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May 21, 2014

Obama creates half-million acre national monument in New Mexico

WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on
Wednesday preserved almost 500,000 acres (202,000 hectares) of
mountains, canyons, trails, caves and grasslands in New Mexico
as a new national monument, saying he wanted to protect the
Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks region for future generations.

The move drew criticism from Republicans in Congress who
slammed him for going beyond a more modest legislative proposal,
and said the move could put border security at risk.

May 21, 2014

Obama says he will get to the bottom of Veterans mess

WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
vowed on Wednesday to get to the bottom of allegations of
neglect of veterans’ healthcare and made clear Veterans Affairs
Secretary Eric Shinseki’s job may be on the line as he scrambled
to contain a budding controversy.

“If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable,
it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it, period,” an
angry-sounding Obama said.

May 15, 2014

Obama opens 9/11 memorial, a ‘sacred place of healing and hope’

NEW YORK (Reuters) – President Barack Obama led an emotional dedication on Thursday of a museum that commemorates the traumatic events of September 11, 2001, built on the “ground zero” site of the twin towers that fell that day.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, joined by Bill and Hillary Clinton and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, toured the museum, which includes artifacts from many of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the hijacked-plane attacks in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

May 14, 2014

Obama to address U.S. infrastructure at busy NY bridge

WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
will take aim at the cumbersome approval process for large
infrastructure projects on Wednesday, showing how streamlining
reviews slashed the time taken to green-light New York’s massive
Tappan Zee bridge project, the White House said.

Obama is slated to speak at the bridge, about 20 miles north
of New York City, at 3:25 p.m. ET (1925 GMT), and will pledge to
apply the lessons learned from the permit process for the bridge
to a long list of infrastructure projects across the country.

May 14, 2014

Obama to use giant bridge to show how he will cut red tape

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama will take aim at the cumbersome approval process for large infrastructure projects on Wednesday, showing how streamlining reviews slashed the time taken to green-light New York’s massive Tappan Zee bridge project, the White House said.

Obama is slated to speak at the bridge, about 20 miles north of New York City, at 3:25 p.m. ET (1925 GMT), and will pledge to apply the lessons learned from the permit process for the bridge to a long list of infrastructure projects across the country.

May 14, 2014

White House says no issue with Biden’s son, Ukraine gas company

WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) – The White House on Tuesday
brushed aside questions about whether the involvement of Vice
President Joe Biden’s son in a Ukrainian natural gas company
raised ethical issues at a time when the administration is
promoting energy diversity in the country.

R. Hunter Biden, a lawyer and a partner in an investment
firm, was recently named to the board of directors of Burisma
Holdings, a private company that has drilled for natural gas in
Ukraine since 2002.

May 14, 2014

U.S. slaps sanctions on five Central African Republic men tied to violence

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has imposed sanctions on Central African Republic’s former president, François BozizĂ©, and four other men linked to violence and human rights abuses in the country, the White House said on Tuesday.

The country has been racked by sectarian violence for a year after Seleka rebels, who are mostly Muslim, seized power, and “anti-balaka” militias, mainly Christian, fought back.

May 12, 2014

White House, Democrats calibrate how best to play Benghazi probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House and its Democratic allies in the U.S. House of Representatives have considerable legal leeway to avoid cooperating with a new Republican-driven probe of the 2012 Benghazi attacks, but the politics of participating are a bit trickier to navigate.

Stonewalling the new select committee could feed into the Republican narrative that President Barack Obama and his advisers are trying to hide something about the way they responded to the attacks in the Libyan city, which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Apr 29, 2014

White House wades cautiously into effort to protect online privacy

WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The White House will lay out ideas this week for protecting U.S. consumers’ privacy in an era in which the ubiquitous use of computers and mobile phones provides a constant data feed on individuals.

But after a 90-day review of “big data,” the White House is expected to suggest ways to encourage companies to protect privacy and identify areas for further study, rather than calling for a legislative overhaul.

Apr 26, 2014

If it’s Saturday, it’s time for Obama to talk up the minimum wage

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For the fifth Saturday this year, the White House used the president’s weekly address to exhort Republicans to support an increase in the minimum wage, a key part of President Barack Obama’s voter-friendly economic agenda aimed at keeping Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate.

Obama has been pushing Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, up from the current level of $7.25, a move that would lift wages for almost 28 million people and is supported by more than 70 percent of Americans.

    • 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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