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- Appeals court throws out IRS rule on Obamacare subsidies
A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday threw out a federal regulation that implements key subsidies that are vital to President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit accepted one of the main legal challenges to the policy by conservatives opposed to an expansion of the federal government. The subsidies, in the form of tax credits, are available to people with annual incomes of up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or $94,200 for a family of four.
- U.S. judge dismisses Republican lawsuit over Obamacare subsidy for Congress
By Brendan O'Brien MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A federal judge has thrown out a U.S. Senator's legal challenge to a part of President Barack Obama's healthcare law that grants health insurance subsidies for members of Congress and their staffs. U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin had challenged the right of the federal government to continue making employer contributions to Congressional health insurance plans even when lawmakers and their staff purchase coverage through new Obamacare online exchanges. U.S. District Judge William Griesbach, in Green Bay, dismissed the lawsuit on Monday, saying Johnson had failed to show he had been harmed by the regulation. "There is nothing in the Constitution stipulating that all wrongs must have remedies, much less that the remedy must lie in federal court," Griesbach, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, said in his decision.
- U.S. Senate panel to debate wave of corporate tax-avoidance deals
By Kevin Drawbaugh WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As more U.S. corporations do deals to cut taxes by shifting their tax domiciles overseas, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday focused on these transactions known as inversions. Nine such deals have been agreed to this year by companies ranging from banana distributor Chiquita Brands International, Inc to drugmaker AbbVie Inc and more are being considered. Witnesses at the Senate Finance Committee's hearing will include government officials and academics. Chairman Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, is expected to call for stand-alone legislation to respond to the flurry of inversions that has Washington on edge.
- Georgia voters to pick Republican U.S. Senate nominee after long fight By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - A drawn-out fight between an 11-term congressman and a former Fortune 500 chief executive in a key U.S. Senate race is due to be decided by Georgia's Republican voters on Tuesday. U.S. Representative Jack Kingston and David Perdue, former CEO of Reebok, Dollar General and Pillowtex, have traded jabs and tried to coalesce Republican support since emerging from a crowded primary field in May. Republicans consider it crucial to hold on to the seat, currently held by retiring Republican Saxby Chambliss, as they push to retake control of the Senate. Kingston, 59, of Savannah, has worked to convince voters that his 21-year tenure in Congress is a strength despite low approval ratings for its members. "Do you really know what you get with David Perdue?" Kingston asked at a recent debate.
- Many drug inmates who get break under new plan to be deported
- Obama: Pro-Russia separatists stealing Malaysia Airlines crash evidence
President Obama on Monday bluntly accused pro-Moscow separatist fighters in Ukraine of stealing evidence and improperly removing bodies from the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and pressed Russia to compel the rebels to stop blocking an international investigation.
- Rumors swirl around migrant kids, fueling local backlash LAWTON, Okla. — Fred Fitch, the three-term mayor of this small city in Southern Oklahoma, has a lot of questions about the 1,200 undocumented immigrant children who arrived at the Fort Sill Army base just north of town last month. He’s a friendly, seemingly reasonable guy, but on a recent Wednesday afternoon, he couldn’t help but indulge in a little gossip about the hottest topic in Lawton.
- Kerry: Mounting evidence Russia provided weapon used to shoot down MH17
Secretary of State John Kerry hit the political talk show circuit on Sunday, saying there is mounting evidence that Russia was involved in providing the weapon separatists are accused of using to shoot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
- Obama hits reset button on wobbly public response to Malaysia Airlines shootdown
President Obama on Friday called the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 an “outrage of unspeakable proportions,” declared it a “wake-up call” for timid European leaders, and all but laid blame for the tragedy directly at Russia’s doorstep.
- Florida Cop Fired for KKK Ties Was Undercover, Ex-Wife Claims
- Senate to Probe Flaws With Black Lung Program
- Gaza Hospitals Caught in Crossfire, Four Dead
- Peace talks eyed after Israel, Hamas cease-fire
CAIRO (AP) — The U.S. and Egypt sought Tuesday to find an end to two weeks of bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, and officials raised the possibility of restarting stalled peace talks between Israel and Palestinian authorities as a necessary step to avoid sustained violence.
- Federal appeals court deals blow to health law WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, potentially derailing billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.
