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Feb 15, 2014

Obama signs increase in U.S. debt ceiling

RANCHO MIRAGE, California (Reuters) – President Barack Obama signed legislation on Saturday that raises the U.S. debt limit through March 2015, taking the politically volatile issue off the table with congressional elections coming up this November.

Without an increase in the statutory debt limit, the U.S. government would have soon defaulted on some of its obligations and would have had to shut down some programs, an historic event that would have caused severe market turmoil.

Feb 15, 2014

Obama settles into long weekend of golf with buddies

RANCHO MIRAGE, California (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama has settled into a Presidents Day holiday weekend of golf with friends at a secluded desert retreat where many presidents have found refuge from the storms of the White House.

Obama is at Sunnylands, a southern California sanctuary that has become something of a “Camp David of the West,” which was the intention of the late philanthropists Walter and Leonore Annenberg, who developed the place and who hosted former President Ronald Reagan on many New Year’s holidays.

Feb 15, 2014

Obama says considering new pressure on Syria’s Assad

RANCHO MIRAGE, California (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday he is considering new ways to pressure the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as he pledged fresh U.S. assistance to Jordan’s King Abdullah, whose country is reeling from the Syrian civil war.

Obama and Abdullah held talks at the Sunnylands retreat, the estate of the late philanthropist Walter Annenberg, in this desert region of California.

Feb 14, 2014

Obama pledges help for drought-stricken California

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will pledge on Friday to speed federal assistance to help California recover from a crippling drought that is threatening the critical agriculture industry in the No. 1 farm state.

On a visit to Fresno, California, Obama will promise to make available within 60 days up to $100 million in aid to help California farmers who lost livestock due to drought conditions. For livestock producers across the country, about $1 billion will be available for them.

Feb 12, 2014

Barack and Francois in show of ‘bonhomie’ at White House

WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (Reuters) – There were no “freedom fries”
or any other remembrances from strained Franco-American ties in
the past. Instead, it was dry-aged beef and plenty of “bonhomie”
as President Barack Obama gave a lavish welcome to French
President Francois Hollande.

Obama went out of his way to welcome Hollande at the White
House on Tuesday, saying a few words in passable French, teasing
the Frenchman for his formality and toying with the notion that
U.S. ties with France are as close as they are with old ally
Britain.

Feb 12, 2014

Barack and Francois display chumminess at White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – There were no “freedom fries” or any other remembrances from strained Franco-American ties in the past. Instead, it was dry-aged beef and plenty of bonhomie as President Barack Obama gave a lavish welcome to French President Francois Hollande.

Obama went out of his way to welcome Hollande at the White House on Tuesday, saying a few words in passable French, teasing the Frenchman for his formality and toying with the notion that U.S. ties with France are as close as they are with old ally Britain.

Feb 11, 2014

Barack and Francois take center stage at White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – There were no “freedom fries” or any other remembrances from strained Franco-American ties in the past. Instead, it was dry-aged beef and plenty of bonhomie as President Barack Obama gave a lavish welcome to French President Francois Hollande.

Obama went out of his way to welcome Hollande at the White House on Tuesday, saying a few words in passable French, teasing the Frenchman for his formality and toying with the notion that U.S. ties with France are as close as they are with old ally Britain.

Feb 11, 2014

Obama says U.S. will deal harshly with violators of Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama issued a sharp warning on Tuesday to companies eyeing business deals with Iran, saying the United States would come down like a “ton of bricks” on those that violated sanctions against Tehran.

Obama, speaking at a joint news conference with French President Francois Hollande, said France and other allies were committed to enforcing existing sanctions even as they worked together on a possible a diplomatic deal over Iran’s nuclear program.

Feb 10, 2014

Hollande visit reflects stronger U.S.-French ties despite spy row

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande starts a visit to the United States on Monday with spats over U.S. eavesdropping and trade talks with the EU unlikely to chill a relationship now far warmer than before the 2003 U.S.-led war on Iraq.

Hollande, 59, who split from his partner last month after an affair with an actress, arrives solo for the first state visit hosted by President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle in nearly 2-1/2 years.

Feb 10, 2014

French president coming alone to White House this week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House officials are giving a dismissive Gallic shrug to French President Francois Hollande’s personal drama and preparing a state visit to showcase strong U.S.-French cooperation on a host of global priorities.

Hollande, 59, who just broke up with his longtime partner after an alleged affair with a much younger actress, arrives solo on Monday to begin two days of pomp and ceremony including a high-profile visit to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate.

    • 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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