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Mar 16, 2014

In China, Michelle Obama to stay firmly in ‘mom in chief’ mode

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is expected to steer clear of controversial issues such as human rights when she visits China this week but her trip could help advance a top item on her husband’s foreign policy agenda: deepening Washington’s ties with Beijing.

The week-long trip marks only the third foreign solo trip for Obama, who has cultivated a self-described “mom in chief” image, putting her energy into raising her daughters Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12, and signature domestic policy issues such as combating childhood obesity.

Mar 15, 2014

U.S. Latino groups expect relief on deportations from Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Latino groups and immigration advocates said on Friday they expect President Barack Obama to ease back from record deportations of people living illegally in the United States after discussing their concerns with him for almost two hours.

Obama announced late on Thursday that he had decided to review deportation practices to seek a more “humane” way to enforce immigration laws.

Mar 14, 2014

U.S. Latino groups expect relief after meeting with ‘deporter in chief’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Latino groups and immigration advocates said on Friday they expect President Barack Obama to ease back from record deportations of people living illegally in the United States after discussing their concerns with him for almost two hours.

Obama announced late on Thursday that he had decided to review deportation practices to seek a more “humane” way to enforce immigration laws.

Mar 12, 2014

Obama to seek broad update to U.S. rules for overtime pay

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will seek to help workers by updating regulations that exempt broad swaths of salaried workers from earning overtime wages, a White House official said on Wednesday.

Obama on Thursday will direct the U.S. Labor Department to look at overtime regulations and the salary threshold above which employers are not required to pay overtime for employees deemed to be managers and supervisors, said the official.

Mar 12, 2014

Obama says Russia faces costs over Ukraine intervention

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama warned Russia on Wednesday the West would be forced to apply a cost to Moscow if it fails to change course in its dispute with Ukraine, in a high-profile show of support for Ukraine’s embattled prime minister.

Obama held face-to-face talks with new Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk in the Oval Office in a search for diplomatic leverage that will force Russian President Vladimir Putin to loosen his military grip on Ukraine’s southern Crimea region.

Mar 12, 2014

G7 leaders tell Russia to halt Crimea referendum

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Leaders of the Group of Seven economies told Russia on Tuesday to stop its work on a referendum in Ukraine’s Crimea region and “cease all efforts to change the status of Crimea” or face action.

The statement came in response to Crimea’s parliament voting to join Russia and setting a referendum for Sunday on the decision in a dramatic escalation of the crisis over the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula.

Mar 8, 2014

Kerry urges Russia to exercise utmost restraint in Ukraine’s Crimea

WASHINGTON/KEY LARGO, Florida (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia on Saturday that any steps to annex Ukraine’s Crimea region would close the door to diplomacy, a U.S. State Department official said.

Kerry’s latest telephone call with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, came as the standoff between occupying Russian forces and besieged Ukrainian troops intensified in Crimea.

Mar 7, 2014

Obama visits Florida ahead of bellwether special election

MIAMI (Reuters) – President Barack Obama gave a feel-good campaign-style speech at a gymnasium packed with screaming high school students on Friday, sketching out the main points of his populist agenda ahead of a special election in Florida on Tuesday.

Obama did not mention the race for the House of Representatives seat that had been held by the late Republican Bill Young in a congressional district that includes St. Petersburg, a city north of Miami.

Mar 7, 2014

White House plays down speedy role for U.S. natural gas in Ukraine

ON BOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – The White House on Friday appeared to play down the possibility of changing U.S. policy on exporting natural gas to address the situation in Ukraine.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Air Force One that policy changes would not have an immediate effect and noted that natural gas stocks in Europe were above normal levels because of a mild winter.

Mar 6, 2014

Obama tells Democrats to focus on November midterms, not 2016

BOSTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama gently chided Democratic donors on Wednesday for paying too much attention to the next presidential race in 2016 and not enough attention to the upcoming midterm elections in 2014.

Reminding Democrats at a fundraiser in Boston that “we got whalloped” in the 2010 midterms, when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Obama warned that “it could happen again if we don’t fight on behalf of the things we care about in this election.”

    • 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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