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- U.S. and Iran: the unbearable awkwardness of defending your enemy
Tehran and Washington, which have called each other the "Great Satan" and a member of the "Axis of Evil" during 36 years of hostility, are more used to exchanging insults than defending each other. The two foes cut diplomatic ties after Iranian revolutionaries seized 52 hostages in Tehran's U.S. embassy during the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Low-enriched uranium can be further enriched to make fissile material for an atomic bomb, and one of the main goals of any nuclear deal is to restrain Iran's production of it.
- Republican Christie criticizes high court's gay marriage ruling
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said on Sunday Supreme Court justices of his liking would not have legalized same-sex marriage and would have struck down a key provision of a national health care law. The two landmark rulings last month angered many conservative Americans and several Republican presidential candidates have condemned the decisions. Christie, who announced last week he was joining the Republican field in the 2016 presidential election, said the Supreme Court's justices were not conservative enough, and cited his record nominating state judges who oppose "meddling in the business of the executive and legislative branch." "If the Christie-type justices had been on that court in the majority, we would have won those cases in the Supreme Court rather than lost them," he told "Fox News Sunday" in an interview.
- Cruz presidential campaign says supporters donated $51 million
Republican Senator Ted Cruz and the outside groups supporting his presidential bid have raised more than $51 million in the three months since he launched his campaign for president, according to a statement from his campaign on Sunday. Cruz, who announced his candidacy on March 23 in a speech at the conservative school Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, has raised far less in donations directly to his campaign than his supporters have collected for the four outside spending groups supporting him. Cruz, the firebrand first-term senator from Texas, has 4 percent support in an average of polls on realclearpolitcs.com.
- Republican climate advocate makes big 2016 campaign gift By Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Republican entrepreneur seeking to push his party to fight climate change and support clean energy said on Sunday he has given his first big campaign gift to Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. Jay Faison, an audio tech executive who this year set up Clearpath, a foundation dedicated to explaining to Republicans the science behind climate change and business opportunities to fight carbon emissions, said he had given $500,000 to Ayotte, who was elected to the Senate in 2010. Faison, who gave the money to Ayotte's super PAC as a personal donation, said he hoped politicians like her would help push Republicans to adopt a new approach to climate change that "is really going to help the party in the end." Ayotte has shown a tendency to split with fellow Republicans on climate issues.
- As South Carolina debates Confederate flag, controversy spreads to other states that display it
- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley calls for removal of Confederate flag In a press conference Monday afternoon, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley joined those calling on state lawmakers to remove the Confederate flag from a war memorial on the state Capitol grounds. The announcement comes days after the massacre of nine members of Charleston's historic Emanuel church by alleged gunman Dylann Roof. Yahoo global news anchor Katie Couric hosted a live stream of Gov. Haley's address and was joined for discussion by Morris Dees, co-founder of Southern Poverty Law Center and Jon Ward, Yahoo Senior Political Correspondent.
- Uniquely Nasty: Original documents and White House recordings
- Uniquely Nasty: The blockbuster novel that haunted gay Washington
- Uniquely Nasty: Washington power broker Robert Gray’s ‘double life’
Despite being one of the most powerful men in DC, Gray confided that there was a time early in his career when he lived in mortal fear that J. Edgar Hoover would discover his biggest secret: that he was gay.
- Bowe Bergdahl Charged With Desertion, Could Face Life
American soldier and former Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl has been charged with desertion over his disappearance from an Afghan outpost in 2009 and could face life in confinement, the Army announced today. As part of the deal, the Taliban five were relocated to Qatar. After Bergdahl's dramatic return to the U.S., the Army launched an investigation into whether the soldier willfully left his post in Afghanistan before he was taken by the Taliban in 2009, as some Afghan war veterans alleged.
- Lawmakers to Question Top Officials about Controversial Visa Program for Wealthy Foreigners
Republicans in Congress voiced strong objections Tuesday in response to a scathing Homeland Security investigation that found a senior official appeared to give special treatment to politically-connected applicants when he ran a little-known federal program that offers visas to those who invest $500,000 in a job-creating business. U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the committee chairman, said he viewed the findings of the Homeland Security Inspector General “extremely concerning” and said he will hold hearings Thursday to determine if further investigation is needed. The Inspector General’s investigation focused on the leadership of Alejandro Mayorkas, who served as director of the immigration program known as EB-5, an obscure but increasingly popular method for obtaining highly-sought-after American Green Cards. In late 2013, Mayorkas was promoted by President Obama to Deputy Secretary of the department over objections from Republicans who had already begun to hear rumblings of problems with his handling of the immigration program.
- Bowe Bergdahl Charged With Desertion, Lawyer Says
- Greece enters uncharted territory after referendum 'no' vote
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece lurched into uncharted territory and an uncertain future in Europe's common currency Sunday after voters overwhelmingly rejected demands by international creditors for more austerity measures in exchange for a bailout of its bankrupt economy.
