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Apr 11, 2013

Red Cross chief presses U.S. on Guantanamo hunger strike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross on Thursday expressed opposition to the force-feeding of prisoners staging a mass hunger strike at the Guantanamo prison camp and said he urged President Barack Obama to do more to resolve the “untenable” legal plight of inmates held there.

ICRC president Peter Maurer made his case in talks with Obama and other top U.S. officials in Washington this week while a team from the Geneva-based group monitored the hunger strike by dozens of detainees at the U.S. Naval Base in Cuba. Many have been held for more than a decade without charge or trial.

Apr 9, 2013

North Korea tests Obama’s ‘strategic patience’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea’s next act of defiance could be a critical test of whether President Barack Obama’s “strategic patience,” his long-standing policy toward the nuclear renegade state, is beginning to run out.

With North Korea considered likely to cap its barrage of bellicose threats with a military provocation in coming days, the United States has drawn up new security plans with ally South Korea and increased pressure on China to do more to rein in Pyongyang, U.S. officials said.

Apr 9, 2013

Analysis: North Korea tests Obama’s “strategic patience”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea’s next act of defiance could be a critical test of whether President Barack Obama’s “strategic patience,” his long-standing policy toward the nuclear renegade state, is beginning to run out.

With North Korea considered likely to cap its barrage of bellicose threats with a military provocation in coming days, the United States has drawn up new security plans with ally South Korea and increased pressure on China to do more to rein in Pyongyang, U.S. officials said.

Apr 3, 2013

Meet North Korea’s new Kim, same as the old Kims?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong-un is using his forebears’ time-tested “crazy-guy-in-the-neighborhood” strategy, senior U.S. officials say, but with a provocative new twist – aiming Pyongyang’s threats directly at the United States.

There are indeed signs of an earlier method in what might seem like Kim’s rhetorical madness, which U.S. policymakers say is patterned after more than a half century of rule over the reclusive state by his father and grandfather.

Apr 3, 2013

Analysis: Meet North Korea’s new Kim, same as the old Kims?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong-un is using his forebears’ time-tested “crazy-guy-in-the-neighborhood” strategy, senior U.S. officials say, but with a provocative new twist – aiming Pyongyang’s threats directly at the United States.

There are indeed signs of an earlier method in what might seem like Kim’s rhetorical madness, which U.S. policymakers say is patterned after more than a half century of rule over the reclusive state by his father and grandfather.

Mar 22, 2013

Obama, Jordan’s Abdullah offer united front on Syria

AMMAN (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Jordan’s King Abdullah presented a united front against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Friday as Jordan grapples with a refugee crisis caused by Syria’s civil war.

Obama, in Jordan following a visit to Israel and the West Bank, pledged new aid to help the country deal with the refugee crush but stopped short of promising military assistance to Syrian rebels to speed the departure of Assad after a two-year civil war that has claimed 70,000 lives.

Mar 22, 2013

Obama tours symbolic Israeli sites on last day of visit

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – On the last day of a visit to Israel, U.S. President Barack Obama paid his respects at the tomb of the founder of modern Zionism and also the grave of a murdered Israeli prime minister, who has become a symbol of the peace process.

He then visited Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, adding layers of symbolic gestures to a trip short of real substance, but laden with presidential appeals for both Israelis and Palestinians to resume long-stalled peace talks.

Mar 21, 2013

Obama tries schmoozing in the Holy Land

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – From old-fashioned schmoozing to “I feel your pain” appeals, President Barack Obama is wading into Middle East diplomacy with a personal touch he has rarely displayed on the world stage.

It is the kind of charm offensive he has been trying to pull off – with decidedly mixed results – with political opponents back home and which he now hopes will help advance peace prospects in a region mostly devoid of them.

Mar 21, 2013

Obama to shore up ally Jordan on last stop in Mideast

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – President Barack Obama flies to Jordan on Friday for talks with King Abdullah, a key U.S. Middle East ally, that are expected to focus on the civil war in neighboring Syria and the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace diplomacy.

Obama will head to Amman after the final day of his first official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, which will be heavy on symbolism as he tours sites of historic and religious importance to both peoples.

Mar 20, 2013

Obama talks tough on Syria, counsels patience with Iran

JERUSALEM, March 20 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
pledged on Wednesday to hold Syria to account if it used
chemical weapons and assured Israel, in his first official visit
to the Jewish state, of U.S. resolve to curb Iran’s nuclear
programme.

Obama came to Israel seeking to allay the security fears of
Washington’s closest ally in the Middle East, burnish his image
with Israelis and repair frayed relations with Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu over Iran and the expansion of Jewish
settlements on occupied land Palestinians claim for a state.

    • 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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