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Aug 29, 2014

Obama signals timing of new immigration measures in question

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday that he still planned to take steps on his own to improve the U.S. immigration system but that his timeline for taking action has been affected by the need to deal with a flood of migrant children from central America.

Obama had previously said he planned by the end of summer to find ways to change immigration regulations, unilateral action he said was made necessary by the failure of Congress to pass comprehensive reforms.

Aug 28, 2014

U.S. openly accuses Russia of sending combat troops to Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday openly accused Russia of sending combat forces into Ukraine and threatened to tighten economic sanctions, but Washington stopped short of calling Moscow’s intensified support for separatist forces an invasion.

President Barack Obama again ruled out U.S. military action, saying there must be a diplomatic solution. But he said he would reaffirm U.S. commitment to NATO allies in the region at a summit next week.

Aug 26, 2014

No deaths linked to troubled U.S. veterans hospital

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A probe into long waits for medical treatment at Veterans Affairs facilities in Phoenix documented suffering by sick veterans affected by cover-ups of wait-list delays but did not find evidence that the shoddy care had caused patient deaths.

While Phoenix officials masked months-long wait times to try to achieve two-week targets used for salary and bonus awards, some veterans experienced “clinically significant delays” in care, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ inspector general, an internal watchdog.

Aug 24, 2014

As Obama’s vacation ends, criticism does not

/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As Barack Obama discovered over the past two weeks, presidents can run into trouble when their playtime is perceived as detached from the concerns of Americans.

Obama returns to Washington on Sunday faced with having to repair some of the dings to his reputation after he came under fierce criticism for playing golf amid smoldering crises involving Islamic State militants, racial unrest in Missouri, a Chinese plane’s altercation with an American aircraft over Japan, and renewed violence in Ukraine.

Aug 8, 2014

U.S. lawmakers laud Iraq strikes, question long-term strategy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawmakers in Washington welcomed President Barack Obama’s decision to attack advancing Islamist militants in Iraq, but some questioned whether his administration has a long-term strategy to arrest Iraq’s disintegration.

Two U.S. F/A-18 fighter jets dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on Friday on an Islamic State mobile artillery piece used to shell Kurdish forces defending Arbil, the Pentagon said.

Aug 8, 2014

Obama authorizes air strikes in Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday he has authorized air strikes against Islamist militants in Iraq to protect American personnel and launched humanitarian assistance to prevent a genocide of members of a religious minority who have fled their homes.

The president, in remarks carried live over network television, said he has begun operations to assist Iraqis stranded on a mountain to escape the advancing forces of the Islamist State, which have swept across northern Iraq in recent weeks.

Aug 7, 2014

U.S. may fly aid soon to civilians trapped on Iraq mountain: official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has approved military air drops of humanitarian supplies in northern Iraq for religious minorities fleeing attacks by Islamist militants and they could start at any time, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.

Officials said President Barack Obama was also weighing carrying out the first U.S. airstrikes in Iraq since a 2011 pullout of troops.

Aug 7, 2014

Russian retaliation against sanctions hurts its own economy -U.S.

WASHINGTON, Aug 7 (Reuters) – The White House made the case
on Thursday that Western sanctions against Russia for
destabilizing Ukraine have had a significant impact on its
economy and that Russian retaliation by banning many Western
food imports will only boomerang.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his government to
adopt the ban in response to Western economic sanctions on
Russia’s defense, oil and financial sectors over Moscow’s
support for rebels waging an insurrection in eastern Ukraine.

Aug 7, 2014

Obama says to quickly curb use of U.S. corporate tax dodge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Wednesday his administration plans to move quickly to curb what he called a “herd mentality” by companies doing business deals that help them escape U.S. corporate taxes, saying the practise was unfair to Americans.

Obama’s comments came the day that U.S. retailer Walgreen Co backed down from its plan to use a so-called inversion to reduce its taxes. Obama did not single out Walgreen, which is based in his home state of Illinois.

Aug 6, 2014

Biden makes plea to U.S. lawyers for pro bono help on migrant crisis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made an impassioned plea to U.S. law firms on Wednesday to free up attorneys to help deal with the surge of Central American children who have entered the country illegally by providing more pro bono representation.

At the end of a meeting with about 60 people – some from white-collar law firms, others from nonprofit organizations who work with immigrants – Biden urged lawyers to step up and help deal with a backlog of court cases for tens of thousands of children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

    • About Roberta

      "Based on Capitol Hill, I help cover U.S. energy and environmental policy. I have reported on commodities since 1995, and have been with Reuters since 2002, moving to Washington from Canada in 2008."
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