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Politics News
Obama could curb corporate 'inversions' on his own: ex-U.S. official

U.S. President Obama disembarks from Air Force One as he arrives at Los Angeles International AirportBy Kevin Drawbaugh WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama could act without congressional approval to limit a key incentive for U.S. corporations to move their tax domiciles abroad in so-called "inversion" deals, a former senior U.S. Treasury Department official said on Monday. By invoking a 1969 tax law, Obama could bypass congressional gridlock and restrict foreign tax-domiciled U.S companies from using inter-company loans and interest deductions to cut their U.S. tax bills, said Stephen Shay, former deputy assistant Treasury secretary for international tax affairs in the Obama administration.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 00:25:06 -0400
Cornyn expects U.S. House to pass 'skinnied-down' border bill

Senator Cornyn talks to reporters on immigration crisis in Texas in WashingtonBy John Whitesides WASHINGTON (Reuters) - John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the U.S. Senate, said on Sunday he expected the House of Representatives to pass a "skinnied-down" emergency funding bill this week to deal with a surge of migrant children at the southwestern U.S. border. The Republican-controlled House is debating how much to pare from President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion supplemental request, although any House compromise is likely to face opposition in the Democratic-controlled Senate before lawmakers try to begin their scheduled summer break at the end of the week. "Fortunately it sounds like the House of Representatives is going to move a piece of legislation this week, which would actually offer a solution," Cornyn said on ABC's "This Week". He also said he expected the House to incorporate a plan he has proposed with Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas to try to speed up deportation of Central American child migrants.

Sun, 27 Jul 2014 12:59:00 -0400
Obama tells Central American leaders most children will go home

U.S. President Obama disembarks from Air Force One as he arrives at Los Angeles International AirportBy Steve Holland and Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama urged the leaders of three Central American countries on Friday to work with him to stem the flow of child migrants who have surged across the U.S. border and warned that most of them would not be allowed to stay. In a White House meeting with the leaders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, Obama had a tough-love message: his administration had compassion for the children, but not many would qualify for humanitarian relief or refugee status. The meeting came as Obama struggles to contain a border crisis triggered by the tens of thousands of children who have crossed the Texas border with Mexico in recent months.

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:00:58 -0400
Kerry to woo Modi's India, but quick progress unlikely

India's PM Modi reacts during a meeting with Brazil's President Rousseff on the sidelines of the 6th BRICS summit at the Alvorada Palace in BrasiliaBy David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits India this week as Washington tries to revitalize ties it sees as a counterbalance to China's rising power, but rapid progress is unlikely, despite the reformist reputation of India's new leader. The visit by Kerry, and a trip by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel next month, follow the resounding election win of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May and are meant to create a good climate for Modi's planned visit to Washington in September. Analysts say it is only once Modi meets President Barack Obama that the United States may have a more realistic hope for progress on big defense projects, on removing obstacles to U.S. firms' participation in India's nuclear power industry, and for firmer statements of shared interests in Asia.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 01:50:43 -0400
Exclusive: Sen. John Walsh responds to revelations that he plagiarized Army War College paper
A doctor prescribed Montana Democratic Sen. John Walsh medication for symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder after he returned from an Army deployment in Iraq, but he was not formally diagnosed with PTSD, the senator confirmed to Yahoo News following revelations this week that he had plagiarized a paper to receive his masters degree at the Army War College in 2007.
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:53:30 -0400
Ex-FBI director warns that Gaza violence will fuel al-Qaida threat
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller warned that the current violence in Gaza will inflame anti-U.S. sentiment in the region and exacerbate an increasingly dangerous terror threat to the U.S.
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:06:50 -0400
Congressional shrug on emergency border spending could prove costly

Speaker of the House John BoehnerAccording to multiple congressional sources close to members briefed on the situation, a delay in funding would impose increased costs of $250 to $1,000 per child per day. Since Oct. 1, approximately 57,000 children have been apprehended at the border. To give an example of the magnitude of the $250 to $1,000 range - and the cost of congressional inaction - the collective price tag for one day of care for those children could range from $14.25 million to $57 million, a difference of $42.75 million per day.