- Ted Cruz's 2016 campaign says its raised more than $14M
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ted Cruz's presidential campaign has raised more than $14 million since the Texas senator launched his bid for the Republican presidential nomination just over three months ago, his campaign said Sunday.
- Cruz, Huckabee go head-to-head for evangelical votes MILNER, Ga. (AP) — Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee went head-to-head for evangelical votes Sunday, telling a megachurch congregation in Georgia that God favors the United States but warning that the nation is on a perilous spiritual path because of actions like the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
- Clinton offers reassurance to gay youth in web posting
- The Latest: Final tally in Greece bailout referendum counted
- Supreme Court justices bolstered by free travel, royalties, rental income Nation's top jurists enjoyed free travel among other benefits
- 12 things to know about Jim Webb Virginia Democrat enters 2016 White House race
- Ohio legislature strikes back against pot legalization effort Ohio legislature approves new ballot measure to ban monopolies as retaliation against marijuana legalization effort.
- Iran nuclear talks 'could go either way' in final straight
Top ministers were due to meet Monday seeking to conclude an unprecedented nuclear deal with Iran, on the eve of a deadline aiming to draw the curtain on almost two years of high-stakes negotiations. After criss-crossing the world since September 2013 chasing a complex accord to cut off Iran's pathways to developing nuclear arms, exhausted world powers warned Tehran now was the time to strike an accord or walk away. US Secretary of State John Kerry, who met four times on Sunday with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad, acknowledged that at the eleventh hour the talks still "could go either way".
- Women's World Cup final - USA lead Japan 4-1 at half-time
- Fendi facing haute furore at Paris Fashion Week
With fashionistas baking in a mascara-melting heatwave and Italy's Fendi set to raise hackles with an all-fur collection, Paris Fashion Week, which began Sunday, may prove a tad too haute to handle. Five days of haute couture shows kicked off with Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko's first ever showing at Paris Fashion Week, with several of her models decked out in fur bonnets or a fur coat. French film icon and ardent animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot has already registered her disapproval by writing a letter to Choupette Lagerfeld, the designer's pampered feline companion.
- Powers warn Iran 'now is the time' for nuclear deal
Global powers upped the pressure on Iran late Sunday warning now was "the time" to strike an elusive deal curbing its nuclear ambitions, as the US said the fate of the talks hung in the balance. US Secretary of State John Kerry stressed that after almost two years of negotiations and on the ninth day of these latest talks in Vienna "genuine progress" had been made. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini arrived back in the Austrian capital with essentially the same message ahead of Tuesday's deadline for a comprehensive deal curtailing Iran's nuclear programme.
- Lion cubs relocated from impoverished Gaza to Jordan
Two lions cubs were on Sunday taken from a Gaza Strip refugee camp to Jordan, their former owner said, after their maintenance became too great a financial burden. The two lions were like children to us," Saadi Jamal said of the five-month old male and female big cats named Max and Mona. Jamal, a Palestinian Authority security employee who lives in the Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza and is a father to six, had planned to make some money by leasing the lions out to amusement parks, seaside resorts and restaurants.
- Morocco reporter on hunger strike in Geneva should return home: Rabat
A Moroccan journalist on hunger strike in Geneva, who was previously jailed for insulting the Moroccan king and is now being denied a passport, was told Sunday to return home to plead his case. "Morocco is a state of law," said Mohamed Aujjar, Morocco's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, insisting the journalist had "every right to contest the administrative decision" not to provide him with a certificate needed to renew his passport. "But you don't get your papers by staging a hunger strike," he told AFP.
- Syria army enters last rebel bastion by Lebanon border
Syrian government forces backed by fighters from Lebanon's Hezbollah entered the town of Zabadani on Sunday in a bid to take the last rebel-held bastion along the Lebanese border. Elsewhere, at least 30 people, including six civilians, were killed in some of the heaviest US-led air strikes yet on the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria. Syrian state television and Hezbollah's Al-Manar station announced the advance into Zabadani on Sunday, a day after a major operation against it began.
- Lagos store brings modern African luxury to Nigeria's rich
Take a sought-after architect, add the king of "new Africa cuisine" and a smattering of famous designers, and you get a concept-store in Lagos that seeks to bring modern African luxury to Nigeria's ultra-rich. The chaotic, cosmopolitan metropolis has largely failed to cater for its mega-rich minority despite a big appetite for high-end shopping and eating in a country that houses 11 of Africa's 50 biggest fortunes, according to Forbes magazine. Nestled in the heart of Lagos, the store does not attract droves of shoppers in a country where the vast majority still lives on less than $2 a day, but it already has its share of discreet regulars who rarely leave the building empty-handed.
