Exclusive: U.S. sanctions Venezuelan officials to pressure Maduro – sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration imposed sanctions on 13 senior officials of Venezuela’s government, military and state oil company PDVSA on Wednesday, U.S. officials said, seeking to ratchet up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to scrap plans for a controversial new congress. Syndicated from Reuters

Russia, EU bristle at proposed new U.S. sanctions on Moscow, warn of action

MOSCOW/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russia warned it was edging closer to retaliation against Washington after the House of Representatives backed new U.S. sanctions on Moscow, while the European Union said the move might affect its energy security and it stood ready to act too. Syndicated from Reuters

Obamacare repeal battle back on the Senate floor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After a months-long struggle, Republicans have succeeded in bringing Obamacare repeal legislation, a centerpiece of their 2016 election campaigns, to a debate on the U.S. Senate floor. Now the hard part begins. Syndicated from Reuters

In Ohio, a struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party is playing out

LOWELLVILLE, Ohio (Reuters) – On a sweltering evening in a rural corner of Ohio, the struggle for the soul and identity of the Democratic Party is playing out over wine, meatballs and recriminations about Hillary Clinton’s defeat in last year’s presidential election. Syndicated from Reuters

Moscow warns new U.S. sanctions take ties into uncharted waters

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia warned on Wednesday that new U.S. sanctions against Moscow approved by the House of Representatives take already battered ties into uncharted waters and said it was close to taking retaliatory measures of its own. Syndicated from Reuters

Aleppo's limping recovery shows limits of battered Syrian state

ALEPPO, Syria (Reuters) – In eastern Aleppo, bodies still lie under the rubble, graveyards are full, people are short of electricity and bread, and some children take classes in mosques because their schools have been ruined by war. Syndicated from Reuters

Fed expected to leave rates unchanged; balance sheet in focus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve is expected to hold interest rates unchanged on Wednesday and possibly hint that it will start winding down its massive holdings of bonds as soon as September in what would be a vote of confidence in the U.S. economy. Syndicated from Reuters

U.S. energy secretary duped into fake interview with Russian comedians

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry optimistically discussed expanding American coal exports to Ukraine and other energy matters during a lengthy phone call this month with a Russian prankster who Perry thought was Ukraine’s prime minister. Syndicated from Reuters

Texas Senate votes to curb transgender access to public bathrooms

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The Republican-controlled Texas Senate gave preliminary approval on Tuesday to a bill that restricts bathroom access for transgender people, endorsing a piece of legislation denounced by civil liberties advocates as discriminatory. Syndicated from Reuters

'Simpsons' creator heads to Netflix with adult comedy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening is swapping Springfield for a medieval kingdom in a new animated adult comedy series called “Disenchantment” for Netflix, the streaming platform said on Tuesday. Syndicated from Reuters

Trump warns 'emboldened' Iran to comply with nuclear deal

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump issued a veiled threat against Iran on Tuesday, warning Tehran to adhere to the terms of a nuclear deal with world powers or else face “big, big problems.” Syndicated from Reuters

Wisconsin company offers employees microchip implants

(Reuters) – A Wisconsin vending machine company is offering its employees a chance to have a microchip implanted in their hands that they could use to buy snacks, log in to computers or use the copy machine. Syndicated from Reuters

Senate panel rescinds subpoena for Trump's ex-campaign head: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate panel has rescinded a subpoena that would have forced Paul Manafort, a former campaign manager of President Donald Trump, to appear at a hearing on Wednesday as part of its probe into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election. Syndicated from Reuters