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday focused on these transactions known as inversions. Nine such deals have been agreed to this year by companies ranging from banana distributor Chiquita Brands International, Inc to drugmaker AbbVie Inc and more are being considered. Witnesses at the Senate Finance Committee's hearing will include government officials and academics. Chairman Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, is expected to call for stand-alone legislation to respond to the flurry of inversions that has Washington on edge.

Clinton: US, Europe should get tough on Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that the U.S. and Europe should work together to develop tougher sanctions on Russia while she backed President Barack Obama's calls for a thorough investigation into the passenger jet that was shot down last week over Ukraine.

Bank crisis further rattles Portugal economy

Portuguese Economy Minister Antonio Pires de Lima admitted on Monday that a crisis engulfing the giant Banco Espirito Santo group could affect the country's recovery, but insisted Portugal's "upturn is stronger". "The crisis in the Espirito Santo group will not do us good, but the recovery is stronger and it is there to stay," he told journalists. The turmoil at Portugal's largest lender comes at a delicate time for the country, which has just come out of a joint EU-IMF rescue programme despite a surprise drop of 0.6% in its GDP in the first three months of the year. Many analysts fear the knock-on effects of the crisis could further undermine Portugal's faltering economy, one of the weakest in the eurozone.

Israeli shoots Palestinian dead in W. Bank: security source

An Israeli shot dead a Palestinian who had been throwing stones at his car north of Jerusalem in the West Bank, a Palestinian security source told AFP late Monday. The security source named the fatality as Mahmud Shawamreh, 21. He said the incident took place between Ar-Ram and the Hizma checkpoint, and the body was taken to Israel. Asked for comment, a spokeswoman for the Israeli army said: "The incident in which the Palestinian was killed during a violent riot near Ramallah is being investigated by the military police."

Kerry offers Gaza aid as truce diplomacy steps up

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday pledged $47 million in humanitarian aid for the battered Gaza Strip as he flew to the region to intensify efforts for an immediate truce. Kerry, who has voiced willingness to tour the region as long as needed, started his mission in Cairo where he met visiting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The top US diplomat defended ally Israel's right to strike against Hamas militants who have been raining rockets from the Gaza Strip. "We are deeply concerned about the consequences of Israel's appropriate and legitimate effort to defend itself," Kerry told reporters as he met Ban.

China's Xi signs Venezuela resource deals on LatAm blitz

Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a raft of oil and mineral deals with Venezuela Monday, his latest stop on a Latin American tour showcasing China's growing influence in the region. During his four-country visit to what is often considered America's back yard, Xi has reached out to resource-rich countries such as Venezuela and Argentina at a time when they are often shunned by the United States and Europe. In Venezuela, he visited the mausoleum holding late president Hugo Chavez, an inveterate antagonist of the US, and signed 38 deals with Chavez's successor, Nicolas Maduro.

US condemns attack on Egyptian soldiers

The United States on Monday condemned a weekend attack on an Egyptian border checkpoint which left 21 soldiers dead, and vowed to keep up support for Egypt's security. "We extend our condolences to the families of the victims, and hope for the quick and full recovery of the wounded," deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement on the attack, which took place near Egypt's desert frontier with restive Libya. "A prosperous and dynamic Egypt requires an environment of security and stability, and the United States continues to support the Egyptian government’s efforts to counter the threat of terrorism in Egypt as part of our commitment to the strategic partnership between our two countries."

Violence simmers in C. Africa as peace talks open

Key players in the Central African conflict launched a fresh round of talks in Brazzaville on Monday to end more than a year of sectarian bloodshed in the direly poor nation. The three-day forum for reconciliation and political dialogue, chaired by Congo's President Denis Sassou Nguesso, is aimed a resolving a crisis that has left thousands of civilians dead and driven more than a million people from their homes. One of Africa's poorest countries, CAR has been in crisis since the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in a March 2013 coup, with months of atrocities by rebels gone rogue sparking reprisal attacks by mostly Christian anti-balaka vigilantes. The African Union-led peacekeeping force in CAR, MISCA, blamed the anti-balaka groups for the killing on Monday, saying their victim was on his way "to get breakfast" near the main hospital when he was killed.

7 Weird Facebook Questions For Hillary

Hillary Clinton did a chat on Facebook to promote her new book Hard Choices. Some of the questions she was asked were quite peculiar.

US warns against travel to Israel, Gaza

The United States on Monday warned Americans against traveling to Israel and the Gaza Strip, urging them to postpone any visits amid the current conflict. "The US Department of State warns US citizens of the risks of traveling to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza due to ongoing hostilities," an updated travel warning said, adding it "recommends that US citizens consider the deferral of non-essential travel to Israel." "The security environment remains complex in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and US citizens need to be aware of the risks of travel to these areas because of the current conflict between Hamas and Israel," the State Department warning added. Many Americans have deep ties to Israel, and two dual US-Israeli citizens were killed on Sunday fighting in the Israeli Defense Forces.

Kerry promises $47 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza

The United States will provide $47 million (35 million euros) in humanitarian aid to help Palestinians hit by Israel's campaign in the Gaza Strip, Secretary of State John Kerry pledged Monday. "We are deeply concerned about the consequences of Israel's appropriate and legitimate effort to defend itself," Kerry said in Cairo as he met UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Obama honors US vet who survived harrowing Afghan battle

A US soldier who fought off an "onslaught" of Afghan insurgents despite wounds to his arm and legs received the country's highest military honor Monday at a White House ceremony. Ryan Pitts, a retired US Army staff sergeant, was hailed by President Barack Obama for keeping a huge force of Taliban at bay in one of the bloodiest battles of the 13-year-war in Afghanistan. "Machine gunfire and mortar and rocket propelled grenades poured down from every direction," said Obama, recounting a Taliban ambush near the village of Wanat on July 19, 2008. "Against that onslaught, one American held the line," Obama said of Pitts.

Facts and figures on child migrants heading to US

The arrival of huge numbers of unaccompanied Central American children at the southern US border has overwhelmed authorities in the United States lacking the financial and legal means to curb the illegal influx. President Barack Obama has insisted new arrivals will be sent home, but it remains unclear how much that has done to stem the flow -- although officials say the number of apprehended child migrants has decreased recently. The White House said a flight deporting 40 women and children back to Honduras served as a "signal" that new illegal immigrants were not welcome. On Friday, Obama meets with the presidents of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to collaborate on ways to prevent young Central Americans from taking the perilous journey overland through Mexico.

Media venture creates press litigation fund

The media venture created by entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar said Monday it was establishing a fund to help defend journalists in cases involving freedom of the press. First Look Media said its first grant would be in support of the appeal in Britain of David Miranda, the partner of investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald. Miranda, a Brazilian citizen, was held for nine hours at London's Heathrow Airport on August 18 while police questioned him about the material leaked by former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. First Look general counsel Lynn Oberlander said the new fund would "provide legal support to journalists and others engaged in contests where freedom of the press is at stake in the US and abroad."