3 July 2015

All sides making 'genuine effort' for Iran deal: US

US Secretary of State John Kerry Friday praised a "genuine effort" by all sides negotiating a nuclear accord with Iran to get the deal done as a new deadline loomsUS Secretary of State John Kerry Friday praised a "genuine effort" by all sides negotiating a nuclear accord with Iran to get the deal done as a new deadline looms. "We have some tough issues, but there's been a genuine effort by everybody to be serious about this and to understand the time constraints that we're working under," Kerry said as he began a new round of talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. Many of the ministers from the global powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- negotiating a deal to put a nuclear bomb out of Iran's reach are due back in Vienna on Sunday ahead of Tuesday's new deadline for an accord.


3 July 2015

Who's John Jay? Scholars urge new look at forgotten founder

This circa 1933 photo made available by the Library of Congress shows the John Jay House in Katonah, N.Y. Like a proper gentleman of his time, Jay settled peacefully in the country, having long dreamed of retirement with his wife, Sarah. In an early letter to her, dated July 21, 1776, when his work on behalf of independence had kept them apart, he expressed "a kind of Confidence or Pre Sentiment that we shall yet enjoy many good Days together, and I indulge myself in imaginary Scenes of Happiness which I expect in a few Years to be realized. But Sarah fell ill and died in 1802, within months of their move. Devastated at first but sustained by his religion, Jay looked after his farm, advocated for education for blacks and became president of the American Bible Society. (Historic American Buildings Survey/Library of Congress via AP)KATONAH, N.Y. (AP) — The inner circle of founders has been set for as long as anyone can remember — Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hamilton and Madison.


3 July 2015

New York governor orders more July Fourth security after alert

New York Governor Cuomo speaks during a "Raise the Wage" rally in New York(Reuters) - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday ordered heightened security measures across the state over the U.S. July Fourth holiday weekend in response to a call for vigilance by the federal government. "We are keenly aware that New York State remains a top target for terrorists," Cuomo said in a statement. The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have issued an alert calling for local authorities and the public to remain vigilant for possible threats following recent calls for violence by Islamic State militants.


3 July 2015

How Obama reversed course on federal college ratings

President Barack Obama arrives to speak at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, in La Crosse, Wis., Thursday, July 2, 2015, about the economy and to promote a proposed Labor Department rule that would make more workers eligible for overtime. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama dearly wanted to get the government in the business of rating colleges and universities based on value and affordability, promising a new system by 2015. Now that goal is shriveling under the weight of a concerted opposition from universities, lawmakers and bureaucrats in Obama's own administration.


3 July 2015

In under two days, Boko Haram kills nearly 170 in NE Nigeria

A video image of the Boko Haram extremist group leader Abubakar Shekau dismissing Nigerian military claims of his death in 2014Boko Haram waged fresh attacks in northeastern Nigeria, locals said Friday, bringing to nearly 170 the number of people killed this week in 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 and 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. "President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the latest wave of killings by Boko Haram in Borno state, describing them as most inhuman and barbaric," the presidency said in a statement.


3 July 2015

France refuses Assange's 'request' for asylum

A supporter of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange rallies outside the Ecuadorian embassy in LondonThe French government, reacting to a letter from Julian Assange, said Friday it would not give the WikiLeaks founder asylum, only for his lawyers to claim he had never sought it in the first place. "France cannot act on his request," President Francois Hollande's office said in a statement, responding to a letter from Assange that was widely interpreted as asking for asylum. "The situation of Mr Assange does not present an immediate danger.


3 July 2015

Hispanic leaders want GOP field to condemn Trump's 'idiocy'

Vicente Mayorga, left, holds a sign next to Dominican immigrant Angela Lopez, front center, of Long Island, N.Y., as she stands with her sons Gabriel, left, and Adrian in front of Macy's Herald Square flagship store, Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in New York. Lopez and Mayorga joined other immigrants and politicians in calling on corporations and businesses to boycott presidential candidate Donald Trump after his remarks about Mexican immigrants. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)WASHINGTON (AP) — Hispanic leaders are bristling at the largely tepid response by Republican presidential candidates to Donald Trump's characterization of Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers.


3 July 2015

Obama to host head of Vietnam communist party

Vietnam Communist Party's Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong (pictured centre) will meet US President Barack Obama at the White House next weekThe head of Vietnam's Communist Party will make a first-ever visit to the White House next week, meeting President Barack Obama on the 40th anniversary of the end of the war between the two nations. The landmark trip underscores strengthening ties between the former wartime enemies amid regional maritime tensions involving China. Nguyen Phu Trong will become the first General Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party to visit the United States and the White House, diplomats and officials said.


3 July 2015

In Supreme Court term, Obama wins big and loses small

Supporters of gay marriage rally after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marryBy Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's administration was unexpectedly on the winning side in nearly all the close, politically significant Supreme Court cases decided in the term that ended this week, including blockbuster rulings on Obamacare and gay marriage. The run of victories ran counter to the administration's recent mixed record. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, the Democratic administration's top Supreme Court advocate, and his team of Justice Department lawyers successfully defended Obama's signature healthcare law from a conservative legal challenge and argued on the winning side of the court's ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide.


3 July 2015

Vietnam Communist Party chief to meet Obama on landmark U.S. trip

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Vietnam's Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong talk at the party's headquarters in HanoiBy Martin Petty and Lesley Wroughton HANOI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vietnam's Communist Party chief will visit the United States next week in a landmark trip that could prove pivotal in Washington's bid to bolster its Asian alliances in the back yard of an increasingly assertive China. Nguyen Phu Trong will meet U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House as the former war enemies mark two decades of calibrated engagement since the normalization of ties that have expanded rapidly in the past year.