Political News from Yahoo

Obama: Students need help to get 'in-demand jobs'

BLADENSBURG, Md. (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday announced more than $100 million in grants for two dozen schools across the country that are helping students gain work experience for what he called the "in-demand jobs of the future."

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.

Supreme Court declines early look at NSA surveillance case

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned down a long-shot request for a ruling on whether the U.S. government's gathering of Americans' phone records is unlawful. The justices' refusal to intervene means the case will go forward in the appeals court, as scheduled. Plaintiffs Larry Klayman and Charles Strange had said the issue was so important the high court should not wait for a Washington federal appeals court to rule in the case concerning the National Security Agency. The high court rarely hears an appeal before an appeals court has ruled.

Putin’s New Ploy

Demonstrators in Eastern Ukraine seize buildings, proclaim independence, and wait for Russian troops.

Obama tests work policies on federal contractors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sidestepping Congress, President Barack Obama is using the federal government's vast array of contractors to impose rules on wages, pay disparities and hiring on a segment of the private sector that gets taxpayer money and falls under his control.

Can This Man Save the Pentagon?

Bob Work is one of the few defense experts in Washington who thinks strategy first and weapons second. Somehow, he’s about to become the Pentagon’s No. 2.

Secret Spaceplane, Mystery Mission

Nearly 500 days into its mission, the Pentagon still won’t say what its drone space shuttle is doing in orbit, or when it might come back.

Survey: Health insurance gains pick up

WASHINGTON (AP) — A major new survey finds that a growing percentage of Americans gained health insurance as the initial sign-up season for President Barack Obama's health care law drew to a close last month.

2016 campaign checklist: Santorum

WASHINGTON (AP) — A look at preparations by former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., for a potential 2016 presidential campaign:

2016 campaign checklist: Ryan

WASHINGTON (AP) — A look at preparations by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., for a potential 2016 presidential campaign:

China warns US against 'interference' in Hong Kong

Beijing warned the United States on Monday against interfering in Hong Kong's affairs after US Vice President Joe Biden met with two of the city's outspoken pro-democracy campaigners last week. In an unusually high sign of support, Biden attended talks at the White House on Friday with Martin Lee, a founder of Hong Kong's opposition Democratic Party, and Anson Chan, former number two in the city's government. Biden "underscored our long-standing support for democracy in Hong Kong", the White House said in a statement.

U.S. defense chief, in first, to visit China's aircraft carrier

By Phil Stewart TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will visit China's sole aircraft carrier when he arrives in the country on Monday, a U.S. official said, in an unprecedented opening by Beijing to a potent symbol of its military buildup. The official believed Hagel would be the first official visitor from outside China to be allowed on board the Liaoning, although that could not be immediately confirmed. China's Defence Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment although Chinese state television noted Hagel would visit the ship. Chinese security experts said Beijing could be trying to quell U.S. criticism that it was not transparent about its military modernization.