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Amid thaw, Cuban television gets in questions at White House

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- The questions weren't unusual. That they were asked at all was historic.

In the White House briefing room Thursday the chief spokesman for President Barack Obama entertained a question from Cuban state television, the latest sign of the thaw in a relationship that's been frozen for more than half a century.

The Cuban reporter, ...Read more

Boy Scouts president calls for end of ban on gay leaders

Politics / Political News /

Robert M. Gates, president of the Boy Scouts of America, said Thursday that the organization's ban on gay leaders "cannot be sustained" and urged the group to end its national ban.

"I truly fear that any other alternative will be the end of us as a national movement," the former CIA director and secretary of defense said in remarks in Atlanta ...Read more

Pentagon goes public with latest dust-up in South China Sea

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. military has begun to carefully but publicly challenge Chinese island-building on disputed reefs and shoals in the South China Sea, creating fresh tension in a potential global tinderbox as both countries shift forces into the area.

In the latest incident, a Chinese military dispatcher demanded repeatedly that a U.S. Navy...Read more

Analysis: What we can learn from Osama bin Laden's reading list

Politics / Political News /

What does Osama bin Laden's reading list have to tell us? Made public Wednesday morning by the office of the director of national intelligence, it lists 103 documents, from U.S. government reports to published works of nonfiction that reveal bin Laden to be a smart and educated adversary, as we have always understood.

Since the 9/11 attacks, we...Read more

Rand Paul basks in his chatty stand against the Patriot Act

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul drew important attention to his presidential campaign on Wednesday with what he advertised as a filibuster against the Patriot Act, taking the Senate floor for a marathon talkathon as time runs out for Congress to renew the law used for the mass collection of Americans' phone records.

"There comes a time in...Read more

Maryland lawmakers meet with Obama officials to discuss riots

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Members of Maryland's congressional delegation met at the White House on Wednesday to discuss ways that the Obama administration can continue to address the recent unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray.

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, who called the meeting, Sen. Ben Cardin, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings and Baltimore Mayor ...Read more

US highway funding extension through July passed by House

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. House voted to keep federal money flowing for highways and mass-transit programs for two more months, through the end of July.

Lawmakers voted 387-35 on Tuesday for the short-term measure to give themselves time to negotiate toward a longer extension. The Senate also plans to vote on the measure this week before Congress ...Read more

Bill closing military sex offender loopholes heads to Obama's desk

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- The first of two significant pieces of legislation aimed at closing military sex offender reporting loopholes passed the House on Tuesday afternoon and is now headed to President Barack Obama's desk for his signature.

The measure requires the Department of Defense to register sex offenders directly with an FBI database available ...Read more

McConnell sets trade promotion authority endgame in motion

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- After a series of dueling objections, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved Tuesday evening to limit debate on the Trade Promotion Authority bill that's a top priority for himself and President Barack Obama, but the endgame was far from clear.

By moving to invoke cloture, the Kentucky Republican has set a key vote on the ...Read more

Paul hopes his opposition to Patriot Act boosts campaign support

Politics / Political News /

PHILADELPHIA -- As his fellow Republican Kentucky senator, Mitch McConnell, pushes this week to reauthorize the Patriot Act, Rand Paul took his presidential campaign to Independence Mall on Monday and said he'd do whatever he could to kill the law and the bulk collection of Americans' phone records.

"One senator came up to me and said, 'If you ...Read more

Warren proposes change to trade bill to protect Dodd-Frank rules

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren is proposing a change to trade legislation before Congress that would prevent any deals from weakening the Dodd-Frank financial regulations.

The Massachusetts Democrat argues that the fast-track trade bill could lead to an unraveling of the banking regulations passed after the 2008 financial collapse, and her...Read more

Obama bars some military equipment from going to local police

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Monday ordered the federal government to stop distributing a limited inventory of military equipment to local law enforcement agencies across the country because, he said, it makes police seem like an "occupying force" instead of public servants.

Speaking to a crowd in Camden, N.J., Obama contended that ...Read more

Syria raid that killed Islamic State figure is praised by US lawmakers

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers on Sunday praised the raid that killed an Islamic State official in Syria, but cautioned that the United States still faces continued turmoil in the Middle East.

Rep. Ryan Zinke, a Montana Republican who formerly commanded Navy SEAL Team Six, said that the target, known as Abu Sayyaf, "was not in the top 10" of Islamic ...Read more

Sanders to introduce bill to make college tuition-free

Politics / Political News /

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will introduce legislation on Tuesday to make college tuition-free in the United States.

"We live in a highly competitive global economy and, if our economy is to be strong, we need the best-educated work force in the world. That will not happen if, every year, hundreds of thousands of bright ...Read more

McConnell shrugs off Paul's NSA surveillance filibuster

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON –– The split in the U.S. Senate's Kentucky delegation over the government's surveillance powers was on full display again Sunday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on ABC's "This Week" that while he agrees with his junior Republican colleague Sen. Rand Paul on most topics, the question of authorities for the National ...Read more

Elizabeth Warren joins California Democrats in opposing trade deal

Politics / Political News /

For a few hours on Saturday morning, a convention center near Disneyland became the hub of opposition to President Barack Obama's authority to negotiate a trans-Pacific trade deal.

Outside the Anaheim Convention Center, union members demonstrated against the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and unfurled a banner reading: "Tell Congress to ...Read more

U.S. raid in Syria to capture Islamic State leader ends in his death

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- American special forces commandos swooped into the heart of Islamic State's oil and gas operations in eastern Syria in a raid intended to capture the man viewed as the group's chief financial officer, Pentagon and White House officials said Saturday.

Instead, the man resisted and was killed, a Defense Department official said.

"...Read more

Harris, Sanchez dominate Anaheim gathering of California Democrats

Politics / Political News /

ANAHEIM, Calif.--The contours of California's U.S. Senate race sharpened Saturday, with Kamala Harris trying to keep stride as the leading contender while upstart Loretta Sanchez sought to knock her off balance.

Their clashing ambitions dominated an Anaheim gathering of several thousand Democrats pondering who was best suited to capture the ...Read more

Hillary Clinton to pitch herself as candidate for small businesses

Politics / Political News /

Hillary Clinton plans to make pro-small business policies a focus of her presidential bid and will spend next week in Iowa and New Hampshire to begin sharing those ideas, a senior campaign official said Friday.

Clinton sees small businesses as being at a critical post-recession moment in which, with the right policies, they can thrive, the ...Read more

US considers options to counter Chinese moves in South China Sea

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Navy warship was closely trailed by Chinese navy vessels in the South China Sea during a rare weeklong patrol close to where China has been dredging sand to turn tiny reefs and shoals into islands it claims as sovereign territory, according to the Pentagon.

China's close surveillance of the Fort Worth, a San Diego-based ...Read more