U.S. Republican lawmaker resigns after sex scandal

 

U.S. Republican Congressman Tim Murphy has announced his resignation after his affair with a young woman came to light, official statement said on Friday.

“Upon further discussion with my family, I have made the decision to resign my position,’’ Murphy, an eight-term member of the House of Representatives, serving since 2003, said.

The statement came one day after the 65-year-old said he would not seek re-election to Congress at the end of his current term, which would terminate in 15 months.

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North Korea warns U.S. over sanctions, pushes ahead of UN vote

 

North Korea warned the U.S. on Monday that it would pay a “due price” for spearheading efforts for fresh sanctions on the regime following its latest nuclear test.

However, diplomats say the UN Security Council will vote on the issue later in the day.

But a U.S.-drafted resolution originally calling for an oil embargo on the North, a halt to its key exports of textiles and subjecting leader Kim Jong Un to a financial and travel ban appears to have been watered down to placate Russia and China, which both have veto powers, diplomats said.

It no longer proposes blacklisting Kim and relaxes sanctions earlier proposed on oil and gas, a draft reviewed by Reuters shows. It still proposes a ban on textile exports.

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Hackers gain entry into U.S., European energy sector

 

Advanced hackers have targeted U.S. and European energy companies, in a cyber-espionage campaign that has in some cases successfully broken into the core-systems that control the companies’ operations, according to researchers at the security firm Symantec.

Malicious email campaigns have been used to gain entry into organisations in the U.S., Turkey and Switzerland, and likely other countries well, Symantec said in a report published on Wednesday.

The cyber-attacks, which began in late 2015 but increased in frequency in April this year, are probably the work of a foreign government.

The attacks bear the hallmarks of a hacking group known as Dragonfly, Continue reading “Hackers gain entry into U.S., European energy sector”

U.S Supreme Court declares churches eligible for some public funds

Supreme Court church-state

The U.S Supreme Court ruled decisively Monday that religious institutions should be eligible to receive public funds for purely secular purposes.

Like, for instance, playgrounds.

The justices ruled 7-2 that Missouri stretched the constitutional separation of church and state too far by declaring a Lutheran church ineligible to receive a competitive state grant for playground resurfacing. The decision could have implications for as many as 39 states with constitutional provisions that block public funds from going to religious organizations.

Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

Even though the state’s denial of funds likely would lead only to “a few Continue reading “U.S Supreme Court declares churches eligible for some public funds”

U.S Supreme Court will hear religious liberty challenge to gay weddings

In washington The Supreme Court agreed Monday to reopen the national debate over same-sex marriage.

The court will hear a challenge from a Colorado baker who had lost lower court battles over his refusal to create a wedding cake for a gay couple. Like a New Mexico photographer three years ago, the baker cited his religious beliefs.

The case will be scheduled for the 2017 term that begins in October and most likely will be heard later in the fall.

The justices — who upheld same-sex marriage nationwide in a landmark 2015 ruling — apparently decided that despite state laws barring discrimination based on sexual orientation, the merchants’ obligation to Continue reading “U.S Supreme Court will hear religious liberty challenge to gay weddings”

U.S. warplane blasts Syrian drone from sky

AFP AFP_PQ7YJ I ACF AFG

A U.S. warplane on Tuesday shot down an armed drone linked to Syrian regime forces, the latest in a series of clashes between U.S.-backed forces and the regime of Bashar Assad that risks drawing American forces deeper into the conflict.

The drone, an Iranian-built Shaheed-129, was shot down by an F-15E Strike Eagle after it “displayed hostile intent and advanced on coalition forces,” the U.S. military said in a statement.

The incident occurred in the same vicinity as previous conflicts with pro-regime forces, near the combat outpost in At-Tanf, where a Continue reading “U.S. warplane blasts Syrian drone from sky”

Oil prices tumble amid U.S. Climate pact withdrawal

Crude oil extraction [Photo credit: Bloomberg]

Oil prices tumbled on Friday amid worries that United States’ President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon a climate pact could spark more crude drilling in the United States, US.

Analyst said the U.S’ decision may worsen global glut.

Brent crude tumbled below $50 Friday afternoon, heading for a second straight week of losses, while Benchmark Brent crude futures were off by 1.8 per cent at $49.73 per barrel, down 90 cents from the previous close.

On its part, the U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 84 cents to $47.54 per barrel, figures from Reuters show.

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U.S. says policy of ‘strategic patience’ with North Korea over

Rex Tillerson [Photo: The New Yorker]

The U.S. policy of strategic patience with North Korea has ended, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in South Korea on Friday, adding that military action would be “on the table” if North Korea elevated the threat level.

Mr. Tillerson began his first Asian visit as secretary of state in Japan on Wednesday and will travel to China on Saturday with a main focus on finding a “new approach” on North Korea after what he described as two decades of failed efforts to denuclearize the insular nation.

“Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended. We are exploring a new range of security and diplomatic measures.

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U.S. deploys attack drones to South Korea amid tension with North

U.S attack drones [Photo: Sputnik International]

The U.S. has started deploying attack drones to South Korea, a U.S. military spokesman said on Monday, days after it began to deploy an advanced anti-missile system to counter “continued provocative actions” by isolated North Korea.

U.S. Forces Korea spokesman Christopher Bush said in a statement that the drones, Gray Eagle Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) coming to South Korea are part of a broader plan to deploy a company of the attack drones with every division.

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U.S. House breaks with Obama, condemns UN resolution on Israeli settlements

Speaker of the House John Boehner addresses the 113th Congress in the Capitol in Washington January 3, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a resolution condemning a UN resolution last month on the expansion of Israeli settlements.

The vote on the House resolution was 342 in favour and 80 against, with four Democrats Continue reading “U.S. House breaks with Obama, condemns UN resolution on Israeli settlements”