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:30:32 -0400
On the torture report, a confrontation looms
Sometime this summer, probably when as many Americans as possible are tanning on a beach and not paying attention, the White House is expected to release a version of a classified report on torture during the Bush years. Actually, what's likely to become public is only the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 04:50:33 -0400
Biden busts out the whiteboard to give lawmakers a history lesson
Ever wonder what it would be like to have Joe Biden as a history teacher? A new video posted to YouTube by the White House gives viewers a glimpse.
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:22:53 -0400
John Kerry's Proposed 7-Day Gaza Truce in Limbo

John Kerry's Proposed 7-Day Gaza Truce in LimboGoal Is to Work Toward a 'More Sustainable Cease-Fire in the Long Run'

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:13:33 -0400
Who Thinks President Obama Will Be Impeached? The White House

Who Thinks President Obama Will Be Impeached? The White HouseSenior White House Adviser Dan Pfeiffer Says Not to Write Off the Possibility

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:13:32 -0400
US Military Dusts Off Decades-Old 'Readiness' Plans for Russia

US Military Dusts Off Decades-Old 'Readiness' Plans for RussiaChairman of the Joint Chiefs Laments Russian Aggression, Says US Forces 'Not Sitting Still'

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:13:32 -0400
Defense: Gov't suppressed evidence in Blackwater
WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawyers for Blackwater security guards accused the government on Monday of suppressing evidence favorable to defendants who are on trial in the killings of 14 Iraqis in Nisoor Square in Baghdad.
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:21:26 -0400
Hamas leader Meshaal demands end to occupation

United States U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, left, speaks with Israeli U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the situation in Gaza at United Nations headquarters, Monday, July 28, 2014. The U.N. Security Council called for "an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire" in the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas at an emergency meeting. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)WASHINGTON (AP) - The leader of Hamas is demanding anew that Israel end its occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:15:17 -0400
Government said to suppress evidence in Blackwater
WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawyers for Blackwater security guards accused the government on Monday of suppressing evidence favorable to defendants who are on trial in the killings of 14 Iraqis in Nisoor Square in Baghdad.
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 07:44:12 -0400
Obama practically weepy at Malia going to college

FILE - This July 4, 2009, file photo shows President Barack Obama, left, as he kisses his daughter Malia Obama, 11, as his daughter Sasha Obama, 7, and his wife Michelle Obama stand right, during a Fourth of July party on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. President Obama is practically weepy at the thought of his daughter Malia going off to college, a milestone many months away that is on his mind now. At 16, she stands nearly as tall as her 6-foot-1 dad and is visiting college campuses in preparation for that bittersweet day in the fall of 2016 when she trades her White House bedroom for a dorm. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is practically weepy at the thought of his daughter Malia going off to college, a milestone many months away that is already on his mind.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 05:56:39 -0400
Obama to rename Africa program for Nelson Mandela
WASHINGTON (AP) - A program designed to foster a new generation of young African leaders will be renamed after former South African President Nelson Mandela.
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 05:33:51 -0400
Message-maven culture killing compromise in Washington
Commentary: Political foes prefer to score points rather than work together on solutions.
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 05:00:00 -0400
Center awarded $2.9 million grant for coverage of state government
Center dramatically expanding its reporting on influence of special interests on state governments.
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:22:15 -0400
Center honored for making government more transparent
Society of Professional journalists honors Center for making government more transparent.
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:17:09 -0400
Lust for power: Trove of President Warren Harding's love letters reveal steamy affair
The soon-to-be-released letters also detail the 29th president's poetic musings and thoughts on war
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:17:06 -0400
UN warns downing of flight MH17 'may be a war crime'

Debris from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 lies at the crash site in rebel-held east Ukraine, on July 19, 2014Shakhtarsk (Ukraine) (AFP) - The downing of Malaysian airliner MH17 may constitute a war crime, the UN said Monday, as explosions and fighting blocked a new attempt by Dutch and Australian police to reach the crash site in insurgent-held east Ukraine.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 07:59:25 -0400
Passport Office workers strike amid applications backlog

People enter the Passport Office in Liverpool on June 11, 2014Passport Office staff on Monday launched a 24-hour strike over staffing shortages and pay just weeks after extra workers were drafted in to tackle a backlog of tens of thousands of applications. The Home Office criticised the union over the timing of Monday's strike, which it says could "inconvenience" many people and "jeopardise" holiday plans at the height of the summer. Hundreds of extra staff were drafted in last month to deal with a backlog of about 30,000 applications amid mounting complaints about long delays in passports being processed. The Passport Office last month said applications had been at their highest level in 12 years, with more than three million passports issued so far in 2014.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 07:58:51 -0400
Egypt's Morsi salutes Palestinian 'resistance' in Gaza

Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi speaks to Egyptian Television ahead of an emergency meeting at the presidential palace in Cairo on August 5, 2012Ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has praised the Palestinian "resistance" over the 21-day conflict with Israel in Gaza that has killed more than 1,030 people, mostly Palestinian civilians. The Islamist leader, overthrown last July by Egypt's then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is on trial on charges for which he faces the death penalty. Under Morsi's rule, Egypt brokered a truce in 2012 between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip, after they fought a similar deadly war.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 07:50:47 -0400
Six children among 15 dead in Aleppo bombing: Syria monitor

A rescue worker carries a wounded girl following a reported air strike by Syrian government forces in the northern city of Aleppo on July 27, 2014Six children were among at least 15 civilians killed in overnight bomb attacks by government and rebel forces in the divided city of Aleppo, a monitoring group said Monday. "At least nine civilians, three of them children, were killed in barrel bombs (dropped by regime aircraft) in Shaar," an eastern district, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. "Six more civilians, including three children and a woman, were killed in mortar shelling by rebels" of the government-held district of Jabiriyeh, the Observatory said. The northern metropolis of Aleppo, once Syria's commercial capital, has been divided since 2012 into western sectors held by the government and rebel-held areas.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 07:45:54 -0400
Lull in Gaza fighting as US, UN up pressure for truce

An Israeli army Merkava tank rolls along the border between Israel and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on July 28, 2014Fighting subsided in war-torn Gaza Monday at the start of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr as world powers ramped up pressure on the warring sides to immediately end their 21-day confrontation. US President Barack Obama during the night phoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to demand an "immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire", in a call echoed several hours later by the UN Security Council. As diplomatic efforts intensified to broker an end to the bloodletting which has claimed over a thousand lives, both sides appeared to have settled into an undeclared ceasefire arrangement with the skies over Gaza calm for a second night running. The army said only one rocket had struck Israel since midnight, hitting the southern port city of Ashkelon, while in Gaza, an AFP correspondent confirmed there had been no Israeli air strikes during the night.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 07:40:19 -0400
Death toll from Boko Haram Cameroon raids rises to 15

A screengrab taken on July 13, 2014 from a video released by the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram shows the leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau (C)Yaoundé (AFP) - At least 15 people were killed in two attacks blamed on Boko Haram in northern Cameroon, with the wife of the country's deputy prime minister among a dozen people reportedly kidnapped, a security source said Monday. The death toll from the two reportedly simultaneous raids on Sunday by Nigerian Islamic extremists on the palace of the Sultan Kolofata, and the nearby home of one of the country's most senior politicians, deputy premier Amadou Ali, rose on Monday from six to at least 15. The sultan, Seiny Boukar Lamine, his wife and their five children are among the hostages, a government spokesman confirmed. Two gendarmes and a member of the Cameroonian army's elite Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) were among the dead, a gendarme involved in the follow-up operation against the terrorists told AFP.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 07:10:38 -0400
MH17 investigators turn back after 'explosions'

Investigators work at a the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), on July 25, 2014Dutch and Australian forensic investigators on their way to the MH17 crash site turned back Monday after "explosions" in the area, a government spokeswoman in The Hague said. "They have returned in the direction of Donetsk," justice ministry spokeswoman Sentina van der Meer told AFP. The Ukrainian military earlier said its forces were battling pro-Russian rebels for control of several eastern Ukrainian towns around the crash site of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:45:18 -0400
Syria's Assad joins prayers to mark end of Ramadan

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (centre), flanked by Grand Mufti Ahmed Hassun (right) greets officials before the morning Eid al-Fitr prayer in the capital Damascus on July 28, 2014Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was given a warm reception by the faithful on Monday when he joined in Eid al-Fitr prayers in Damascus, to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Assad took part in prayers at the Al-Kheir mosque, in Muhajarin, near his home in northwest Damascus. State television showed Assad being greeted by Syrian Grand Mufti Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun and, at the end of prayers, being surrounded by scores of well-wishers keen to shake his hand.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:44:46 -0400
Shakhtar's Luiz Adriano open to Ukraine switch

