Political News from Yahoo

Ex-Blackwater guard indicted on murder charge

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors have obtained a new indictment against a former Blackwater security guard accused of taking part in a shooting of Iraqi civilians at a Baghdad traffic circle.

US congressional panel passes Venezuela sanctions bill

A US congressional panel passed a bill Friday that would impose sanctions on those responsible for human rights abuses against anti-government protesters in Venezuela. The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved the \"Venezuelan Human Rights and Democracy Protection Act,\" clearing a first legislative hurdle. The vote was met with applause from dozens of people who traveled to Washington from several US cities to pressure lawmakers, the White House and the Organization of American States to take action against the crackdown on protesters in the crisis-hit South American country. At least 41 people have died and hundreds of others have been injured since students and other opponents of President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government took to the streets there in February to protest rampant crime, runaway inflation and shortages of basic goods.

Black Pastors Help Rand Paul Divine That Voter ID Laws Are 'Offending People'

Sen. Rand Paul is now a disciple of the anti-voter ID movement, after the black pastors he met with on Friday showed him the way and the truth about measures that tend to decrease minority voter turnout. After meeting with the pastors, Paul shared the good news with Jeremy W. Peters of The New York Times: the GOP needs to \"lay off\" the whole voter ID laws thing, according to Peters. Last month, during a conversation with David Axelrod, a former advisor of President Obama, Paul said he was against the restrictions on early voting passed in Ohio and Wisconsin, according to The Huffington Post.

Postal service had $1.9 billion quarterly loss

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service reported a $1.9 billion loss for the first three months of this year and pleaded again Friday for reforms to its troubled financial system.

Democrats mull boycotting House Benghazi probe

US House Democrats remained divided Friday over whether to participate in the newly-created panel to investigate the Benghazi attacks of 2012, a probe Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi slammed as a \"political stunt.\" Democratic and Republican staffers huddled behind closed doors to thrash out the terms of the select committee that the House of Representatives approved Thursday in a party line vote. President Barack Obama's Democrats are furious over Republican insistence on re-investigating the terror strike on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya that killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. But several Republicans including House Speaker John Boehner say the White House has been \"stonewalling\" and refusing to turn over all Benghazi-related material.

House Republicans name seven members to Benghazi panel

The Republican-run House of Representatives named seven lawmakers to a special committee on Friday to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attacks, but Democrats called the panel a stunt and were undecided on whether they would participate. House Speaker John Boehner announced the seven Republicans in a statement, and their names were read out on the House floor. \"I have confidence that they will lead a serious, fact-based inquiry,\" Boehner said. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said the Republicans, who have a majority in the House, were setting up the panel with the intention of campaigning on the Benghazi events during midterm congressional elections this November.

'Too Soon' to Say Kidnapped Nigerian Girls Will Be Found, Kerry Says

During a Twitter town hall, Secretary of State John Kerry said it was too soon to say whether all or some of the girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria would be found. .@AnnCurry Too early to conclude. Team arriving. Very difficult...

In U.S., when high-tech meets high court, high jinks ensue

These and other apparent gaffes by the justices during oral arguments have became a source of bemused derision, as tech aficionados, legal experts and others have taken to social media, blogs, YouTube and other outlets to proclaim the justices black-robed techno-fogeys. \"Everyone who's anyone inside that courtroom is most likely an incompetent Luddite,\" Sarah Jeong, a 25-year-old Harvard Law School student, wrote on her personal blog following a recent Supreme Court argument dealing with a copyright dispute over TV online startup Aereo. When it comes to cutting-edge technology, Jeong told Reuters: \"Mom and Dad are the Supreme Court.\" Parker Higgins, a 26-year-old digital rights advocate who works at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, spliced together audio of the Aereo argument for comic effect and posted it on a sound cloud and at YouTube.

Boko Loco: A View From Nigeria

ABUJA, Nigeria — On April 14th, more than 250 Nigerian girls were kidnapped from their dormitories at the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, a sleepy rural town in the Northern state of Borno.  Boko Haram, an extremist Muslim group which has terrorized Nigeria since the mid-2000s, has claimed responsibility for the abductions.  As of now, they have no plans to return the girls.  In fact, in a video obtained by Agence France-Presse, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said that the victims will be sold.  “By Allah, I will sell them in the marketplace,” Shekau declared.  “Allah says I should sell.  He commands me to sell.” Rumor has that some of the girls have already been sold into “marriage” to men in neighboring countries for as little as $12.

House backs permanent business research tax credit

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday voted 274-131 to approve making a tax credit for business research and development (R&D) costs a permanent part of the federal tax code for the first time. The bill will face an uphill battle in the Democratic-controlled Senate amid criticism that its estimated $156 billion cost to U.S. taxpayers over 10 years is not offset by any new tax revenue. The bill would give businesses a 20 percent tax break for qualifying research expenses. President Barack Obama has already said he would veto the measure if it arrives on his desk.

Nigeria Knew Girls Would Be Kidnapped

At least four hours before hundreds of girls were snatched from a boarding school, Nigerian authorities were aware of Boko Haram’s plans—and yet did nothing, says Amnesty International.