Political News from Yahoo

Uber’s “Safety” Fee

Popular ridesharing app Uber announced a $1 “safe rides fee” after a wave of complaints. They say the fee will go towards driver background checks, new safety features, and more.

The Internet’s ‘fhqwhgads’ Cartoon

Before Twitter and Buzzfeed, there was Homestar Runner. As the aging homepage wallpaper peeled away revealing the html beneath, the gang finally returned to the Internet.

UN envoy raises possibility of Somali withdrawal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top United Nations envoy in Somalia is warning that foreign diplomats may have to withdraw from the war-ravaged nation if they continue to be attacked.

High court hears streaming TV case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can side with broadcasters in a copyright challenge to an Internet startup company without threatening the burgeoning world of cloud computing.

US troops head to exercises in Eastern Europe

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Army troops are arriving in Poland to begin what will be a series of military exercises in four countries across Eastern Europe in a move to bolster allies in the wake of Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula last month.

US reviewing plans for fewer troops in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is reviewing a new series of options that would leave fewer than 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan next year, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

IRS's summons power faces test in Supreme Court

By Patrick Temple-West WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Internal Revenue Service will go before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to defend the way it enforces its power to issue legal summonses to obtain sensitive documents from taxpayers who refuse to cooperate with audits. The IRS is squaring off against Michael Clarke, a West Palm Beach, Florida, investor who is arguing that the U.S. tax agency in 2011 improperly issued a summons "as retribution" against him and his business partners for resisting an audit. Clarke maintains, according to court filings, that the IRS should have to explain its summons intentions at an evidentiary hearing before a court order is approved by a judge. Taxpayers cannot "engage in a fishing expedition about the motives of IRS agents," the government said in court documents, adding that a win for Clarke would bog down tax enforcement with another layer of litigation.

Kerry: 'It was easier' in Cold War

Secretary of State John Kerry attested Tuesday to the massively complex challenges Washington faces in Ukraine, Russia, Iran and the Middle East, declaring "it was easier" during the Cold War. In a candid moment during a State Department speech, the top US diplomat said changing global power dynamics made a quaint memory of the early East-West stalemate, when American children would "crouch under our desks at school and practice" safety steps for a possible nuclear attack.

Supreme Court hears challenge to ban on 'false' campaign speech

By Joan Biskupic WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum voiced doubts on Tuesday about a state law that prohibits false statements during a political campaign. The Ohio law allows candidates and other citizens to file a complaint for allegedly false slogans, prompting a state election commission hearing and public scrutiny of advocacy groups' or individuals' claims in the middle of a campaign. Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Republican appointee, speculated that calling in a group's leaders "to justify what (they're) going to say" could impinge on free speech rights under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Democratic appointee, observed that simply being forced to defend an advertisement could be costly and diminish speech at a crucial point in a campaign.

Supreme Court upholds Michigan ban on college affirmative action

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday dealt a blow to the use of racial preferences in higher education by upholding a Michigan law that bans the practice in state university admissions. The court made it clear it was not deciding the larger and divisive question of whether affirmative action admission policies can be lawful. The majority opinion rejected the argument made by civil right groups that the 2006 Michigan constitutional amendment that passed as a ballot initiative to ban the practice had imposed burdens on racial minorities in violation of the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection. Affirmative action programs, first advocated in the 1960s to combat discrimination against racial minorities, have faced a backlash from conservatives in recent decades.

Detroit bankruptcy judge taps consultants for city's plan

(Reuters) - The federal judge overseeing Detroit's historic bankruptcy case tapped a top restructuring official at Phoenix Management Services on Tuesday to help the court determine if the city's plan to adjust its $18 billion of debt is feasible. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes also named Richard Ravitch as a consultant to the court on municipal finance matters. Ravitch, who advised New York City during its fiscal crisis in the 1970s and who had served as a New York State lieutenant governor, agreed to consult for free and will not be required to testify in the case, according to the judge's order. Martha Kopacz, a senior managing director at Phoenix Management Services in Boston, beat out four other applicants, including Ravitch, for the position of expert witness.

Young Money Talks an Old-School Game in Washington

The heir to a billion-dollar hotel fortune, Patrick Gage, is an avowed warrior in the global fight against human trafficking. But ask him out for a beer to talk about it and he would, by the letter of the law, be compelled to turn down...

US weighs curbing deportations

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tens of thousands of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally but don't have serious criminal records could be shielded from deportation under a policy change being weighed by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Jailed Teens’ Brain Trauma

Though half of 16-18 year old inmates have a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI), very little is understood about how TBI affects young people.

Why the Art World Coddles Franco

The art world loves the star attention the actor brings so much so that it accepts his ‘art’ without much scrutiny. In his new exhibit, though, Franco goes a step too far.

Blame This Drunken Bear for Putin

Bill Clinton had to call Russia’s first president early in the day to catch him sober. But the U.S. could work with Yeltsin—though he chose a successor who would ‘repudiate his legacy.’

Brunei Returns to the Stoning Age

The tiny sultanate is planning a return to medieval modes of shariah law, with vicious punishments for extramarital sex and anti-Muslim defamation. And nobody’s blinking an eye.