- 2008 law unexpectedly at center of border debate
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Dianne Feinstein recalls turning on her television and seeing a young Chinese girl crying before a judge, without even an interpreter to help her after surviving a harrowing journey to the U.S.
- Lawmakers face long to-do list, uncertain success WASHINGTON (AP) — A gridlocked Congress failed to do the big things: overhauling the nation's immigration system, reforming the loophole-cluttered tax code and stiffening background checks on gun buyers. Now it's time to see whether it can just do the basics.
- Boehner: No border money without policy changes WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'nuhr) says the public won't support spending money on the border crisis unless Congress makes policy changes to return migrant kids home faster.
- Families sick from fracking turn to scientists A Pennsylvania nonprofit provides free health consultations to people who live near gas drilling sites and complain of health effects.
- Politicos souring on FEC advice? Requests for election law rulings plummet as ideological gridlock envelops commission.
- Energy influence in North Dakota is expanding — so what? A Q & A with reporter Nicholas Kusnetz about the oil and gas industries growing influence in North Dakota.
- Israel soldier 'kidnapped' by Hamas is dead
The Israeli army on Tuesday confirmed that a soldier who Hamas militants claimed they had kidnapped is dead and his body remains unaccounted for. The army named the soldier, whose body is still missing, as Oron Shaul, two days after Hamas said they had kidnapped an Israeli soldier of the same name. Publication of the name suggested Hamas was likely to be holding the soldier's remains, although it was not clear if the entire body or only part of it was missing. A spokeswoman flatly denied any possibility that the soldier was alive.
- Britain to hold inquiry into ex-spy Litvinenko's death
Britain on Tuesday announced a public inquiry to identify those responsible for the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy who accused the Kremlin from his London deathbed of poisoning him with radioactive tea. The move comes as London presses for greater sanctions against Moscow over the downing of a passenger plane in eastern Ukraine and is likely to anger the Kremlin and further chill relations between Britain and Russia. The inquiry will be able to look at whether the Russian state was behind the mysterious killing of Kremlin critic Litvinenko in 2006, which outraged London at the time and plunged relations with Moscow into the deep freeze.
- Israel to finish Gaza tunnels assault before truce: Livni
Israel will not halt its fire in Gaza until it finishes an operation aimed at destroying tunnels used by militants for cross-border attacks, a senior minister said on Tuesday. As world efforts to broker a ceasefire in war-torn Gaza gathered speed, Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni also ruled out any acceptance of the "unacceptable" demands laid out by Hamas as a condition for halting its fire. She said the question of an immediate ceasefire with Hamas was not going to happen at this stage. "Second, it won't happen in a way in which Hamas's completely unacceptable conditions are met, because it just wont," she said.
- Zimbabwe journalists win free speech victory
Two Zimbabwean journalists won a victory for free speech Tuesday when the Constitutional Court struck off a statute which made defamation a crime punishable by up to 20 years in jail. Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba said the court found that the law was unjustified and "had the effect of interfering with the exercise of the right to freedom of expression." Zimbabwe has tough media laws which have been used by President Robert Mugabe's government to expel foreign correspondents and arrest journalists from the independent press. Malaba made the ruling in a case in which two journalists were charged with criminal defamation after their paper, The Zimbabwe Independent, published a story naming state security agents alleged to have abducted opposition and human rights activists in 2008.
- World pushes for truce as Israel batters Gaza
The UN chief and Washington's top diplomat were holding a flurry of meetings in Cairo on Tuesday to push for an end to violence in Gaza that has killed more than 590 Palestinians. As the conflict entered its third week, neither side showed any sign of willingness to pull back, with Israel pursuing a relentless campaign of shelling and air strikes, and militants hitting back with rocket fire and fierce attacks on troops operating on the ground. Gaza medics say the Palestinian dead include many women and children, while 27 of the 29 Israeli victims were soldiers killed since a ground assault began late on July 17. On Tuesday morning, civil defence crews with a crane parked outside the Salam building in Gaza City, which was hit in an Israeli air strike on Monday.
