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Jun 29, 2013

Obama pledges to help Africa, pays tribute to Mandela

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute to anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela as he flew to South Africa on Friday but played down expectations of a meeting with the ailing black leader during an Africa tour promoting democracy and food security.

White House officials hope Obama’s three-nation tour of Africa – his first substantial visit to the continent since taking office in 2009 – will compensate for what some view as years of neglect by America’s first black president.

Jun 28, 2013

Obama sees “moral imperative” to help feed Africa

DAKAR (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, wrapping up the first leg of an African tour, said on Friday Washington had a “moral imperative” to help the world’s poorest continent feed itself and he then left for South Africa hoping to see ailing Nelson Mandela.

White House officials hope Obama’s three-nation tour of Africa – his first substantial visit to the continent since taking office in 2009 – will compensate for what some view as years of neglect by America’s first black president.

Jun 28, 2013

Obama heads to South Africa with Mandela on his mind

DAKAR (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama heads to South Africa on Friday hoping to see ailing icon Nelson Mandela, after wrapping up a visit to Senegal that focused on improving food security and promoting democratic institutions.

Obama is in the middle of a three-country tour of Africa that the White House hopes will compensate for what some view as years of neglect by the administration of America’s first black president.

Jun 27, 2013

Obama jabs Russia, China on failure to extradite Snowden

DAKAR (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday he would not start “wheeling and dealing” with China and Russia over a U.S. request to extradite former American spy agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Obama, who appeared concerned that the case would overshadow a three-country tour of Africa that he began in Senegal, also dismissed suggestions that the United States might try to intercept Snowden if he were allowed to depart Moscow by air.

Jun 27, 2013

Obama starts long awaited Africa tour at slave port

DAKAR, Senegal (Reuters) – Almost four centuries after Africans started being shipped to North America as slaves, the first U.S. president of African ancestry will on Thursday visit an infamous embarkation point for those destined for lives in chains.

In his first – and, many Africans say, long-overdue – extended tour of the continent, President Barack Obama will focus on political and economic issues, but is also paying homage to a painful chapter in American history.

Jun 26, 2013

Obama embarks on trip to Africa, Mandela’s health a question

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama set out on an eight-day trip to Africa on Wednesday that is aimed at reviving U.S. engagement with the continent but that will be overshadowed by the uncertain health of South Africa hero Nelson Mandela.

Obama’s trip, his second to the continent as president, will take him to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. While the president hopes to spotlight trade and economic development themes, his visit would be dwarfed if Mandela’s condition takes a turn for the worse.

Jun 25, 2013

On trip to Africa, Obama must play catch up

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It is a comparison President Barack Obama may not relish: when it comes to Africa, he’s no Bill Clinton. Or even George W. Bush for that matter.

Obama makes his first extended trip to Africa on Wednesday. After the sky-high expectations raised by his election in 2008, Obama now faces the prospect of trying to convince Africans that the United States has vital interests there that it intends to safeguard and pursue.

Jun 19, 2013

United States to meet Taliban to seek Afghan peace

WASHINGTON/KABUL (Reuters) – The United States and the Taliban raised hopes on Tuesday for a negotiated peace in Afghanistan with commitments to meet this week after 12 years of bloody and costly war between American-led forces and the insurgents.

The Taliban opened an office in Doha, the Qatari capital, on Tuesday to help restart talks and said it wanted a political solution that would bring about a just government and end foreign occupation of Afghanistan.

Jun 18, 2013

U.S. to hold Afghan peace talks with Taliban in Doha

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will meet the Taliban in Doha for talks aimed at achieving peace in Afghanistan, where the United States has battled the insurgents for 12 years, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, warned that the process would likely be lengthy.

Jun 13, 2013

Surveillance thwarted attack on Danish newspaper: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government’s surveillance of phone and Internet communications led to the 2009 arrest of a Chicago man who was planning to bomb a Danish newspaper that had published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, the White House said on Thursday.

The White House also confirmed assertions by U.S. officials and members of Congress that electronic eavesdropping by the National Security Agency had helped foil a plot by Islamist militants to bomb the New York subway system in 2009.

    • About Mark

      "Mark Felsenthal is a Reuters White House correspondent who covered Barack Obama's re-election in 2012 and the fiscal crisis that immediately followed. Since joining Reuters in 2001, he has written about monetary policy, currency wars, and the housing market meltdown."
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