Manchester United Marouane Fellaini vies with Shakhtar's Luiz Adriano (right) during their European Champions League match in Donetsk on October 2, 2013Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazil-born forward Luiz Adriano has said he is considering becoming a Ukrainian citizen to make himself eligible for the national team, local press reported Monday. "It's true, I have an intention to receive Ukrainian citizenship," the 27-year-old striker was quoted as saying by the website. "But my final decision will depend on the situation in Ukraine," said Adriano, alluding to the conflict between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in the east of the country. Adriano joined Shakhtar in 2007 and has scored 108 goals in 235 matches for the five-time defending Ukrainian champions.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:34:40 -0400
Russia says will use 'all options' against Yukos ruling

File photo taken on April 4, 2007 shows a man walking past the Yukos logo at the Russian oil giant's Moscow headquartersRussia will use every means to defend itself after the arbitration court in the Hague ordered it to pay $50 billion compensation to Yukos shareholders, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday. Energy giant Rosneft, which acquired the assets of Yukos after the jailing of its founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky, said that all its dealings were lawful. Lavrov responded to an initial report of the verdict on Monday morning at a briefing saying: "It goes without saying that Russia, the agencies that represent Russia in this case, will use all the legal options it has to uphold its position." Rosneft said in a statement that it "considers that all its deals in acquiring Yukos's former assets and also all its other actions towards Yukos were fully lawful and were carried out according to the legislation in force."

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:30:53 -0400
Libya denies Egyptians killed in Tripoli attack

Smoke billows from a road leading to Tripoli's international airport as fighting between rival factions around the capital's airport continued on the morning of July 23, 2014Libya on Monday denied claims from Cairo that Egyptian nationals were among those killed in a rocket attack on a house in Tripoli at the weekend. Egypt's foreign ministry had said a rocket hit a house in the capital on Saturday, killing 23 people, including several Egyptians. Some of them are Egyptians, but we don't know how many," ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty told AFP.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:22:42 -0400
Japanese get anti-radiation pills ahead of nuclear restart

A local resident (right) receives iodine tablets from a Kagoshima prefectural officer in Satsumasendai, on Japan's southern island of Kyushu, on July 27, 2014Japanese officials are handing out radiation-blocking iodine tablets to people living in the shadow of two nuclear reactors slated to restart this year, underscoring concerns about atomic power after the Fukushima crisis. The move to distribute the pills -- which help to reduce radiation buildup in the body -- started Sunday for those living within a five-kilometre (three-mile) radius of the Sendai nuclear plant. Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority said earlier this month that two atomic reactors at the Sendai plant were safe enough to switch back on, marking a big step towards restarting nuclear plants which were shuttered after Fukushima.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:11:25 -0400
Foreigners urged to leave Libya amid rising violence

Libyans demand an end to the conflict in the country during a protest in Algeria Square July 26, 2014 in Tripoli, LibyaEgypt and several Western states urged their nationals to leave Libya amid spiralling violence after two weeks of fighting left 97 people dead and a warning by state-owned National Oil Corp of a major disaster after a fuel tank was hit. Washington evacuated its embassy staff on Saturday, with Secretary of State John Kerry warning the mission had faced a "real risk" from fierce fighting between armed groups for control of Tripoli's international airport. Another 38 people, mostly soldiers, were killed in 24 hours of fighting between the army and Islamists in the eastern city of Benghazi, military and medical officials said on Sunday, in a further sign of the chaos plaguing the North African nation. The Tripoli clashes, the most violent since the overthrow of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, started with an assault on the airport by a coalition of groups, mainly Islamists, which has since been backed by fighters from third city Misrata.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 05:30:31 -0400
N. Korea threatens nuclear strike on White House

US Marines get out from an amphibious assault vehicle during a joint military exercise with their South Korean counterparts at Pohang, on March 31, 2014A top-ranking North Korean military official has threatened a nuclear strike on the White House and Pentagon after accusing Washington of raising military tensions on the Korean peninsula. The threat came from Hwang Pyong-So, director of the military's General Political Bureau, during a speech to a large military rally in Pyongyang Sunday on the anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. Hwang, who holds the rank of vice marshal in the Korean People's Army, said a recent series of South Korea-US military drills, one of which included the deployment of a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier, had ramped up tensions. "If the US imperialists threaten our sovereignty and survival... our troops will fire our nuclear-armed rockets at the White House and the Pentagon -- the sources of all evil," Hwang said in his speech broadcast Monday on state television.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 05:05:50 -0400
Huge oil depot blaze puts Tripoli under threat

