Military chiefs urge against ending gay ban

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Military chiefs told the Senate on Friday they opposed ending the armed forces’ ban on gays anytime soon, urging caution over President Barack Obama’s effort to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Read more

Russia says leaked cables show U.S. cynicism

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (Reuters) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday said leaked embassy cables showed the “cynicism” of U.S. diplomacy but suggested they would not seriously upset improving ties with Washington. Read more

Clinton says U.S. still working on Mideast talks

MANAMA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday the United States was still working to relaunch Middle East peace talks despite the Palestinian assessment that negotiations with Israel had collapsed. Read more

Congress votes to avert government shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congress on Thursday extended soon-to-expire funding for the federal government for another two weeks, giving Democrats time to craft a more lasting solution. Read more

House votes to censure Rangel on ethics charges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives censured veteran Democrat Charles Rangel for ethics violations on Thursday, forcing the former chief tax writer to face a humiliating public rebuke before his colleagues. Read more

Deficit-cutting plan stumbles in uphill climb

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bold plan to slash the U.S. budget deficit appeared on Thursday to be falling short of the support needed from members of a presidential commission to trigger congressional action. Read more

China’s U.N. influence rising, West should be careful: institute

SYDNEY (Reuters) – China’s engagement with the United Nations is on the rise as its economic power grows, but the West should be cautious with calls for it to act as a responsible world leader, as Beijing’s goals may not be the same as the West’s, said a new report on Friday. Read more

Lawmakers meet Fed’s Hoenig, discuss mandate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican lawmakers on Thursday met with a senior Federal Reserve official who opposes the central bank’s easy money policies to discuss stripping the Fed of its task of ensuring full employment. Read more

House sends $4.5 billion school-lunch bill to Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives passed on Thursday and sent to President Barack Obama a bill that boosts funding for the school lunch program by $4.5 billion through 2020 and bans “junk” food from school buildings. Read more