Republican Presidential Hopefuls Woo the Party Faithful in Iowa
Eleven U.S. Republican presidential contenders gathered in Iowa on Saturday to appeal to party activists on why they should get the party's 2016 presidential nomination.
The forum was sponsored by the Iowa Republican Party and was dominated by discussions of Iran, Islam and the unrest in the Middle East, with several candidates calling for a tougher stance against Tehran and more attacks on Islamic State insurgents.
The prospective candidates called for a stronger American presence in the world but differed on just how tough the U.S. should be on its enemies.
Former Senator Rick Santorum's answer for handling Iran was to "load up our bombers and bomb them back to the seventh century." But Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a libertarian Republican, questioned whether the 2003 invasion of Iraq was worth it, considering the more recent rise of the Islamic State.
Other Republicans blamed the rise of the Islamic State on Democratic President Barack Obama for not leaving a post-war force in Iraq after the U.S. troop withdrawal at the end of 2011. Several of the prospective candidates accused Mr. Obama of not taking the threat of Islamic militants seriously.
One leading Republican contender, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, is viewed by many Republicans as a political moderate compared to others seeking the party's presidential nomination. But he assured the Iowa activists that he governed his state as a conservative.
Coalition Airstrikes Resume as Yemen Cease-Fire Ends
The Saudi-led coalition has resumed airstrikes against Shi'ite rebels in Yemen after the end of a five-day humanitarian cease-fire.
The cease-fire expired late Sunday and the coalition airstrikes hit rebel positions in the southern port city of Aden.
Since late March, the coalition has been bombing Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen who had seized Sana'a.
Earlier Sunday, Yemeni political leaders met in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, to discuss a negotiated settlement to the ongoing conflict. No representative of the Houthi rebel group attended.
The Houthis have rejected the main aim of the three-day talks -- the restoration of Yemen's internationally recognized President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi.
Mr. Hadi told the conference attendees that the Yemeni people await stability, which can only come if the country's legitimate government and its institutions are restored and the Houthi rebels are disarmed. He denounced the group's power grab last year after a national political power-sharing agreement had been reached.
The United Nations says more than 1,500 people have been killed, 6,200 wounded and 450,000 have become displaced in the Yemen conflict.