- Polling opens in crucial Greece bailout referendum
Athens (AFP) - Polls opened Sunday for Greece's crucial referendum on whether or not to accept international creditors' conditions for a bailout, with the EU on tenterhooks for an outcome which could shape the bloc's future.
- Japan joins US-Australia war games amid China tensions
The United States and Australia kicked off a massive joint biennial military exercise on Sunday, with Japan taking part for the first time as tensions with China over territorial rows loom over the drills. The two-week "Talisman Sabre" exercise in the Northern Territory and Queensland state involves 30,000 personnel from the US and Australia practising operations at sea, in the air and on land. Some 40 personnel from Japan's army -- the Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) -- will join the American contingent, while more than 500 troops from New Zealand are also involved in the exercise, which concludes on July 21.
- China 'trying to hack into everything': Clinton
Hillary Clinton accused China of "trying to hack into everything that doesn't move in America" and stealing government information, in strongly worded comments likely to irk Beijing. Clinton, a former secretary of state who is making another tilt at the White House in 2016, pulled no punches in remarks to Democratic supporters at a campaign event in New Hampshire on Saturday. James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, said last month that China was the "leading suspect" in a massive breach affecting personal data of millions of US government employees.
- Kerry, Zarif race against the clock in Iran nuclear talks
US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart went face to face again Sunday with time running out to nail down a landmark nuclear deal in marathon talks in Vienna. Ahead of Tuesday's final deadline, there were signs that inside the neoclassical palace-turned-hotel hosting the past nine days of talks in a hot Vienna that the end may be in sight. The foreign ministers of France, Germany and Britain were expected back in the Austrian capital in the evening, followed possibly on Monday by their Russian and Chinese counterparts.
- French pride fizzes as UNESCO lists Champagne and Burgundy vineyards
The historic vineyards, wine cellars and champagne houses where the world's most famous sparkling wines are produced were listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO on Saturday. In a double victory for French wine, corks were also popping in Burgundy after its vineyards were crowned with the same prestigious distinction by the UN cultural body in the German city of Bonn. There was special mention too of the village of Hautvilliers, in whose abbey as legend has it the monk Dom Perignon first invented the double fermentation technique that gives champagne its fizz.
- French businesses hoping to beat the rush back into Iran
Since the start of tortuous nuclear negotiations with Iran, France has been seen as taking the toughest stand. "The first repercussions of any deal will be the opening of the Iranian market. After years of biting sanctions, countries are on the starting blocks ready to resume business with Iran, said one French economist.
- McCain denounces US troop withdrawal plan in Afghanistan
Influential senator John McCain said Saturday the complete withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016 would be a "serious mistake", as stretched local forces battle a resurgent Taliban. "I think the most serious mistake the US could make... would be to have a calendar-based withdrawal," McCain told a press conference at the NATO headquarters in Kabul. "That would be a tragedy and in my view an opening for the Taliban to gain great success in Afghanistan," the chairman of the powerful US Senate Committee on Armed Services added.
- Japan pledges $6.1 bn aid to 'Mekong Five' in bid for influence
Japan on Saturday pledged $6.1 billion in financial aid to the "Mekong Five" countries as it pushes infrastructure exports and courts influence in a region where rival China has an increasing presence. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled the pledge at a summit with his counterparts from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam -- fast-growing economies through which the lower section of the Mekong river flows. "Japan will implement support worth around 750 billion yen ($6.1 billion) in official development assistance for the next three years," Abe told a news conference following the seventh annual Japan-Mekong summit.
- Tomic rants at Tennis Australia 'neglect'
Australia's Bernard Tomic launched an extraordinary tirade at Tennis Australia on Friday, accusing the ruling body of neglecting him. Tomic was knocked out of Wimbledon by defending champion Novak Djokovic but most of his post-match news conference was consumed by a lengthy rant. "People think I'm at war with Pat Rafter.
- Mexico recovers over 9,000 stolen US visas
- Putin tells Obama US-Russia dialogue 'key to global stability'
In a message to his US counterpart Barack Obama on Independence Day in the United States, Putin said US-Russian relations were "the key factor in ensuring stability and security in the world, despite the differences" between the two countries. "Russia and the United States are able to find solutions for the most difficult international problems and effectively counter global threats and challenges," Putin said in a telegram, according to the Kremlin. Russia has used increasingly antagonistic rhetoric about the US since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, claiming that Western sanctions against Moscow over its alleged involvement in the hostilities are the result of US pressure on EU countries.
- Boko Haram kills nearly 200 in 48 hours of Nigeria slaughter
Boko Haram carried out a fresh wave of massacres in northeastern Nigeria on Friday, locals said, killing nearly 200 people in 48 hours of violence President Muhammadu Buhari blasted as "inhuman and barbaric". A young female suicide bomber also killed 12 worshippers when she blew herself up in a mosque in Borno. While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, Boko Haram has used both men and young women and girls as human bombs in the past.