Obama wants bailout for states
WASHINGTON, June 13 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama says he wants Congress to approve a $50 billion aid package for state and local governments.
The president has written to congressional leaders saying the money is needed to avoid "massive layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters" while the economy recovers, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
In the letter, the president makes a direct and unequivocal case for "targeted investments" that include state aid and several initiatives aimed at small businesses, the Post says
He specifically calls for passage of a measure extending unemployment benefits and providing aid to states that would increase the budget deficit by nearly $80 billion over the next decade.
Last month, the House stripped Obama's request for $24 billion in state aid to avert teacher layoffs from a bill extending emergency benefits to jobless workers.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., hopes to restore funds for teachers when debate on a jobless bill resumes in the Senate this week.
State of emergency extended in Kyrgyzstan
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, June 13 (UPI) -- Kyrgyzstan's interim government has extended a state of emergency after ethnic violence spread to cities in the Jalalabad Region, government officials said.
At least 82 people have been killed and more than 1,000 injured in ethnic rioting in the country's second-largest city of Osh and the southern city of Jalalabad, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports.
Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbek groups have been setting cars on fire and looting stores in the two cities as they rampaged through the streets.
A state of emergency was declared on Friday for the city of Osh and the four districts in the region.
Saturday, the city of Jalalabad and the Suzak district of the Jalalabad Region were added.
The latest decree extends the state of emergency until June 22 and also imposes an overnight curfew from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m.
Report says Pakistan aiding the Taliban
LONDON, June 13 (UPI) -- Pakistani intelligence is funding, training and providing sanctuary to the Afghan Taliban on a scale much larger than previously thought, a new report says.
The report by the London School of Economics says backing the Taliban is actually the "official" policy of Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI, the BBC reported Sunday.
"This goes far beyond just limited, or occasional support," report author Matt Waldman said. "We're also saying this is official policy of that agency, and we're saying that it is very extensive."
To prepare the report, Waldman said he interviewed Taliban field commanders who corroborated the ISI's involvement.
Input was also provided by a Western analyst and a senior United Nations official based in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Pakistan has long been accused of using the Taliban to further its foreign policy interests in Afghanistan.
The report comes at the end of one of the deadliest weeks for NATO troops in Afghanistan with more than 30 forces killed.
Slovakian PM to form new government
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia, June 13 (UPI) -- Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico's Smer Party won the most seats in parliament in Saturday's elections but he may have trouble holding power, results show.
The Slovak Spectator reported that with about 70 percent of the precincts counted Smer had 36.1 percent of the vote, giving the party 64 seats in parliament. The Statistics Office of the Slovak Republic said the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union, or SDKU, had 15.1 percent with 27 seats, the Freedom and Solidarity Party, or SaS, had 12.2 percent with 22 seats and the Christian Democratic Movement, or KDH, had 8.9 percent with 16 seats.
Also above the 5 percent threshold for parliamentary representation were Most-Hid at 7 percent and 12 seats, and the Slovak National Party at 5.2 percent and nine seats.
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia at 4.36 percent and Hungarian Coalition Party at 3.57 percent were falling short of the minimum standard.
While a pairing of Smer and the Slovak National Party would produce 73 seats, a coalition of SDKU, KDH, SaS and Most-Hid would have 77 seats in parliament.