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Dec 19, 2014

Obama’s year-end message to Americans: I’m not a lame duck

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – If U.S. President Barack Obama is feeling the pain from a rough year at the office, he did a great job of covering it up on Friday.

Before boarding Air Force One for a vacation in Hawaii, the president gave a year-end news conference with a spring in his step, buoyed by a surge in U.S. economic growth and newly confident after having stymied his Republican critics with unilateral actions on immigration and Cuba.

Dec 19, 2014

U.S. expected to formally blame North Korea for Sony cyberattack

WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – U.S. authorities were
expected to announce on Friday that investigators had determined
that North Korea was behind a devastating cyberattack against
Sony Pictures, setting up a possible confrontation between
Washington and Pyongyang.

The probe into the hack found North Korea was involved and
that there may also be a Chinese link, either through
collaboration with Chinese actors or the use of Chinese servers
to mask the origin of the attack, a U.S. official said.

Dec 19, 2014

With Cuba decision, Obama hands Hillary Clinton a gift

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton knows a political gift when she sees one.

She was quick to embrace the step this week when President Barack Obama, a fellow Democrat no longer having to face an electorate, relaxed U.S. policy toward Cuba.

Dec 18, 2014

U.S., Cuba restore ties after 50 years

HAVANA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Cuba agreed on Wednesday to restore diplomatic ties that Washington severed more than 50 years ago, and President Barack Obama called for an end to the long economic embargo against its old Cold War enemy.

After 18 months of secret talks, Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed in a phone call on Tuesday on a breakthrough prisoner exchange, the opening of embassies in each other’s countries, and an easing of some restrictions on commerce.

Dec 17, 2014

U.S., Cuba to restore ties after 50 years of hostility

HAVANA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will restore diplomatic relations it severed with Cuba more than 50 years ago, a major policy shift ending decades of hostile ties with the communist-ruled island, President Barack Obama said on Wednesday.

Announcing the end of what he called a “rigid” policy of isolation of Cuba that had been ineffective, Obama said the United States would move toward normal ties and would open an embassy in Cuba.

Dec 17, 2014

U.S. moves to normalize relations with Cuba in dramatic shift

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Cuba are moving to normalize diplomatic relations more than 50 years after they were severed in a historic shift in policy, President Barack Obama was set to announce on Wednesday.

Senior U.S officials, previewing Obama’s 12 p.m. ET announcement, said the United States and Cuba will move to open embassies in each other’s capitals. Obama spoke on Tuesday to Cuban President Raul Castro to discuss the changes in a call that lasted nearly an hour.

Dec 17, 2014

Jeb Bush explores 2016 U.S. presidential run

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Jeb Bush is actively exploring a run for the U.S. presidency in 2016, making the former Florida governor with the famous political last name one of the first major Republicans to formally move toward a possible candidacy.

Bush, 61, said on Tuesday he will establish a political action committee in January, a step that an aide said will allow him to engage politically with supporters and potential donors and determine whether sufficient support exists for a run.

Dec 16, 2014

Jeb Bush says he will explore 2016 U.S. presidential run

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Jeb Bush announced on Tuesday he is actively exploring a run for the U.S. presidency in 2016, making the former Florida governor with the famous political last name one of the first major Republicans to formally move toward a possible candidacy.

Bush, 61, who has not held public office since 2007, would have to come to terms with increasingly powerful conservatives in the Republican Party in order to best what is expected to be a crowded Republican field in 2016.

Dec 15, 2014

Obama vows no safe haven for Islamic State

By Steve Holland

FORT DIX, N.J. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama used a holiday season visit to a U.S. military base on Monday to issue a tough warning to Islamic State militants, saying a U.S.-led coalition will permit no safe haven to the group and will destroy it eventually.

Obama spoke to hundreds of camouflage-wearing troops in a hangar at Fort Dix to thank the U.S. military for its actions around the world. In a display of bipartisan support for the troops, Obama was joined by New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie, a potential candidate to succeed Obama in 2016.

Dec 5, 2014

Obama promises more aid, loan guarantees to Jordan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday that the United States and its allies are making slow but steady progress in the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, and he pledged new aid to Jordan to grapple with Syrian refugees.

Obama and Jordan’s King Abdullah made a show of solidarity against Islamic State, holding Oval Office talks that covered the gamut from Iran’s nuclear program to tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.

    • 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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