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Sep 10, 2013

As Congress returns, competing U.S. rallies highlight Syria divide

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With a list of names, a stack of letters and a “Free Syria” pin on his lapel, Asaad Aref wandered the halls of Congress on Monday, trying to turn the tide in a debate that was not moving in his favor.

President Barack Obama’s request to authorize a military strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appeared to be losing traction in Congress, and the Obama administration seemed to be reconsidering the idea. Public opinion firmly opposed military action, and even Aref’s fellow Syrian Americans were divided.

Sep 8, 2013

Insight: Tax law fuels, then kills, a discount-tobacco industry

AUBURN, Washington (Reuters) – Jean and Larry Wood weren’t thinking about politics when they opened Butt’s Tobacco in a tidy strip mall south of Seattle in February 2011.

They weren’t aware that a federal children’s health law had inadvertently turbocharged their discount-cigarette business, and they didn’t know that a federal highway law soon would destroy it.

Sep 8, 2013

Tax law fuels, then kills, a discount-tobacco industry

AUBURN, Washington, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Jean and Larry Wood
weren’t thinking about politics when they opened Butt’s Tobacco
in a tidy strip mall south of Seattle in February 2011.

They weren’t aware that a federal children’s health law had
inadvertently turbocharged their discount-cigarette business,
and they didn’t know that a federal highway law soon would
destroy it.

Sep 3, 2013

U.S. public opposes Syria intervention as Obama presses Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has failed so far to convince most Americans that the United States should launch a limited military strike against Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.

Some 56 percent of those surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria, while only 19 percent supported action, the online poll found. Some 25 percent said they did not know what course of action the United States should take.

Aug 30, 2013

Most in U.S. still oppose Syria strike as Obama seeks action

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Most Americans still do not want to intervene in Syria’s civil war, although support for such action has increased since the suspected chemical gas attack near Damascus last week, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The poll made clear how much work President Barack Obama has to do to win support for military action from a war-weary public as he makes the case that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should be held responsible for the attack that the United States says killed more than 1,400 people.

Aug 24, 2013

Insight: Quietly, businesses help reshape U.S. immigration debate

HOUSTON (Reuters) – If Texas Representative Ted Poe was looking for reassurance that backing an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws won’t be political suicide for conservatives like him, he may have found it this week at a seafood restaurant on the outskirts of Houston.

During a roundtable discussion, several business executives told the five-term Republican that they can’t find enough Americans willing to cook fajitas, repair sidewalks and perform other types of unglamorous work that keeps the fourth-largest U.S. city humming. A more robust guest-worker program would help, they said.

Jul 8, 2013

Insight: Congress keeps detention quota despite immigration debate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As Congress weighs sweeping changes to the U.S. immigration system, one thing is unlikely to change: a requirement that the government lock up more undocumented immigrants than it says is necessary.

Despite tight budgets and declining illegal immigration, Congress requires the Department of Homeland Security to hold about 34,000 people a day in centers for detainees facing possible deportation. That’s at least 2,000 more than the Obama administration says is necessary, representing an added cost of about $132 million a year, critics say.

Jun 25, 2013

Questions turn to U.S. competence in Snowden saga

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration has spent the past few weeks arguing it can wield power responsibly after Edward Snowden unveiled its sweeping spying programs. Now the administration must prove it can wield power effectively.

As the 30-year-old leads the world’s lone superpower on a global game of hide and seek, U.S. government officials faced questions about whether they had botched the effort to extradite Snowden from Hong Kong to face charges related to his leak of classified information.

Jun 25, 2013

Analysis: Questions turn to U.S. competence in Snowden saga

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration has spent the past few weeks arguing it can wield power responsibly after Edward Snowden unveiled its sweeping spying programs. Now the administration must prove it can wield power effectively.

As the 30-year-old leads the world’s lone superpower on a global game of hide and seek, U.S. government officials faced questions about whether they had botched the effort to extradite Snowden from Hong Kong to face charges related to his leak of classified information.

Jun 13, 2013

More Americans see man who leaked NSA secrets as ‘patriot’ than traitor”: Reuters/Ipsos poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Roughly one in three Americans say the former security contractor who leaked details of top-secret U.S. surveillance activity is a patriot and should not be prosecuted, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.

Some 23 percent of those surveyed said former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is a traitor while 31 percent said he is a patriot. Another 46 percent said they did not know.

    • About Andy

      "As a politics and general-news correspondent, I’ve covered four budget crises, three presidential elections, two hurricanes and one exploding bridge since joining Reuters in 2000. One of my stories in the 2012 election inspired a spoof on “Saturday Night Life.” I’m a native of Cape Elizabeth, Maine and in my free time I play guitar in several rock bands around Washington, D.C."
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