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Jan 26, 2014

Obama to use speech to offer election-year agenda for Democrats

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama may not say it in his State of the Union speech this week, but part of his underlying message will be: Please vote for Democrats in the November elections.

Obama’s big speech on Tuesday will be his sixth foray into the House of Representatives chamber to lay out his policy priorities for the year.

Jan 24, 2014

U.S. to ensure citizens’ evacuation from Olympics if needed – Hagel

WASHINGTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) – The United States will have “appropriate arrangements” with Russia to ensure the evacuation of Americans from the Sochi Winter Olympics, if necessary, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Friday, amid militant threats to attack the Games.

Russian security forces are hunting a woman suspected of planning a suicide bombing and of being in Sochi already and U.S. officials acknowledged on Friday an increase in reported threats ahead of the Games.

Jan 20, 2014

U.S. begins Iran sanctions relief, sees tough talks ahead

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has followed through on promised sanctions relief for Iran covering oil exports, trade in precious metals, and automotive services as part of a nuclear agreement that began taking effect on Monday, U.S. officials said.

In exchange for steps that Tehran took to halt its most sensitive nuclear activity, the White House said the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union “will today follow through on our commitment to begin to provide the modest relief agreed to with Iran.”

Jan 17, 2014

Obama bans spying on leaders of U.S. allies, scales back NSA program

WASHINGTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
announced a ban on U.S. eavesdropping on the leaders of close
friends and allies on Friday, and rein in the vast collection of
Americans’ phone data in a series of reforms triggered by Edward
Snowden’s revelations.

In a major speech, Obama took steps to reassure Americans
and foreigners alike that the United States will take into
account privacy concerns that arose after former U.S. spy
contractor Snowden’s damaging disclosures about the large
monitoring activities of the National Security Agency.

Jan 17, 2014

Obama to announce overhaul to controversial NSA programme

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will announce on Friday a major overhaul of a controversial National Security Agency programme that collects vast amounts of basic telephone call data on foreigners and Americans, a senior Obama administration official said.

In an 11 a.m. (1600 GMT) speech at the Justice Department, Obama will say he is ordering a transition that will significantly change the handling of what is known as the telephone “metadata” program from the way the NSA currently handles it.

Jan 17, 2014

Exclusive: Obama to announce overhaul to controversial NSA program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will announce on Friday a major overhaul of a controversial National Security Agency program that collects vast amounts of basic telephone call data on foreigners and Americans, a senior Obama administration official said.

In an 11 a.m. (1600 GMT) speech at the Justice Department, Obama will say he is ordering a transition that will significantly change the handling of what is known as the telephone “metadata” program from the way the NSA currently handles it.

Jan 13, 2014

Obama to visit Mexico in February for leaders summit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will visit Mexico in February to attend a North American leaders’ summit, the White House said on Monday.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama would travel to Toluca, Mexico, on February 19.

Jan 11, 2014

Obama honors Sharon’s dedication to Israel, Biden to go to funeral

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Saturday lauded the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s dedication to the Jewish state and reaffirmed an “unshakable commitment” to Israel’s security as Vice President Joe Biden prepared to attend the funeral.

Obama called Sharon – who died at age 85 on Saturday and had been in a coma for the entirety of Obama’s presidency – “a leader who dedicated his life to the state of Israel.” He said he sent his “deepest condolences” to Sharon’s family.

Jan 9, 2014

Obama edges closer to decisions on intelligence reforms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama consulted intelligence officials on Wednesday on ways to rein in U.S. surveillance practices as he nears the end of a review likely to lead to changes as to how bulk telephone data is handled as well as restrictions to spying on foreign leaders.

Obama, who could announce his intelligence reforms in a speech as early as next week, is acting in an attempt to restore Americans’ confidence in U.S. intelligence services after damaging disclosures from former spy contractor Edward Snowden about the sweep of surveillance practices.

Jan 8, 2014

Obama to consult intelligence leaders, Congress on NSA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will consult intelligence officials and congressional leaders as he nears the final stages of a review over how much to rein in U.S. surveillance practices in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations, officials said on Tuesday.

Obama later this month is to unveil a series of intelligence reforms, including how the National Security Agency operates, with a view toward giving Americans more confidence that their privacy is not being violated.

    • 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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