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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.”

Mar 5, 2014

Obama plugs popular minimum wage hike plan in Connecticut

, March 5 (Reuters) – A day after
unveiling a budget that stands little chance of passing
Congress, President Barack Obama traveled to Connecticut on
Wednesday to campaign for another proposal that has been
dismissed by Republicans: raising the minimum wage.

Obama and his fellow Democrats are fighting to keep control
of the Senate in November midterm elections, and are promoting
populist measures that poll well, like raising the minimum wage,
seeking to set themselves apart from Republicans.

Mar 5, 2014

Obama urges Democrats to wake up ahead of tough midterm elections

, March 4 (Reuters) – Democrats need to wake up
and understand the stakes involved in holding on to control of
the U.S. Senate in the November congressional elections,
President Barack Obama told Democratic Party donors at a
fundraiser on Tuesday.

“Something about midterms – I don’t know what it is about
us. We get a little sleepy. We get a little distracted. We don’t
turn out the vote. We don’t fund campaigns as passionately,”
Obama said.

Mar 5, 2014

Obama, Germany’s Merkel discuss potential resolution to Ukraine crisis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday about a potential resolution to the crisis ignited by Russian intervention in Ukraine’s Crimea region, a senior administration official said.

Under the proposal, Russia would pull back its forces in Crimea to their bases in the region, limit the Russian troop numbers to a Ukraine-mandated ceiling of 11,000, and allow in international monitors to ensure the human rights of ethnic Russians are being protected, the official said.

Feb 26, 2014

Obama to outline plan to fix crumbling roads, rail, bridges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will fly to St. Paul, Minnesota, on Wednesday to propose a four-year, $302 billion plan to create jobs by fixing the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges, rail and transportation infrastructure.

Congress faces a September 30 deadline to renew federal funding for transportation programs, a deadline that has made state governors concerned about planning projects that typically run through September and into the fall months.

Feb 25, 2014

Obama hosts Boehner for rare, private Oval Office chat

WASHINGTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and
Republican House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner met for
about an hour on Tuesday in a rare, one-on-one Oval Office
discussion between two leaders who have fought bitterly during
fiscal crises over the past three years.

Aides to both men said they covered a lot of ground, talking
about at least 10 topics. But aides shared little insight into
what, if anything, the meeting accomplished.

    • 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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