• Visitors gather around President Barack Obama, center, during his visit to Arlington on Memorial Day 2013. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)The war in Iraq is over, everybody knows that. “I promised to end the war in Iraq—and I did” was one of President Barack Obama’s best-received stump speech applause lines last year.

    Except it’s not. First, most obviously, because bombings and other acts of violence have killed more than 2,000 people there this year, as detailed in this amazing Agence France-Presse analysis. Pressed on that point last year by Yahoo News, White House press secretary Jay Carney said: "The president promised to responsibly end our war in Iraq, the United States military operation in Iraq. He did that and our troops came home."

    Except that "our war" isn't technically over either: The "Authorization for Use of Military Force" in Iraq, signed into law on Oct. 16, 2002, is still the law of the land. (H/t to independent national-security writer Marcy Wheeler, who follows this issue—and many others—closely.)

    Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is expected to offer legislation this year to repeal the Iraq AUMF.

    Read More »from Congress struggles with ending the war in Afghanistan … and in Iraq?
  • White House doesn’t have ‘figure on costs’ of Africa trip

    Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the president's birthplace.

    President Barack Obama makes the first extended trip to Africa of his presidency next week—but he won't be stopping in his ancestral homeland.

    Obama's weeklong trip—June 26-July 3—which he's taking with his wife, Michelle, and daughters Sasha and Malia, as well as with members of his economic and trade team, is to signal America's interest in trade, democracy and economic development in Africa. He will visit Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.

    "We see Africa as one of the most important emerging regions in the world," deputy national security adviser for strategic communications Ben Rhodes told reporters on a conference call Friday. He added that the administration sees "growing economic opportunities [in the continent] for increased trade and investment" by U.S. businesses.

    The trip will also focus on "democracy and democratic institution-building," Rhodes said.

    Rhodes acknowledged the

    Read More »from White House doesn’t have ‘figure on costs’ of Africa trip
  • The top 9,486 ways Jay Carney won’t answer your questions (interactive)

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    Jay Carney doesn’t have an answer for that. He hasn’t discussed that subject with the president. He will refer you to the Department of [insert agency here]. He refuses to speculate on that. He’ll have to get back to you.

    But he appreciates the question.

    A Yahoo News analysis of the 444 briefings through June 18 that Carney has held since becoming White House press secretary has identified 13 distinct strains in the way he dodges reporters' question. Since Carney held his first daily briefing with reporters in the White House Brady Press Briefing Room on Feb. 16, 2011, for example, he’s used some variation of "I don’t have the answer" more than 1,900 times. In 1,383 cases he referred a question to someone else. But will he at least speculate on hypotheticals? No. In fact, he has refused to do so 525 times.

    In the following interactive, you can browse all 9,486 of Carney’s most-used responses and verbal crutches.

    The main function of a White House press secretary is to shape messaging

    Read More »from The top 9,486 ways Jay Carney won’t answer your questions (interactive)

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  • Stolen race car found on rural US roadside
    Stolen race car found on rural US roadside

    Police recovered a stolen race car on a rural roadside north of Atlanta on Saturday morning, a day after it was swiped from a stock car team's hotel parking lot. Team Xtreme Racing confirmed the recovery of its number 44 entry in the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), the closed-cockpit series that is America's most popular form of motor racing. Also missing was a spare race engine and other car equipment that had been in the trailer along with the car. "So Happy to have 'old faithful' back," Team Xtreme posted on Twitter.

  • Awesome Federer floors Djokovic in straight sets
    Awesome Federer floors Djokovic in straight sets

    By Matt Smith DUBAI (Reuters) - Roger Federer's enduring class shone through again as the Swiss maestro beat world number one Novak Djokovic 6-3 7-5 to win the Dubai Championships for a seventh time on Saturday. The 33-year-old's serve is the least praised of his repertoire but it was his awesome delivery that blunted Djokovic's baseline game, taking his career ace haul past the 9,000 barrier with 12 more, several at vital moments. The match, the 37th in their rivalry which Federer now leads 20-17, proved to be a tale of chances taken and chances missed -- Federer converting his two break points with clinical efficiency, while Djokovic failed on all seven of his. I definitely won the big points tonight." Djokovic had two set points to level the match in the second set but both times Federer was rescued by his serve.

  • Keshi says Nigeria offered him 'slave contract'
    Keshi says Nigeria offered him 'slave contract'

    Coach Stephen Keshi has said a new deal offered to him by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)amounts to a "slave contract". A debate has raged whether 52-year-old Keshi should be given a new contract after he failed to qualify the Super Eagles for the recent Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea. His initial contract of three years ran out after last year's World Cup in Brazil, where Nigeria reached the last 16 knockout stages. After a long wait, Keshi, who triumphed with Nigeria at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, said he had received his new contract from the NFF but had been far from impressed with what was on offer.

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