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Jul 29, 2014

Obama says strains over Ukraine not leading to new Cold War with Russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama escalated U.S. economic sanctions against Russia on Tuesday for its aggression against Ukraine but dismissed suggestions the growing chill in U.S.-Russian relations marked the start of a new Cold War.

The United States and the European Union, in a carefully coordinated action, announced targeted new sanctions against Russian banks, energy and defense firms.

Jul 29, 2014

Obama wrote Putin about violation of nuclear treaty -White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama wrote to Russian President Vladimir Putin to inform him directly that the U.S. government had determined that Russia violated the intermediate-range nuclear treaty, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Tuesday.

The United States is seeking high-level talks over what it said was an infraction of the Cold War-era treaty, ratified in 1988, which was designed to eliminate ground-launched cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 km (310 to 3,400 miles).

Jul 28, 2014

U.S. officials defend Kerry from Israeli criticism

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Obama administration officials rallied to the defense of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday after withering criticism in Israel of Kerry’s failed attempt to secure a ceasefire between Israelis and Palestinians.

The critiques of Kerry centered around ideas that U.S. officials say were sent to Israeli officials, based on an Egyptian draft ceasefire proposal, that would provide for an immediate end to hostilities and talks 48 hours later between Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian officials in Cairo.

Jul 28, 2014

White House: U.S., Europe to issue new sanctions on Russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and European leaders, in a show of solidarity, agreed on Monday to impose a wider set of sanctions against Russia’s financial, defense and energy sectors in the wake of the shootdown of a passenger jet over Eastern Ukraine, a top Obama aide said.

The coordinated measures come as the United States warned of a Russian troop buildup along the border with eastern Ukraine and the shipment of new sophisticated weapons to pro-Russian separatists.

Jul 25, 2014

Obama tells Central American leaders most children will go home

WASHINGTON, July 25 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama urged
the leaders of three Central American countries on Friday to
work with him to stem the flow of child migrants who have surged
across the U.S. border and warned that most of them would not be
allowed to stay.

In a White House meeting with the leaders of Guatemala,
Honduras and El Salvador, Obama had a tough-love message: his
administration had compassion for the children, but not many
would qualify for humanitarian relief or refugee status. Many of
the migrants have fled poverty and crime at home.

Jul 25, 2014

White House aide says Republicans might try for Obama impeachment

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top White House adviser said on Friday Republicans might try to impeach President Barack Obama over his go-it-alone immigration strategy, as Obama prepared to talk about the U.S. border crisis with Central American presidents.

Dan Pfeiffer, one of Obama’s longest-serving advisers, told reporters that the executive actions Obama will approve at the end of the summer aimed at tackling illegal immigration will likely generate ire from Republicans who have blocked comprehensive immigration legislation.

Jul 24, 2014

White House bemoans lawmakers’ delay on U.S. border crisis funds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House officials expressed growing alarm on Thursday that Congress may not soon approve President Barack Obama’s emergency request for $3.7 billion to tackle the child migration crisis on the southern border of the United States.

The stalemate over the request comes as Obama prepares on Friday to host the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the countries that have been the source of much of the migrant surge that has strained border resources.

Jul 22, 2014

Obama vows U.S. will seek justice in downing of Malaysian jet

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will not rest until justice is done in the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 over eastern Ukraine, President Barack Obama vowed in a condolence book for the nearly 300 victims on Tuesday.

Obama visited the Netherlands Embassy in Washington to sign the book. Of the 298 people killed in the July 17 shootdown over an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists, 193 were Dutch.

Jul 21, 2014

Obama: Russia must press Ukraine rebels to allow plane probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama piled pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday to force pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine to stop blocking an international investigation into the downing of a passenger jet last week.

In what has become a dramatic escalation in the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, Obama denounced the Russian role in eastern Ukraine in some of his strongest language yet and pointedly appealed to Putin to cut ties with the separatists or risk greater international isolation.

Jul 19, 2014

Obama says Europe should see downed jet as ‘wake-up call’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday the downing of a Malaysian jetliner in a Ukrainian region controlled by Russian-backed separatists should be a “wake-up call” for the West in its drive to hold Moscow accountable for a crisis that appears to be at a turning point.

While stopping short of blaming Russia for Thursday’s crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17, in which 298 people died, Obama accused Russia of failing to stop the violence that made it possible to shoot down the plane. The United States has said the jetliner was hit by a surface-to-air missile fired from rebel territory.

    • About Steve

      "A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Steve has worked for Reuters in Washington for 20 years, and spent 16 of those years at the White House covering Presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush. He covered the 2008 presidential campaign."
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