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Nov 5, 2013

‘No-spy’ pact with Germany unlikely despite Snowden’s revelations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is working to improve intelligence cooperation with Germany but a sweeping “no-spy” agreement between the two countries is unlikely, a senior Obama administration official said on Tuesday.

German and U.S. intelligence officials are meeting this week following reports that the National Security Agency had monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

Nov 5, 2013

Obama asks supporters to help with rollout of troubled healthcare plan

WASHINGTON, Nov 4 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama,
defiant against critics of his troubled healthcare plan, vowed
on Monday to press ahead with the rollout and asked supporters
to help as the White House struggled to gain control of the
debate over his signature achievement in the face of mounting
criticism.

Obama went before 200 of the core activists who helped turn
out the vote for him in his re-election a year ago, seeking
their assistance to enroll people into the Affordable Care Act
amid signs that early enrollment numbers will fall far short of
expectations.

Nov 4, 2013

Biden to emphasize Asia pivot on trip to China, Japan, South Korea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will travel to China, Japan and South Korea in the first week of December, a trip designed to emphasize the U.S. commitment to a policy pivot toward Asia.

With events in the Middle East and domestic policy battles dominating President Barack Obama’s attention in recent months, questions have emerged about the extent of Obama’s commitment to this shift, particularly after the president canceled participation in two Asia-specific summits last month.

Nov 3, 2013

Obama, Democrats seek to make Virginia governor’s race a Tea Party referendum

ARLINGTON, Virginia (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats attempted on Sunday to tap into voter anger about a 16-day U.S. government shutdown and turn Virginia’s upcoming governor’s election into a referendum on Tea Party conservatives.

With Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe leading polls over Republican Ken Cuccinelli before Tuesday’s vote, Obama and Democratic speakers at a rally in the Washington suburb of Arlington pressed party activists to focus on turning out the vote.

Nov 2, 2013

U.S. wants ‘inclusive’ Iraq: Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama pressed Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Friday to build a more inclusive democracy in his country and said the United States would cooperate with Iraq as it tries to push back a resurgent al Qaeda.

As Iraq experiences a rising spiral of sectarian violence two years after U.S. troops departed following eight years of war, Maliki came to Washington seeking U.S. help to counter a Sunni insurgency revived in part by Syria’s civil war next door.

Nov 1, 2013

Obama tells Iraqi leader that U.S. wants ‘inclusive’ Iraq

WASHINGTON, Nov 1 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama pressed
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Friday to build a more
inclusive democracy in his country and said the United States
would cooperate with Iraq as it tries to push back a resurgent
al Qaeda.

As Iraq experiences a rising spiral of sectarian violence
two years after U.S. troops departed following eight years of
war, Maliki came to Washington seeking U.S. help to counter a
Sunni insurgency revived in part by Syria’s civil war next door.

Nov 1, 2013

White House says Obama did not consider dropping Biden from 2012 ticket

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama “never entertained” the idea of dropping Vice President Joe Biden from his 2012 re-election team and replacing him with Hillary Clinton, the White House said on Friday.

A new book on the 2012 campaign says Obama’s top aides considered the notion but decided not to pursue it because it did not materially improve Obama’s odds.

Oct 31, 2013

Biden urges U.S. lawmakers to hold off on any new Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Vice President Joe Biden led a high-powered delegation to Capitol Hill on Thursday to try to persuade U.S. lawmakers to hold off on any more sanctions against Iran and let delicate diplomatic talks over Tehran’s nuclear program unfold.

President Barack Obama is convinced that there is the potential for an international deal to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon but worries that congressional pressure for additional sanctions could complicate negotiations.

Oct 30, 2013

Merkel envoys at White House to sort out U.S.-German tensions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American and German officials sought to overcome tension between their governments on Wednesday following reports that the U.S. National Security Agency monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

A meeting between White House national security adviser Susan Rice and her German counterpart came a week after an infuriated Merkel complained to President Barack Obama about accusations that the United States had for years been eavesdropping on her.

Oct 30, 2013

Analysis: On healthcare, spying, questions on what Obama knew and when

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – To his critics, President Barack Obama often has seemed to be conveniently distant when trouble has hit his administration.

But on Tuesday, Obama was hit with a public-relations crisis that struck at the core of his domestic and foreign policy – one that raised questions about whether he had misled Americans on his signature healthcare overhaul, and whether he really was unaware of the U.S. government’s alleged spying on its allies.

    • 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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