WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama spoke with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Monday about possible international responses to the Syrian crisis while his national security adviser discussed Syria and security with Israeli officials, the White House said.
In a call with Rudd, “the two leaders expressed their grave concern about the reported use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against civilians near Damascus on Wednesday,” the White House said in a statement. They “discussed possible responses by the international community,” it said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. military response to alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria appeared more likely on Sunday after Washington dismissed the Syrian government’s offer to allow U.N. inspection of the sites as “too late to be credible.”
A senior official of the U.S. administration said there was little doubt the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians in suburbs of Damascus last week and that President Barack Obama was weighing how to respond.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama sought a progress report from state officials on Wednesday on the rollout of his signature health care law, stepping up his profile on the issue as the launch of a key provision of the law nears on October 1.
Obama spoke by videoconference with the officials responsible for setting up new online health insurance exchanges that are at the heart of the program. These markets will offer private coverage at federally subsidized rates to individuals and families with low-to-moderate incomes.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Shadowed by turmoil in Egypt and domestic controversies, President Barack Obama will seek to regain political momentum on a bus tour during which he will push his plans for stoking the U.S. economy and taming the high cost of college tuition.
On a two-day tour this week in the Northeast, where he has a strong base of support, Obama will grab the microphone while Congress is still out on a five-week summer break and cast Republicans as obstructionists.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – They clambered gingerly up the riser behind President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House, white-haired, bespectacled, their coach in a motorized chair, former athletes there to receive an accolade 40 years late.
Members of the Miami Dolphins, whose undefeated 1972 season culminated in a Super Bowl victory in January, 1973, stood smiling behind the president on Tuesday, blinking in the TV lights and basking in the applause of the crowd and the praise of the First Sports Fan.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday canceled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin planned for next month in Moscow over frustration with Russia’s asylum for fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the White House said.
The Obama administration has repeatedly expressed disappointment after Moscow granted temporary asylum to Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who made public sensitive information about U.S. intelligence gathering. Russia rebuffed U.S. pleas to hand him over to face criminal charges including espionage.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will propose overhauling the U.S. mortgage finance system in a speech on Tuesday, weighing in on a tangled and polarizing problem that was central to the devastating financial crisis in 2007-2009 and that continues to slow the economic recovery, the White House said.
Obama will propose eliminating mortgage finance entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over time, replacing them with a system in which the private market buys home loans from lenders and repackages them as securities for investors, senior administration officials said. The mortgage securitization process is deemed essential to the smooth flow of capital to housing markets and the availability of credit.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With images of vacant, half-built residential developments that gathered dust after the Great Recession, the U.S. Southwest once symbolized the 2008-2012 housing bust that wiped out $7 trillion in homeowner equity and wrecked the finances of many Americans.
But as housing stages a recovery around the United States, including the hard-hit Sun Belt, President Barack Obama goes back to the region on Tuesday to claim some of the credit while urging further action to keep the housing winning streak alive.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Thursday told lawmakers he is open to changing controversial surveillance programs in order to restore public confidence and provide assurance the government is not violating citizens’ privacy, participants at the meeting said.
“We understand the American people really do need to know what’s going on now and what’s going on in the past and get the right kind of assurances that their privacy has not been breached,” said Senator Saxby Chambliss, who attended the meeting.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is rethinking whether to hold a summit in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin next month after Russia rejected U.S. pleas and gave temporary asylum to former American spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, the White House said on Thursday.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama and U.S. officials are “extremely disappointed” by Russia’s decision to give Snowden a one-year asylum in the face of entreaties from American officials to expel Snowden back to the United States to face espionage charges.