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Aug 30, 2013

U.S. consults oil experts as it weighs action against Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Obama administration officials have contacted energy experts in recent days to discuss oil market conditions as the president weighs a military strike against Syria, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

There are no signs the government is preparing to tap emergency oil reserves soon in a bid to tame rising prices, according to the sources who spoke with Reuters this week, though the administration is closely monitoring the situation.

Aug 29, 2013

Obama changes rules to close two gun loopholes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House announced two changes to federal gun rules on Thursday to help keep weapons from criminals, but said it still wants to push Congress to pass new gun control measures in the wake of the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, last year.

The Justice Department will write a regulation requiring background checks for people who register machine guns or short-barreled shotguns through a trust or corporation, closing one loophole on background checks.

Aug 28, 2013

Obama meets new five-member panel reviewing surveillance programs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama met on Tuesday with a five-member panel he appointed to review the privacy issues involved with U.S. government surveillance programs, the White House said, part of an effort to rebuild public trust after leaks by a former spy agency contractor.

Obama has faced criticism since Edward Snowden, a contractor for the National Security Agency, exposed classified information about U.S. surveillance of telephone calls and emails to journalists, raising concerns about privacy and civil liberties.

Aug 25, 2013

Obama studies options after Syria gas attack, consults UK’s Cameron

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and his top military and national security advisers hashed out options on Saturday for responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria amid “increasing signs” that the government used poison gas against civilians.

Obama spoke with British Prime Minister David Cameron, a top U.S. ally, and agreed that chemical weapon use by Syrian President Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces would merit a “serious response,” a spokesperson for the prime minister said in a statement.

Aug 24, 2013

Obama weighs possible military response after Syria chemical attack

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama considered options on Saturday for a possible military strike on Syria in response to a nerve gas attack that killed hundreds as Syria sought to avert blame by saying its soldiers had found chemical weapons in rebel tunnels.

A senior U.N. official arrived in Damascus to seek access for inspectors to the site of last Wednesday’s attack, in which opposition accounts say between 500 and well over 1,000 civilians were killed by gas fired by pro-government forces.

Aug 24, 2013

Obama, national security team hash out options on Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. military and national security advisers huddled with President Barack Obama at the White House on Saturday to consider options for responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government this week.

Obama has been reluctant to intervene in Syria’s 2-1/2-year civil war, which he has described as a “sectarian complex problem.” But a year ago he said chemical weapons would be a “red line” for the United States and he is now under pressure to take action.

Aug 23, 2013

Despite ‘grave’ concern on Syria, Obama stresses cautious response

WASHINGTON/AUBURN, New York (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said in an interview aired on Friday that an apparent poison gas attack in Syria this week was “clearly a big event” but said the United States must be cautious in its response.

In his first public comments since Wednesday’s attack in the Damascus suburbs, Obama stressed the importance of international law in responding to the incident, and said he was wary of the financial and human costs of getting involved in complex foreign disputes.

Aug 21, 2013

On road trip, Obama will try to steer focus back to economy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Shadowed by turmoil in Egypt and domestic controversies, President Barack Obama will seek to regain political momentum on a bus tour during which he will push his plans for stoking the U.S. economy and taming the high cost of college tuition.

On a two-day tour this week in the Northeast, where he has a strong base of support, Obama will grab the microphone while Congress is still out on a five-week summer break and cast Republicans as obstructionists.

Jul 24, 2013

Obama seeks second-term jolt with economic speech

GALESBURG, Illinois (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama sought to inject momentum into his economic and domestic policy agenda on Wednesday with a speech designed to clarify his vision for his second term and hammer Republicans in the House of Representatives for getting in his way.

Obama defended his government’s record managing the economy through the recession in his first term and said new spending on infrastructure and education were needed now to grow the middle class, which he argued would boost the nation’s economy.

Jul 24, 2013

Obama returns to Galesburg, a case in point for a spending appeal

WASHINGTON, July 24 (Reuters) – John Eskridge knows what he
wants to hear President Barack Obama say when he returns to
Galesburg, Illinois, on Wednesday for what the White House has
billed as a major economic address.

This town where plants once rolled out refrigerators, ovens,
lawnmowers and other stock furnishings of the American home has
been hit hard by globalization, losing factories that gave
generations of people good jobs right out of high school.

    • 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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