- C. Africa peace talks suspended after rebel no-show
Peace talks between Central Africa's sectarian rivals were suspended Tuesday after the ex-rebel Seleka group failed to show up less than a day before the deadline of a deal. The two main negotiating sessions of the talks being held in Brazzaville -- one on securing an end to hostilities, the other on disarming fighters in CAR -- were subsequently suspended. The Congolese source said delegates from the mainly Muslim Seleka had been provided with a copy of the draft accord for the talks, which had been due to end on Wednesday, and were apparently still studying the text. One of Africa's poorest countries, CAR has been mired in chaos since the Seleka seized power in a March 2013 coup, with months of atrocities by rebels gone rogue sparking reprisal attacks by mostly Christian anti-balaka vigilantes.
- Taliban suicide attack kills five foreign guards in Kabul
A Taliban suicide attacker riding a motorbike killed five foreign guards in Kabul on Tuesday, the latest blast to rock the Afghan capital during an impasse over presidential election results. The attacker struck a compound near the outer perimeter of Kabul airport, which was targeted last week when insurgents seized a building in the same area and fired towards the airport using automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. Taliban insurgents oppose the election process, which is currently undergoing an audit of all eight million votes due to a dispute between the two contenders over fraud allegations. "The US Embassy strongly condemns the terrorist attack on Camp Gibson in Kabul this morning which killed five foreign national security guards," a US statement said.
- UN, US press Gaza truce efforts as death toll soars
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday discussed proposals for a Gaza ceasefire with Egypt, as both sides voiced guarded hopes of ending the bloodshed. Kerry, who arrived late Monday in the wake of growing casualties from the Israeli-Hamas conflict, held talks in Cairo on Monday with UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who has also come to the Egyptian capital to push for a truce. "We are hopeful that this visit will result in a ceasefire that provides the necessary security for the Palestinian people and that we can commence to address the medium- and long-term issues related to Gaza," Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri told reporters ahead of Kerry's talks with Sisi. Kerry voiced appreciation to Egypt for proposing a truce that was embraced by Israel but rejected by the Islamist Hamas, which has tense ties with Cairo's new government and has refused to end violence unless Israel ends its eight-year blockade of the Gaza Strip.
- Nigeria president meets relatives of schoolgirls held hostage
Relatives of the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram 100 days ago met with President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday for the first time since the girls were seized. The much anticipated meeting comes amid reports of a worsening security crisis in the northeast, where Islamists have occupied the town of Damboa and surrounding areas, with the military so far unable to chase them out. The girls were kidnapped from a secondary school in Chibok in the northeast on April 14 and carted away in a convoy of trucks. His office tried to organise a meeting in the capital last week with a small group of the affected families, after he was urged to do so by the Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai.
- South Sudan rebel bid for Uganda troop pullout fails
South Sudanese rebels who travelled to Uganda pleading for Kampala to pull troops out of the war-torn nation left without meeting officials, the foreign minister said Tuesday. Ugandan troops are in South Sudan backing government forces, and their withdrawal is a key demand of the rebels. "They never communicated they were coming, they just arrived," Ugandan Foreign Minister Henry Okello Oryem told AFP, who said the team had arrived on Monday and then left. Fighting broke out mid-December between government forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, rebel leader Riek Machar.
- Australian senator's ideal man: rich and 'well-hung'
An Australian senator who told breakfast radio she would only date men who were rich and "well-hung" apologised Tuesday, saying she had tried to hide her embarrassment with a joke. Jacqui Lambie, who took her seat in the national parliament's upper house earlier this month, told Tasmania's Heart 107.3 that she had not been in a relationship for more than a decade. "I'm just a bit concerned because you're so young, I'm not sure you'd be able to handle Jacqui Lambie," the outspoken politician, who served a decade in Australia's armed forces, said.
- Dutch to recover MH17 bodies from morgue train
Dutch experts on Tuesday prepared to take custody of some 280 bodies recovered from downed Malaysian flight MH17, as a train carrying the remains arrived in the government-held Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Rebels controlling the crash site released the morgue train under intense international pressure, finally allowing a great majority of the 298 crash victims to begin the long journey home. Their remains are now to be flown to the Netherlands, which had 193 citizens on board the doomed flight and is taking the lead in investigating a disaster that has brought Ukraine's bloody three-month conflict to the doorstep of countries as far away as Australia. Pro-Russian separatists -- who stand accused of bringing down the aircraft, possibly with a missile supplied by Moscow -- bowed to a furious clamour for the bodies and black boxes to be handed to investigators five days after the crash.
