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Jun 20, 2013

Obama to nominate Jim Comey as next FBI chief on Friday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will nominate Jim Comey to be the next FBI director on Friday, picking a former Justice Department official who has deep experience in the U.S. battle against terrorism, a White House official said on Thursday.

If confirmed by the Senate, Comey, a Republican, would replace FBI Director Robert Mueller, who has led the agency since just before the September 11, 2001, attacks. Mueller is expected to step down this fall.

Jun 18, 2013

Obama sees Iran’s election of moderate as hopeful sign

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Monday that Iran’s election of a moderate as its next president is a sign that Iranians want to move in a different direction, but he was uncertain whether it would lead to a breakthrough over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

In an interview with public television anchor Charlie Rose, Obama said the United States and its allies would be willing to hold talks with Iran over its nuclear program, as long as Tehran recognized that international sanctions would not be lifted unless Iran proved it is not building a nuclear weapon.

Jun 18, 2013

Obama says Bernanke has ‘stayed a lot longer’ than he wanted at Fed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama hinted in an interview aired on Monday that he may be looking for a new chief of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, saying current Chairman Ben Bernanke has stayed a lot longer than he had originally planned.

Obama, speaking to Charlie Rose, host of a PBS interview program, compared Bernanke to longtime FBI Director Robert Mueller, who agreed to stay two years longer than he had planned and is to leave in the coming months.

Jun 18, 2013

Lawyer Cliff Sloan faces tough assignment: Closing Guantanamo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Cliff Sloan has represented Jon Bon Jovi’s band in legal matters and argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, he has perhaps his toughest assignment: Helping to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Washington attorney was named on Monday as the State Department’s Guantanamo Bay envoy, a central player in President Barack Obama’s renewed push to make good on a 2008 campaign promise to shut the installation where the United States holds terrorism suspects. Obama wants to close the facility because it is a legacy of the Bush administration that he feels has damaged the U.S. reputation with allies around the world.

Jun 17, 2013

Obama says will meet oversight board about NSA surveillance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Monday he will meet soon with a privacy and civil liberties oversight board to discuss ways to balance the need for U.S. surveillance while respecting people’s right to privacy.

Obama, in an interview with PBS anchor Charlie Rose, said he believed there is plenty of transparency about the U.S. government’s top-secret monitoring of Americans’ phone and Internet data but that he has asked the intelligence community to see if there is more that can be revealed about it to reassure people.

Jun 8, 2013

Obama, Xi latest leaders to escape to California desert retreat

, June 8 (Reuters) – Frank Sinatra
married his fourth wife here, Richard Nixon visited to nurse his
wounds after resigning the presidency, and now the names of
Barack Obama and Xi Jinping are added to the long list of
celebrities and political leaders who have trekked to this
desert getaway.

The late philanthropists Walter and Leonore Annenberg
intended their Sunnylands sanctuary to be something of a “Camp
David of the West,” a reference to the presidential retreat
tucked away in the Maryland mountains near Washington.

Jun 8, 2013

Obama, China’s Xi seek to ease tensions on cyber security

RANCHO MIRAGE, California (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping agreed on Friday to work together to try to resolve disputes over cyber security, a major irritant between the world’s top two economic powers.

Hosting Xi at a two-day summit in a luxurious desert estate in southern California, Obama said the United States welcomes China’s “peaceful rise” but made clear that Beijing must play by the same rules of economic world order as other major nations.

Jun 8, 2013

Cyber disputes loom large as Obama meets Xi

RANCHO MIRAGE, California (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will complain to Chinese President Xi Jinping at a summit on Friday about suspected Chinese cyber hacking of U.S. secrets, even as the White House faces growing questions at home over American government surveillance.

Meeting at the luxurious Sunnylands estate near Palm Springs in California, Obama will seek Xi’s assurance that he takes seriously accusations of growing Chinese cyber spying, including snooping on advanced U.S. weapons designs.

Jun 8, 2013

Obama defends surveillance effort as ‘trade-off’ for security

SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday staunchly defended the sweeping U.S. government surveillance of Americans’ phone and internet activity, calling it a “modest encroachment” on privacy that was necessary to defend the United States from attack.

“Nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That’s not what this program is about,” Obama told reporters during a visit to California’s Silicon Valley. He emphasized that the secret surveillance programs were supervised by federal judges and authorized by Congress, which had been briefed on the details.

Jun 7, 2013

Obama defends surveillance program as trade-off for security

SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday staunchly defended the sweeping U.S. government surveillance of Americans’ phone and internet activity, calling it a modest encroachment on privacy that was necessary to defend the United States from attack.

Obama said the programs were “trade-offs” designed to strike a balance between privacy concerns and keeping Americans safe from terrorist attacks. He said they were supervised by federal judges and Congress, and that lawmakers had been briefed.

    • 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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