White House correspondent
Laura's Feed
Oct 7, 2011

After WikiLeaks, U.S. tries to shield classified data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government on Friday announced steps to clamp down on who can access classified information, seeking to avert another WikiLeaks-scale breach of military documents and diplomatic cables.

The presidential order requires U.S. agencies to appoint senior people to prevent and detect breaches and creates a task force to monitor potential wrongdoing by government officials, bureaucrats, diplomats or soldiers handling classified data.

Oct 5, 2011

Republicans urge incentives for cybersecurity

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Republican task force in the U.S. House of Representatives said Congress should give companies incentives to boost their cyber defenses, but that tougher regulation may be warranted to protect critical facilities like power and water plants.

Recommendations in the report, which was released on Wednesday, can “reasonably be acted upon during this Congress,” which ends in January 2013, said the task force of 12 Republicans headed by Representative Mac Thornberry.

Oct 4, 2011

Obama challenges Congress to vote on jobs bill

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama challenged Republican leaders in Congress on Tuesday to put his entire $447 billion jobs plan to a vote, rather than breaking it up, to show where each lawmaker stands.

Obama, seeking re-election in 2012, sent long-delayed bills for free trade pacts with South Korea, Colombia and Panama to a seemingly receptive Congress on Monday but the mood in Washington has otherwise been fractious as his jobs package comes apart at the seams.

Oct 3, 2011

Obama’s jobs bill in trouble in Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s job-creation package effectively fell to pieces Monday as a top Republican lawmaker said the House of Representatives will only pass portions of the $447 billion measure.

Monday’s developments made plain what many analysts have believed for weeks — that Washington is too divided to take any significant steps to lower the 9.1 percent unemployment rate before the 2012 congressional and presidential elections.

Sep 22, 2011

Obama seeks to ease doubts on global leadership

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – President Barack Obama sought to ease doubts about his leadership on the world stage on Wednesday as he confronted a looming diplomatic crisis in the Middle East and hailed popular Arab revolts.

Obama attempted to reassert his credentials as a world statesman in an address inside the cavernous U.N. General Assembly hall even as he grappled with high unemployment and low poll numbers at home that threaten his re-election bid.

Sep 21, 2011

Obama rejects Palestinian U.N. statehood bid

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday rejected Palestinian plans to seek U.N. blessing for statehood and urged a return to peace talks with Israel as he tried to head off a looming diplomatic disaster.

Addressing the U.N. General Assembly, Obama — whose earlier peace efforts accomplished little — insisted Middle East peace “will not come through statements and resolutions” at the world body and put the onus on the two sides to break a yearlong impasse.

Sep 21, 2011

Obama seeks to save Mideast policy from U.N. debacle

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – President Barack Obama pressed Israel and the Palestinians on Wednesday to relaunch peace talks as he made a last-ditch attempt to avert a U.N. crisis over Palestinian statehood and pull his Middle East policy back from the brink of diplomatic disaster.

Addressing world leaders at the opening of a U.N. General Assembly session, Obama — whose earlier peace initiatives accomplished little — put the onus on the two sides to break a yearlong impasse and get back to the negotiating table.

Sep 20, 2011

Obama, Erdogan seek common ground on Middle East

NEW YORK (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan sought common ground on counterterrorism and Middle East policy on Tuesday even as Washington pressed Ankara to ease tensions with close U.S. ally Israel.

Their talks on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly came as a showdown loomed this week over Palestinian statehood at the world body, another source of rising tensions in a region in political upheaval.

Sep 20, 2011

Libya gets U.N. welcome, pledges of support

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Libya’s new flag flew at the United Nations on Tuesday for the first time since Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow as President Barack Obama called for the last of the deposed leader’s loyalists to stop fighting.

International leaders at a high-level U.N. conference on Libya congratulated Libyans — and themselves — for Gaddafi’s removal by NATO-backed rebels in a seven-month-old conflict.

Sep 20, 2011

Obama urges Gaddafi forces to give up, vows Libya aid

NEW YORK (Reuters) – President Barack Obama called on Tuesday for the last of Muammar Gaddafi’s loyalist forces to lay down their arms as he announced the return of the U.S. ambassador to Tripoli and pledged to help Libya rebuild.

“Today, the Libyan people are writing a new chapter in the life of their nation,” Obama said in prepared remarks for a high-level U.N. conference on Libya. “We will stand with you in your struggle to realize the peace and prosperity that freedom can bring.”

    • About Laura

      "Laura MacInnis covers the White House for Reuters. She previously spent five years in Switzerland reporting on diplomacy, banking and energy trading, and before that covered U.S. economic and regulatory issues as a Treasury Department and Securities and Exchange Commission reporter in Washington."
    • Follow Laura