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Dec 20, 2013

U.S. Senate to ease path for sending more Guantanamo detainees home

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Thursday is expected to open the way for President Barack Obama to speed up the transfer of many prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to their home countries, a crucial step toward the long-delayed closure of the military prison.

Tucked inside a defense spending bill awaiting final congressional approval, a bipartisan deal will ease some of the tough restrictions on Obama’s ability to send more of the 158 remaining inmates home after years of detention without trial at the U.S. Naval Base in Cuba.

Dec 16, 2013

U.S. scholars’ group backs call for academic boycott of Israel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An association of American scholars has voted for an academic boycott of Israeli colleges and universities in protest against Israeli policies towards the Palestinians, the group said on Monday.

Members of the American Studies Association voted by a 2-to-1 margin to endorse a boycott resolution, which stems from a broader campaign to isolate Israel that has made little headway in the United States but has gained some traction in Europe.

Dec 9, 2013

Netanyahu urges world powers to take tough line on final Iran deal

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday pressed world powers to take a hard line with Iran in negotiations for a final nuclear deal, urging them to demand that Tehran abandon all uranium enrichment, halt its ballistic missile program and end a “genocidal” anti-Israel policy.

One day after President Barack Obama deemed it unrealistic to believe Iran could be compelled to dismantle its entire nuclear infrastructure, Netanyahu said Tehran should have to take apart all centrifuges used to refine uranium, despite its insistence it would never agree to do so.

Dec 8, 2013

Netanyahu: World powers must demand Iran change ‘genocidal’ anti-Israel policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday urged the United States and other world powers to demand that Iran change what he called its “genocidal” anti-Israel policy as part of negotiations with Tehran on a final nuclear deal.

Cautioning the international community to “beware” of Iran’s intentions, Netanyahu underscored his deep skepticism over an interim deal reached with Iran last month in Geneva and insisted that any long-term accord must bring about the “termination of Iran’s military nuclear capability.”

Dec 5, 2013

U.S. says China air defense zone unacceptable, shouldn’t be implemented

WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – The White House said on
Thursday that China’s new air defense zone over the East China
Sea was “unacceptable” and urged Beijing not to implement it,
but stopped sort of calling for it to rescind its declaration.

Keeping up U.S. criticism, White House spokesman Jay Carney
assailed China for a “dangerous and provocative” move that
increased the risk of stumbling into a crisis, and said that was
not consistent with the behavior of a major power.

Nov 27, 2013

Americans back Iran deal by 2-to-1 margin: Reuters/Ipsos poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans back a newly brokered nuclear deal with Iran by a 2-to-1 margin and are very wary of the United States resorting to military action against Tehran even if the historic diplomatic effort falls through, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.

The findings were rare good news in the polls for President Barack Obama whose approval ratings have dropped in recent weeks because of the botched rollout of his signature healthcare reform law.

Nov 27, 2013

REUTERS/IPSOS-Americans back Iran deal by 2-to-1 margin

WASHINGTON, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Americans back a newly
brokered nuclear deal with Iran by a 2-to-1 margin and are very
wary of the United States resorting to military action against
Tehran even if the historic diplomatic effort falls through, a
Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.

The findings were rare good news in the polls for President
Barack Obama whose approval ratings have dropped in recent weeks
because of the botched rollout of his signature healthcare
reform law.

Nov 25, 2013

Analysis: Iran deal bears Obama’s personal stamp

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When push came to shove in the closing hours of marathon negotiations in Geneva on Iran’s nuclear program, it was President Barack Obama, back at the White House, who approved the final language on the U.S. side before the historic deal was clinched.

It was perhaps only fitting that Obama had the last say. His push for a thaw with Tehran, a longtime U.S. foe, dates back to before his presidency, and no other foreign policy issue bears his personal stamp more since he took office in early 2009.

Nov 25, 2013

Iran deal bears Obama’s personal stamp

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When push came to shove in the closing hours of marathon negotiations in Geneva on Iran’s nuclear program, it was President Barack Obama, back at the White House, who approved the final language on the U.S. side before the historic deal was clinched.

It was perhaps only fitting that Obama had the last say. His push for a thaw with Tehran, a longtime U.S. foe, dates back to before his presidency, and no other foreign policy issue bears his personal stamp more since he took office in early 2009.

Nov 15, 2013

Obama national security aide chides Israel over settlements

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s top national security aide on Thursday blamed Israeli settlement expansion announcements for some of the latest tensions between Israel and the Palestinians as U.S.-brokered peace talks between the two sides have faltered.

In a speech to a Washington think tank, Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, said the United States remained committed to Middle East peacemaking, but made clear that it saw Jewish settlement construction plans as hampering those efforts.

    • About Matt

      "White House correspondent who has covered news on four continents for Reuters, from Latin American coups and drug wars to the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles to the Balkans conflict to the second Palestinian Intifada to the Iraq war. He has covered George W. Bush and is now covering President Barack Obama."
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