Smoke billows from an area near Tripoli's international airport during fighting between rival factions around the capital's airport on July 24, 2014Libya was expected to call in firefighting planes Monday to douse a huge blaze sparked by clashes near Tripoli's airport, as foreigners were urged to quit the increasingly lawless country. Officials said firefighters on the ground had failed to put out the oil tank blaze near Tripoli airport and that an air intervention was the only option to avert a catastrophe.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 04:37:05 -0400
Downing of flight MH17 'may amount to a war crime': UN

Debris from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 lies at the crash site in rebel-held east Ukraine, on July 19, 2014The downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 "may amount to a war crime", the UN said Monday, adding that fighting in east Ukraine has claimed over 1,100 lives with both government and rebel forces using heavy weaponry in built-up areas. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay condemned the "horrendous shooting down" of the Malaysian passenger jet in rebel-held territory that killed all 298 people on board, and demanded a "thorough, effective, independent and impartial investigation". "This violation of international law, given the prevailing circumstances, may amount to a war crime," she said in a statement. "Every effort will be made to ensure that anyone committing serious violations of international law including war crimes will be brought to justice, no matter who they are," Pillay said.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 04:29:41 -0400
Dutch, Australian police in fresh bid for MH17 site access

Pro-Russia militants sit on a tank as they drive towards the front line on the outskirts of Donetsk, on July 27, 2014Dutch and Australian police will make a fresh attempt on Monday to reach the crash site of Malaysian flight MH17 in insurgent-held east Ukraine, after heavy fighting nearby scuppered their previous effort. The continuing unrest has also led Dutch authorities, who are leading a probe into the downing of the plane that killed all 298 on board, to conclude that it was unrealistic to send an armed mission to secure the site. Amid international recriminations over the chaos on the ground blocking access to the site, both sides in Ukraine's war traded blame, with Kiev accusing the rebels of "destroying evidence" and the insurgents saying Ukraine's army was targeting civilians. Washington released new photographs to bolster its claim that Russia, blamed by the West for abetting the insurgency by arming it -- including the missile that allegedly shot down MH17, was now taking a direct role in the conflict by firing into Ukraine, targeting the armed forces.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 03:34:12 -0400
Aruba frees Venezuelan wanted on US drug charges

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (R) and retired Major General Hugo Carvajal embrace in Caracas on July 27, 2014Aruba on Sunday freed a Venezuelan ex-military intelligence chief wanted in the United States on drug trafficking charges, stating that he had diplomatic immunity. Retired major general Hugo Carvajal, who was arrested Wednesday, flew home and was greeted with a hug by President Nicolas Maduro at a Socialist Party meeting in Caracas. Carvajal, who had been awaiting confirmation as Venezuela's consul in Aruba, has been on a US Treasury blacklist since 2008 for alleged links to the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). After Carvajal's arrest, the US Justice Department on Thursday unsealed a May 2013 indictment charging him with protecting drug shipments on behalf of Colombian traffickers.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 02:42:45 -0400
No show for North Korean defector artist in China

The Chinese and North Korean flags can be seen on a railing as trucks carrying Chinese-made goods cross into North Korea on the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge at the Chinese border town of Dandong on December 18, 2013An art exhibition in China by a North Korean defector has been cancelled, gallery staff said Monday, with reports saying the show had been dismantled on official orders. Sun Mu, who slipped out of North Korea in 1998 and uses a pseudonym because of concerns for his safety, paints satirical imitations of Pyongyang's propaganda imagery. An exhibition of his works had been due to open at the Yuan Dian gallery at the weekend, but China is nuclear-armed Pyongyang's key diplomatic backer and aid provider, even if their relationship has been strained by the antics of leader Kim Jong-Un. "Chinese police blocked people from entering the museum," South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, adding that officers "removed his paintings and ad banners hung around the museum".

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 02:09:06 -0400



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