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Oct 17, 2014

Obama open to appointing Ebola ‘czar,’ opposes travel ban

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday that he was considering appointing an Ebola “czar” to coordinate the fight against the virus in the United States but he remained opposed to a ban on travel from West Africa.

Obama’s administration is under growing criticism from lawmakers over its efforts to contain the disease at home. Obama authorized calling up military reservists for the U.S. fight against Ebola in West Africa on Thursday.

Oct 17, 2014

Obama says considering appointing an Ebola ‘czar’ to lead U.S. effort

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday he is considering appointing an Ebola “czar” as the lead U.S. coordinator in the effort to contain the virus and that he remains opposed to a ban on travel from West Africa.

Obama met in the Oval Office with aides who are involved in the Ebola fight and spoke to reporters afterward. He said “it may be appropriate” at some stage to put one person in charge of the effort. Some lawmakers, such as Republican Senator John McCain, have been urging him to take this step.

Oct 15, 2014

Obama vows more aggressive response to Ebola fears

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama vowed a more aggressive response to the handling of any new U.S. Ebola cases on Wednesday after the infection of a second Texas healthcare worker prompted him to postpone a political trip in a sign of growing concern.

Obama spoke after convening a special Cabinet meeting at the White House to discuss the U.S. response to the deadly virus. He acknowledged concerns and fears raised by the handling of the original Ebola patient at a Dallas hospital, Liberian national Thomas Duncan, who died of Ebola and infected at least two healthcare workers while there.

Oct 15, 2014

Obama holds Ebola meeting as White House defends handling of outbreak

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama convened a high-level meeting about the Ebola outbreak on Wednesday after abruptly postponing a political trip in what was a sign of growing concern about the deadly virus.

The White House strongly defended the government’s handling of the Ebola problem after it became clear that a second Texas healthcare worker who tested positive for the virus had traveled aboard a commercial airliner.

Oct 15, 2014

Obama to hold Ebola meeting at White House, postpones trip

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama abruptly postponed a political trip he was to make on Wednesday to stay at the White House to convene a high-level meeting about the Ebola outbreak.

The White House said Obama’s trip to New Jersey and Connecticut has been postponed. He had planned to attend a Democratic fundraiser in Union, New Jersey, and headline a rally for the re-election of Democratic Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Oct 15, 2014

Obama weighs Ruemmler, Verrilli for attorney general job

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is unlikely to name a new attorney general until after the Nov. 4 elections, and White House counsel Kathy Ruemmler and Solicitor General Don Verrilli are two of the leading candidates for the job, sources close to the White House said.

By waiting to pick a replacement for Attorney General Eric Holder, Obama could prevent the decision from becoming mired in election-year politics in the final weeks of the congressional election campaign.

Oct 14, 2014

Obama, foreign military chiefs, coordinate Islamic State plans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday told military leaders from more than 20 countries working with Washington to defeat Islamic State that he was deeply concerned about the radical group’s advances at the north Syrian town of Kobani and in western Iraq.

“This is going to be a long-term campaign,” Obama told the defense chiefs during a meeting at Andrews Air Force Base, outside Washington.

Oct 14, 2014

Obama to nominate new attorney general after November 4 elections: official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will wait until after Nov. 4 congressional elections to nominate a new U.S. attorney general, a White House official said on Tuesday.

The decision to delay allows Obama more time to pick a replacement for Attorney General Eric Holder and means the new nominee will not get mired in election-year politics in the final weeks of the congressional election campaign.

Oct 10, 2014

Obama moves to protect part of California’s San Gabriel Mountains

By Steve Holland

SAN DIMAS Calif. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday declared large parts of the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles as a national monument and vowed to protect more federal lands for future generations.

With the mountains providing a scenic backdrop for Obama’s announcement, the president cast his decision as one of social justice, saying the area is the only close outdoor space for urban families in the outer suburbs of Los Angeles.

Oct 10, 2014

On West Coast swing, Obama gets job offer, raises money at Gwyneth Paltrow’s

SANTA MONICA Calif (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama got an unexpected job offer from a tech executive and a compliment from actress Gwyneth Paltrow to start a two-day West Coast swing aimed at raising money to blunt Republicans’ drive to win the Senate in Nov. 4 elections.

Obama was the headliner at a Democratic fundraising event at the expansive Brentwood, California, home of Paltrow, who introduced Obama to a crowd of about 200 people on her back lawn by telling the president, “You’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly.”

    • 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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