• The National Republican Senatorial Committee plans to use the special Senate election in Massachusetts later this month as a testing ground for a new Get-Out-The-Vote app on Facebook that will make it easier for supporters to target friends who live in the state and encourage them to go to the polls.

    The race pits Republican candidate Gabriel Gomez against Democratic Rep. Ed Markey on June 25 to fill the seat vacated by Democrat John Kerry, who left the Senate earlier this year to become secretary of state.

    Here's how it works: Facebook users who connect with the app will see a screen showing an auto-generated list of their friends from Massachusetts, with text that asks these friends to support Gomez in the special election. They will also be able to send personal messages.

    Users will then be given the choice to share this image and Web page on their friends' walls or through private messages.

    One of the biggest challenges for parties in special elections is to remind—and

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  • White House: U.S. to give Syria rebels military aid after chemical attacks

    In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 file photo, a man carries a boy who was severely wounded during heavy fighting between Syrian rebels and Syrian Army forces in Idlib, north Syria. Syria's upwardly spiraling violence has resulted in the confirmed killings of almost 93,000 people, the United Nations' human rights office said Thursday but acknowledged the real number is likely to be far higher. (Rodrigo Abd/AP)

    In a sharp escalation of the U.S. role in Syria's bloody civil war, the White House announced late Thursday that it will provide military aid to rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad after confirming that his government used chemical weapons against the opposition.

    Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes told reporters on a conference call that President Barack Obama had heard pleas from Syria's rebel Supreme Military Council (SMC) for more help. "Our aim is to be responsive," Rhodes said, underlining that the new assistance would have "direct military purposes."

    Rhodes brushed aside repeated questions about whether this meant Washington would now start providing weapons to the rebels, insisting he could not give an "inventory" of the aid. But while he never explicitly confirmed that Obama had decided to to arm the opposition, he left little doubt about Washington's new course of action.

    "The president has made a decision about providing

    Read More »from White House: U.S. to give Syria rebels military aid after chemical attacks
  • King complained about an immigration protest. (Twitter)

    Rep. Steve King, a Republican from Iowa and the House's leading immigration hawk, complained Thursday about young immigrants who had shown up to protest his bill that would defund President Barack Obama's deferred action program.

    King wrote on Twitter that "20 brazen self professed illegal aliens have invaded my DC office. Obama's lawless order gives them de facto immunity from U.S. law."

    The congressman sponsored a measure to defund Obama's 2012 executive action that gave young unauthorized immigrants relief from deportation and a work permit if they attend or graduate high school and have no criminal record. The amendment to quash the program passed the Republican-controlled House last week, but is all but certain never to make it out of the Senate.

    The Senate is currently debating a sweeping immigration reform bill that would legalize millions of immigrants, and the House's vote on deferred action was seen as a parting shot on the issue. King asked two of the main champions of the

    Read More »from Rep. Steve King: ‘Illegal aliens’ invaded my office

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  • McIlroy shocked by Love's appointment as U.S. captain

    By Bernie McGuire PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida (Reuters) - World number one Rory McIlroy was "shocked" at the appointment of Davis Love 111 as 2016 United States Ryder Cup captain. McIlroy is returning to competition at this week’s Honda Classic and teeing up for a first time this year on American soil following a three-week break since winning the Dubai Desert Classic. Northern Ireland's McIlroy, a triple European Ryder Cup-winning team member and four-times major champion, was asked about his reaction to the appointment of Love.  "It came as a big shock when they announced yesterday Davis was going to be the next U.S. captain," McIlroy told reporters. “It will be great to see Davis and (European captain) Darren (Clarke) go head-to-head at Hazeltine and they will be formidable opponents.

  • Dallas Cowboys' Dez Bryant linked to incident at Walmart parking lot

    By Lisa Maria Garza and Jon Herskovitz DALLAS (Reuters) - Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was questioned by police at the scene of a 2011 incident in which a witness reported that Bryant's girlfriend was dragged by an unidentified man across a Texas Walmart parking lot, according to police documents. Neither Bryant or the Cowboys have commented on the report that was released as the National Football League has been rocked by a series of highly publicized domestic violence incidents among players including Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. In the 2011 incident in Texas, a Walmart security guard told police a person reported to him that a black man dragged Bryant's girlfriend Ilyne Nash from a white Mercedes, which was registered to Bryant, and across the parking lot.

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