Political News from Yahoo

Britain urges U.S. Congress to stop blocking IMF reform

Britain urged the U.S. Congress on Monday to stop delaying approval of reforms to the International Monetary Fund that would give more power at the institution to emerging economies. Finance minister George Osborne, in a speech in Rio de Janeiro, said it was time for the world's new heavyweight nations such as Brazil to have a bigger say at the IMF. "Let's implement the reforms we have agreed to in our international institutions like the IMF, so that countries like Brazil have the enhanced status and say that your economic strength earns you the right to," Osborne said. "The failure of the U.S. Congress to ratify the agreed IMF reforms is bad for the institution and bad for the international community," he said.

US Navy 'game-changer': converting seawater into fuel

The US Navy believes it has finally worked out the solution to a problem that has intrigued scientists for decades: how to take seawater and use it as fuel. The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as "a game-changer" because it would signficantly shorten the supply chain, a weak link that makes any force easier to attack. The US has a fleet of 15 military oil tankers, and only aircraft carriers and some submarines are equipped with nuclear propulsion. Vice Admiral Philip Cullom declared: "It's a huge milestone for us."

Former Massachusetts Senator Brown to kick off New Hampshire Senate run

Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, who has been mulling a Senate run in New Hampshire for the past few months, plans formally to announce his campaign on Thursday, the Republican said in a letter to supporters on Monday. National Republican supporters have moved quickly to buy ads supporting Brown's potential run against incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, seeing the race as an opportunity to shrink Democrats' 55-43 majority in the upper chamber. Brown, who has focused much of his recent public statements on his opposition to President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law, said in an e-mail to supporters that his weeks of canvassing the state convinced him that "you want a health care system that works for New Hampshire." "Together, we can do all this, but it starts by changing leadership in Washington," said Brown, who was a little-known Massachusetts state senator before he stunned the state's Democratic party to win the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Edward M. Kennedy in 2010.

Supreme Court declines free speech, gay marriage case

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider whether a New Mexico photography company had free speech grounds to refuse to shoot the commitment ceremony of a same-sex couple. The court's refusal to intervene means an August 2013 New Mexico Supreme Court decision against the company remains intact. Albuquerque-based Elane Photography had said its free speech rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should be a valid defense to the state's finding that it violated the New Mexico Human Rights Act. The company's owners, Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, are Christians who oppose gay marriage.

Supreme Court declines to hear Iowa campaign finance challenge

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ducking a new case on the divisive issue of campaign finance, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to an Iowa law that bans corporate contributions in state elections. By opting not to hear the case, the court left intact an 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling from June 2013 that upheld the ban. By so doing, the court indicated it was unwilling for now to press ahead with further deregulation of campaign finance following the 5-4 ruling on Wednesday in the case of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. The group sued after Iowa revised its laws in light of the 2010 Supreme Court ruling Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the court said corporations and unions could make unlimited independent expenditures that are not coordinated with a campaign.