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Mar 14, 2013

Analysis: Obama tries new tack with Israel, reaching out to wary public

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – After nearly four years of often testy relations with Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Barack Obama is about to try a different tack – going over the head of Israel’s prime minister and appealing directly to the Israeli people.

Obama’s first presidential visit to Israel next week, while certainly including meetings with Netanyahu, will focus heavily on resetting his relationship with the country’s wary public as he seeks to reassure them he is committed to their security and has their interests at heart.

Mar 8, 2013

Obama meets American Jewish leaders ahead of Israel trip

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama hosted leaders of major American Jewish organizations at the White House on Thursday as he sought to smooth the way for his first presidential visit to Israel later this month.

The meeting was a chance for Obama to preview his agenda for the trip, which aides have said will include a heavy emphasis on efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear program as well as discussion of deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian peace moves and Syria’s civil war.

Mar 6, 2013

Despite new hopes, U.S. treads cautiously after death of Venezuela’s Chavez

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – While the death of Venezuela’s stridently anti-American President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday raised hopes in Washington for better U.S.-Venezuela relations, the Obama administration reacted cautiously as it weighed the prospects for a diplomatic thaw.

President Barack Obama quickly reached out to Venezuelans, expressing an interest in a “constructive relationship” in the post-Chavez era. But analysts said it would be hard to make tangible progress when deep political uncertainty risks destabilizing the South American oil-producing nation.

Mar 4, 2013

Netanyahu: “Credible military threat” needed to stop Iran nuclear drive

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Monday that Iran was getting closer to being able to build a nuclear bomb despite sanctions and diplomacy and said a “clear and credible military threat” was needed to halt Tehran’s program.

Speaking via satellite link from Jerusalem, Netanyahu used an address to an influential U.S. pro-Israel lobbying group to underscore Israeli impatience with Washington’s strategy on Iran, a message that could foreshadow his talks with President Barack Obama on a Middle East visit later this month.

Mar 4, 2013

“Credible military threat” needed to stop Iran nuclear drive – Netanyahu

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Monday that Iran was getting closer to being able to build a nuclear bomb despite sanctions and diplomacy and said a “clear and credible military threat” was needed to halt Tehran’s program.

Speaking via satellite link from Jerusalem, Netanyahu used an address to an influential U.S. pro-Israel lobbying group to underscore Israeli impatience with Washington’s strategy on Iran, a message that could foreshadow his talks with President Barack Obama on a Middle East visit later this month.

Mar 3, 2013

Spending cut showdown threatens Obama’s second-term agenda

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Just hours after across-the-board spending cuts officially took effect, President Barack Obama pressed Congress on Saturday to work with him on a compromise to halt a fiscal crisis that threatens the economy and his broader domestic policy agenda.

The failure by Obama and Republicans to agree to halt the $85 billion “sequester” cuts virtually guaranteed that fiscal issues would remain center stage in Washington for weeks, crowding out Obama’s proposals to reform immigration, tighten gun laws and raise the minimum wage.

Mar 2, 2013

Spending cut debate casts pall over Obama’s second-term agenda

WASHINGTON, March 2 (Reuters) – Just hours after
across-the-board spending cuts officially took effect, President
Barack Obama pressed Congress on Saturday to work with him on a
compromise to halt a fiscal crisis that threatens the economy
and his broader domestic policy agenda.

The failure by Obama and Republicans to agree to halt the
$85 billion ‘sequester’ cuts virtually guaranteed that fiscal
issues would remain center stage in Washington for weeks,
crowding out Obama’s proposals to reform immigration, tighten
gun laws and raise the minimum wage.

Mar 2, 2013

Obama presses Congress for deal to end U.S. spending cuts

WASHINGTON, March 2 (Reuters) – Just hours after
across-the-board spending cuts officially took effect, President
Barack Obama pressed Congress on Saturday to work with him on a
compromise to halt a fiscal crisis he said was starting to
“inflict pain” on communities across the United States.

Obama and a bipartisan group of congressional leaders failed
on Friday to avoid the deep spending reductions known as the
“sequester,” which automatically kicked in overnight in the
latest sign of dysfunction in a divided Washington.

Mar 1, 2013

Obama: No “Jedi mind-meld” with Republicans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, who said just days ago that he had no interest in playing a “blame game,” spent much of a news conference on Friday pointing fingers at Republicans after last-ditch talks with congressional leaders failed to avert automatic spending cuts from kicking in later in the day.

Emerging from a nearly hour-long meeting and taking the podium in the White House briefing room, Obama displayed a combative style that has become his regular approach toward opponents since his decisive re-election victory in November.

Feb 20, 2013

Obama reaches out to three key Republicans on immigration reform

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama reached out directly on Tuesday to key Republican senators negotiating a sweeping U.S. immigration overhaul and urged them to help craft a bipartisan reform bill as soon as possible.

Facing criticism for not getting personally involved in the delicate process on Capitol Hill, Obama made phone calls to three U.S. senators – Marco Rubio, John McCain and Lindsey Graham – part of a “Gang of Eight” group of Republicans and Democrats working on an immigration package.

    • 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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