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Aug 20, 2014

Obama says beheading ‘shocked the conscience’ of the world

By Alexander Dziadosz and Steve Holland

BAGHDAD/EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday the beheading of American journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants “shocked the conscience of the entire world” and he vowed the United States would do what it must to protect its citizens.

U.S. officials, meanwhile, said American warplanes continued to strike IS targets in Iraq.  

Aug 20, 2014

Obama: U.S. will be relentless with Islamic State after beheading

By Steve Holland and Elizabeth Barber

EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday vowed that the United States will not be swayed from airstrikes against Islamic State after the group beheaded an American journalist, an act he said is proof that the militants stand for no religion.

Obama’s response to the execution of James Foley marked his strongest condemnation yet of Islamic State militants, and he gave no sign of a pause in U.S. targeting of militant positions in Iraq.

Aug 18, 2014

Obama urges Iraqis to unite because ‘the wolf’s at the door’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama urged Iraqis on Monday to quickly form an inclusive government to unite against Islamic militants, warning “the wolf’s at the door” and that U.S. airstrikes can only accomplish so much.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Obama vowed to avoid the kind of “mission creep” that could deepen the U.S. military’s involvement in Iraq to repulse Islamic State militants seen increasingly as a threat not just to Iraq but to the entire region.

Aug 1, 2014

Obama says will be hard to get a new ceasefire in Gaza

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday that it will be difficult to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza after the latest truce fell apart but he strongly defended Secretary of State John Kerry for his failed diplomatic drive.

Obama’s comment at a White House news conference suggested the limited impact that diplomacy is having as Israel tries to dismantle Hamas tunnel networks in Gaza and the Palestinian militants fight back.

Aug 1, 2014

Obama says that after 9/11, ‘we tortured some folks’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday the CIA “tortured some folks” after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that the White House had handed over to Congress a report about an investigation into “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

“We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values,” Obama told a White House news conference.

Aug 1, 2014

Obama impeachment talk buoys Democrats in immigration showdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Few people in Washington believe Republicans will try to impeach President Barack Obama. Yet the notion that they might try has put Obama’s opponents on the defensive just as the president prepares to loosen immigration rules in a way they say violates his constitutional powers.

Recent statements from conservatives like Iowa Representative Steve King and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin that Obama should be impeached are allowing Democrats to portray Republicans as irrational, adding a toxic mix to the immigration debate in an election year.

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.

    • 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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