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Apr 10, 2015

Obama says concerned China bullying others in South China Sea

KINGSTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said Washington is concerned China is using its “sheer size and muscle” to push around smaller nations in the South China Sea, just hours after Beijing gave a detailed defense of its creation of artificial islands in the contested waterway.

China’s rapid reclamation around seven reefs in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea has alarmed other claimants, such as the Philippines and Vietnam, and drawn growing criticism from U.S. government officials and the military.

Apr 10, 2015

U.S. State Dept. recommends removing Cuba from terrorism list: Senate source

WASHINGTON/KINGSTON, Jamaica (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department has recommended that President Barack Obama remove Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee aide said on Thursday.

Obama, speaking while on a short visit to Jamaica, said only that the State Department had completed its review but that he was waiting for a recommendation from his advisers and would not announce a decision on Thursday.

Apr 9, 2015

Obama tells Jamaicans to go easy on the ‘ganja’

KINGSTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama waded into a hot topic in Jamaica on Thursday when he was asked for his views on pot, an item close to the hearts – and minds – of many people in this Caribbean nation famous for its local “ganja” crop.

Obama chose the middle ground during a town hall of young leaders, saying jail was not the answer to the drug problem, but nor was legalization a “silver bullet.”

Apr 9, 2015

Obama touts clean energy in bid to restore U.S. leadership in Caribbean

KINGSTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama met with Jamaica’s prime minister on Thursday, announcing a major clean energy partnership ahead of a Caribbean summit where he hopes to reassert U.S. leadership in the region at time when oil-producing Venezuela’s economic clout may be receding.

The White House used the occasion to announce a major step towards healing its five-decades-old rift with Cuba, saying the State Department has completed a review of whether to remove the communist-ruled island from a state sponsors of terrorism list.

Apr 9, 2015

Obama: no decision yet on removing Cuba from terror sponsor list

KINGSTON, Jamaica (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday that the U.S. State Department had completed its review of whether to remove Cuba from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism but that he had not received a recommendation yet from his advisers.

Speaking in Jamaica, where he is on a short visit, Obama said he would not announce a Cuba decision on Thursday. He said he would wait to receive recommendations from White House advisers before doing so.

Apr 9, 2015

In Jamaica, Obama seeks to reassert U.S. leadership in Caribbean

KINGSTON, Jamaica (Reuters) – President Barack Obama arrived in Jamaica on Wednesday to attend a Caribbean summit seeking to reassert U.S. leadership in the region at time when oil-producing Venezuela’s economic clout may be receding.

As the first U.S. president to visit Kingston since Ronald Reagan in 1982, Obama faces the challenge of convincing Caribbean island leaders that Washington is genuinely re-engaging after a long period of perceived neglect of its smaller, poorer neighbors.

Apr 7, 2015

U.S. closing in on recommendation to remove Cuba from state terrorism list

WASHINGTON, April 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department is
closing in on a decision to recommend removal of Cuba from its
list of countries accused of sponsoring terrorism, days before
President Barack Obama attends a regional summit with his Cuban
counterpart Raul Castro.

Obama ordered the review after announcing a diplomatic
breakthrough with Havana on Dec. 17 and has vowed to act quickly
once he receives the recommendation, which would mark a major
move toward ending five decades of estrangement.

Apr 7, 2015

U.S. could recommend taking Cuba off state terrorism list in days: official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department could recommend within a few days that Cuba be removed from its list of countries accused of sponsoring terrorism, a U.S. official said on Tuesday, a major move toward rapprochement ahead of a hemispheric summit this week.

President Barack Obama ordered the review after announcing a diplomatic breakthrough with Havana on Dec. 17, and he has vowed to act quickly once he receives the State Department’s recommendation.

Apr 3, 2015

Iran nuclear agreement presents Obama with promise and peril

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama still faces a formidable task in preventing a skeptical Congress from sabotaging a nuclear pact with Iran and keeping talks from collapsing over the fine print, despite achieving a surprisingly detailed initial agreement that he hailed as “historic.”

While major world powers and Iran made genuine progress in reaching a broad agreement in Switzerland on Thursday, the real test looms at the end of June when the deal must be finalized.

Mar 27, 2015

With Yemen strikes, Saudis show growing independence from U.S.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia kept some key details of its military action in Yemen from Washington until the last moment, U.S. officials said, as the kingdom takes a more assertive regional role to compensate for perceived U.S. disengagement.

The Middle East’s top oil power told the United States weeks ago it was weighing action in Yemen but only informed Washington of the exact details just before Thursday’s unprecedented air strikes against Iran-allied Houthi rebels, the officials said.

    • 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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