US Senate ratifies nuclear pact in a win for Obama

WASHINGTON — The US Senate on Wednesday ratified an arms control treaty with Russia that reins in the nuclear weapons that could plunge the world into doomsday, giving US President Barack Obama a major foreign policy win in the closing hours of the post-election Congress.
Thirteen Republicans broke with their top two leaders and joined 56 Democrats and two independent in providing the necessary two-thirds vote to approve the treaty. The vote was 71-26.
The accord, which still must be approved by Russia, would restart onsite weapons inspections as successors to former President Ronald Reagan have embraced his edict of "trust, but verify."
US Vice President Joe Biden presided over the Senate and announced the vote. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton observed the vote from the Senate floor. Both had lobbied vigorously for the treaty's approval.