- I no longer talk to Obama: Turkey's Erdogan
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he has stopped talking to US President Barack Obama on the phone, amid growing strains between Ankara and Washington over Syria and the Gaza conflict. Turkey, a fierce opponent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and an open supporter of armed rebel fighters, felt betrayed when the United States backed away from military action against Damascus in September. "In the past, I was calling him (Obama) directly. Because I can't get the expected results on Syria, our foreign ministers are now talking to each other," Erdogan said in a live interview on pro-government ATV channel late Monday.
- Mexico approves oil and gas reform legislation
Mexico's Senate has approved legislation to implement historic constitutional reform that would open the country's oil and gas industry to foreign investment for the first time since 1938. In an 85-26 vote, lawmakers passed the last of four packages of laws Monday to end the monopoly held by state oil company Pemex for 75 years in the exploration and exploitation of energy resources. The Chamber of Deputies must now vote on the measures, which the leftist opposition had tried to modify. President Enrique Pena Nieto hailed the marathon voting that began Thursday as an example of Mexico's "political civility and maturity".
- Cameroon villagers live in terror of Nigeria's Boko Haram
In the villages that line the border with Nigeria, even those charged with protecting Cameroonians from Boko Haram fighters fear the fall of darkness. The Nigeria-born Islamist group has stepped up raids into northern Cameroon in recent days, murdering and stealing with impunity despite military efforts to clamp down on their bloody insurgency. On Sunday local police said one of their officers was killed during an attack on the village of Nariki, 500 metres from Boko Haram's Nigerian stronghold of Tarmoa, adding to scores of deaths from raids on local towns this month. The militants have long used Cameroon to launch attacks on Nigeria as the border between them is extremely porous, with no buffer-zone clearly separating the two countries.
- Ortega calls attack on supporters in Nicaragua a "massacre"
President Daniel Ortega on Monday slammed as a "massacre" an attack on his political supporters that killed five people and left 28 more hurt. "This was a genuine massacre, one that has been condemned by the nation," the leftist president said at a memorial for the dead at a convention center, carried on state and pro-government media. Unidentified assailants opened fire late Saturday, in Matagalpa department, on buses bringing supporters back from a party in Managua to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the 1979 revolution. The civilian Sandinista party supporters "were ambushed on a highway with rifles (by men) who fired on buses bringing some of the families that had come (to the capital area) for the event," Ortega added.
- Japan cuts growth outlook as exports hit, imports rise
Japan on Tuesday cut its fiscal year growth forecast for the world's number three economy, blaming weak exports and rising imports as well as the impact of April's sales tax hike on consumer spending and business confidence. The Cabinet Office said it now expects expansion of 1.2 percent in the year to March, compared with a previous estimate of 1.4 percent. The announcement comes a week after the Bank of Japan also lowered its outlook to 1.0 percent from an earlier 1.1 percent. Japan has seen widening trade imbalances since the Fukushima nuclear crisis in March 2011 forced it to switch off its atomic reactors and turn to pricey fossil fuel imports to plug the energy gap.
- UN Security Council denounces persecution of Iraqi Christians
The United Nations Security Council has denounced militant persecution of Christians and other minorities in Iraq, warning such actions can be considered crimes against humanity. The Islamic State, which last month declared a "caliphate" straddling large swathes of northern Iraq and Syria, has threatened a Christian presence in the region spanning close to two millennia. Over the weekend, hundreds of families fled Mosul, a once-cosmopolitan city that is the country's second largest. In a unanimous declaration adopted late Monday, the Council's 15 member countries condemned "in the strongest terms the systematic persecution of individuals from minority populations and those who refuse its extremist ideology in Iraq by ISIL and associated armed groups," it said, referring to the group's former name of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
- Berlusconi, freed from sex-trial woes, dreams of political comeback
Silvio Berlusconi's acquittal in a high-profile sex-for-hire case has boosted the former Italian prime minister's determination to revive his political career, despite his growing isolation in the corridors of power. The media magnate is now rumoured to be attempting to rekindle relations with his former right-hand man and prodigy, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, who broke ties in November to set up his own party, the "New Centre Right" (NCD). "In a certain sense Berlusconi has never been out of the game. A friendship deal would boost the right wing -- which fared badly in the European elections -- and possibly help put Berlusconi back on the political map after a series of legal scandals which saw him ousted from parliament last year.
Geändert: 10.12.2010 19:40 Uhr