Political News from Yahoo

Kerry in Israel for new round of Mideast talks

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived Thursday in Israel to broker Mideast peace talks that are entering a difficult phase aimed at reaching a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians.


Threatening snowstorm may be early test for N.Y. Mayor de Blasio

By Edith Honan NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is coming into City Hall with a sweeping mandate to address the city's most vexing problems, from economic inequality to police and community relations. A winter storm that is due to hit on Thursday, de Blasio's second day in office, could pose the first challenge to the new mayor, as he tries to enact a progressive agenda while ensuring the city of more than 8 million people is well managed. De Blasio succeeds Michael Bloomberg, who had no political experience when he took office in 2001 but had founded and run the successful company that takes his name. De Blasio, a Democrat, most recently was the city's public advocate and, before that, served two terms in the city council.


Poll: Americans have little faith in government

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans enter 2014 with a profoundly negative view of their government, expressing little hope that elected officials can or will solve the nation's biggest problems, a new poll finds.


Health overhaul benefits take effect with new year

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — After a troubled rollout, President Barack Obama's health care overhaul now faces its most personal test: How will it work as people seek care under its new mandates?

Marketing efforts to uninsured youth ramp up

MIAMI (AP) — The so-called "young invincibles" are so important to the success of the Affordable Care Act that supporters and detractors are spending millions to reach them with racy ads, social media campaigns and celebrity endorsements. The president is even (gasp) asking their mothers to help convince them to sign up for insurance.


The New York Times Wants Snowden to Be Allowed Back

"When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law," the Times editorial board writes, "that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government."  Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight. "Why didn't he just bring the NSA's activity to the attention of superiors?" He did. Presenting another angle on the ongoing Snowden fiasco is The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus, who describes the man as "insufferable" as well as "smug, self-righteous, egotistical, disingenuous, megalomaniacal, overwrought." She just doesn't like that guy's personality, and that detail is definitely the right thing to focus on here.

Obamas offer well wishes to Barbara Bush

HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama and wife Michelle Obama are wishing former first lady Barbra Bush a "speedy recovery" after she was hospitalized with a respiratory-related issue.

Two-woman ticket in Texas goes for history in 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Forget whether Hillary Clinton could win the White House in 2016. Women still have yet to run many statehouses, but in 2014 two Texas Democrats are going for a new kind of history: Winning as an all-female ticket.

GOP, Dems try to repackage arguments for 2014

ATLANTA (AP) — Both Republicans and Democrats are looking for fresh ways to pitch old arguments as the final midterm election year of Barack Obama's presidency begins.

The invisible man: Bill Burns and the secret Iran talks

By Arshad Mohammed WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The night before a round of high-stakes nuclear talks with Iran, U.S. President Barack Obama told his chief of staff he had "absolute confidence we have the right team on the field." Obama was not referring to his public negotiating team, led by senior State Department official Wendy Sherman, nor even to his secretary of state, John Kerry, who was soon to sweep in from Tel Aviv to join the early November discussions in Geneva. Rather, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough recalled, Obama was talking about a secret group led by Bill Burns, Kerry's discreet, disciplined and self-effacing deputy. At times using U.S. military aircraft, hotel side entrances and service elevators to keep his role under wraps, Burns undertook arguably the most sensitive diplomatic mission of Obama's presidency: secret talks with Iran to persuade it to curb its nuclear program. In picking Burns, seen by his peers as a leading U.S. diplomat of his generation, Obama gave the envoy, who speaks Arabic, French and Russian, a chance to ease more than 30 years of estrangement between the United States and Iran.


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