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Jun 29, 2015

Obama signs trade bills into law, says tough battle still ahead

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday signed into law legislation that gives him “fast-track” power to push ahead on a Pacific Rim trade deal that has been the subject of intense debate in Congress and across the nation.

Flanked by some of the lawmakers who supported the bill through a six-week congressional battle, Obama acknowledged that his fight to secure the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership was far from over.

Jun 27, 2015

Obama sheds cool style for “fearless” final lap in office

WASHINGTON, June 27 (Reuters) – Barack Obama has reached the
stage of his presidency where if he wants to break out in song
publicly, as he did with “Amazing Grace” in a eulogy on Friday,
then he’s going to do it.

With a year-and-a-half left in office, Obama is shedding
some of his trademark “no drama” style for a looser approach,
admitting that he feels more fearless and liberated.

Jun 27, 2015

Obama delivers ‘Amazing Grace’ at funeral of slain pastor

By Roberta Rampton and David Adams

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) – An impassioned President Barack Obama led thousands of mourners in singing “Amazing Grace” on Friday at the funeral of a slain pastor in Charleston and urged Americans to eliminate symbols of oppression and racism, including the Confederate battle flag.

In a speech likely to be considered one of the most memorable of his presidency, Obama paid an emotional tribute to the nine people shot to death at the church and pleaded for Americans to use the tragedy as a way to bridge racial divide.

Jun 26, 2015

Obama says Confederate flag is reminder of oppression

By Roberta Rampton

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday joined the controversy over public display of the Confederate battle flag, calling it a symbol of oppression and saying America had been blind for too long to the pain it causes.

“By taking down that flag, we express God’s grace,” Obama said in an impassioned eulogy at the funeral for Reverend Clementa Pinckney, pastor of the African-American church in Charleston where nine people were shot dead last week.

Jun 25, 2015

In interview switch, Obama questions British naturalist for BBC program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In an interview, President Barack Obama is normally the one giving the answers. But on Sunday, he will turn the tables and ask the questions in an interview with naturalist Sir David Attenborough airing on BBC.

Obama and Attenborough will discuss climate change, one of Obama’s top issues for his remaining time in office.

Jun 24, 2015

Obama announces new hostage response, but no U.S. ransoms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced a more coordinated U.S. response to help rescue Americans held hostage by terrorists and acknowledged the government had sometimes let the families down.

After an emotional meeting with relatives of executed hostages, he said: “I acknowledged to them in private what I want to say publicly, that it is true that there have been times where our government, regardless of good intentions, has let them down.”

Jun 23, 2015

U.S. will not prosecute families for paying hostage ransom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government will no longer threaten to prosecute families who try to pay ransom to win the release of American hostages held overseas, and the United States will directly negotiate with militants holding them but will not pay ransom, officials said on Tuesday.

The policy, to be announced by President Barack Obama on Wednesday, changes the way the government handles cases in which Americans are taken hostage by groups like the Islamic State and al Qaeda.

Jun 20, 2015

Obama blames gun lobby ‘grip’ on Congress for lax U.S. gun laws

, June 20 (Reuters) – President Barack
Obama blamed public apathy combined with the tight “grip” on
Congress of the National Rifle Association, the powerful U.S.
gun lobby, for blocking stricter gun laws.

Speaking during an interview recorded on Friday, just two
days after the mass shooting at a black church in South
Carolina, Obama said he did not foresee any quick changes to gun

Jun 20, 2015

After trade spat, Obama and Pelosi kiss and make up (literally)

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – After making headlines with a nasty split over trade, President Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives, made a public show on Friday of making up.

It was only a week ago that Pelosi made a dramatic speech on the House floor and joined most House Democrats in a strategic vote aimed at stalling the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade deal Obama wants to finalize before he leaves office.

Jun 20, 2015

Obama: Church shooting exposes ‘blight’ of racism, need for gun laws

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday said a mass shooting at a black church in South Carolina exposed the “blight” of racism still present in America, and railed against critics who have accused him of politicizing a tragedy to talk about tougher gun laws.

Obama, speaking to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said the murder of nine people at an historic African-American church in Charleston shows the need for vigilance against racism.

    • 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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