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Aug 15, 2013

Obama condemns violence in Egypt, cancels military exercises

CHILMARK, Massachusetts (Reuters) – President Barack Obama condemned the bloody crackdown in Egypt on Thursday, announcing that joint military exercises next month were canceled and that normal U.S. cooperation could not continue with the country while civilians were being killed.

“The United States strongly condemns the steps that have been taken by Egypt’s interim government and security forces,” Obama said on the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard where he is on vacation.

Aug 14, 2013

White House strongly opposes Egypt’s emergency declaration

EDGARTOWN, Massachusetts (Reuters) – The White House condemned a violent crackdown on protesters in Egypt on Wednesday and strongly opposed the declaration of a state of emergency made by Egypt’s military leaders.

But White House spokesman Josh Earnest gave no indication that the United States is prepared to immediately cut off its $1.3 billion in military assistance to Egypt. He did say, however, that U.S. aid to Egypt is under review, as it has been for weeks.

Aug 10, 2013

Obama describes Putin as ‘like a bored kid’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday denied he has poor relations with Vladimir Putin after canceling their Moscow talks, but said the Russian president can sometimes appear “like a bored kid in the back of the classroom.”

U.S.-Russian relations plunged to one of their lowest points since the Cold War this week after Russia granted temporary asylum to fugitive former U.S. spy contractor Edward Snowden. Obama retaliated by abruptly canceling a Moscow summit with Putin planned for early next month.

Aug 10, 2013

Obama pledges greater transparency in surveillance programs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama announced plans on Friday to limit sweeping U.S. government surveillance programs that have come under criticism since leaks by a former spy agency contractor, saying the United States “can and must be more transparent.”

“Given the history of abuse by governments, it’s right to ask questions about surveillance, particularly as technology is reshaping every aspect of our lives,” Obama told a news conference at the White House.

Aug 9, 2013

Obama says Putin sometimes seems like ‘bored kid’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday denied he has poor relations with Vladimir Putin after canceling their Moscow talks, but said the Russian president can sometimes appear “like a bored kid in the back of the classroom.”

U.S.-Russian relations plunged to one of their lowest points since the Cold War this week after Russia granted temporary asylum to fugitive former U.S. spy contractor Edward Snowden. Obama retaliated by abruptly canceling a Moscow summit with Putin planned for early next month.

Aug 9, 2013

Obama unveils steps to improve oversight of surveillance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will announce plans on Friday to limit sweeping U.S. government surveillance programs that have come under criticism since leaks by a former spy agency contractor.

“The president does believe that given the scale of the program, that there are understandable concerns about the potential for abuse,” said a senior administration official who briefed reporters ahead of a news conference by the president.

Aug 8, 2013

Obama, family going on eight-day Martha’s Vineyard vacation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Cue up the indignant reactions: President Barack Obama and his family are about to go on an eight-day vacation on the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard, an elite playground for the East Coast wealthy set.

Beset by budget fights with Republicans and foreign policy headaches, Obama is jetting off to New England at a time of great uncertainty about his second term, which is off to a rocky start. Perhaps as a result, his approval rating is a so-so 46 percent, according to Gallup.

Aug 7, 2013

Obama’s economic speeches pound Republicans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The economic policy speeches President Barack Obama has been delivering in recent weeks are turning out to be blunt attacks on Republicans, with an eye toward coming fiscal battles and the 2014 congressional elections.

Obama’s basic message across the country, most recently sounded on Tuesday in Arizona, is that while he has made great strides in improving the economy, further progress is being thwarted by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Aug 7, 2013

Analysis: Obama’s economic speeches pound Republicans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The economic policy speeches President Barack Obama has been delivering in recent weeks are turning out to be blunt attacks on Republicans, with an eye toward coming fiscal battles and the 2014 congressional elections.

Obama’s basic message across the country, most recently sounded on Tuesday in Arizona, is that while he has made great strides in improving the economy, further progress is being thwarted by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Aug 1, 2013

Russia gives Snowden asylum, Obama-Putin summit in doubt

MOSCOW/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russia rejected U.S. pleas and granted American fugitive Edward Snowden a year’s asylum on Thursday, letting the former spy agency contractor slip out of a Moscow airport after more than five weeks in limbo while angering the United States and putting in doubt a planned summit between the two nations’ presidents.

The United States wanted Russia to send Snowden home to face criminal charges including espionage for disclosing in June secret American internet and telephone surveillance programs. The White House signaled that President Barack Obama may boycott a September summit with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

    • 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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