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Apr 11, 2014

White House says Iran official will not get visa for U.N. ambassadorship

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Friday that an Iranian official who was in the student group that took U.S. diplomats hostage in 1979 will not be issued a visa to allow him to become Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations.

President Barack Obama had come under strong pressure from the U.S. Congress not to allow Hamid Abutalebi into the country. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the United Nations and Iran had been told “that we will not issue a visa to Mr. Abutalebi.”

Apr 11, 2014

Obama names Burwell as U.S. health secretary to fix Obamacare woes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday he will promote budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to be his next health secretary, who will preside over the next difficult phase of his healthcare law in the months before November congressional elections.

Burwell, whose nomination must be approved by the U.S. Senate, will replace Kathleen Sebelius, who became the public face of the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans plan to exploit as they seek to take control of the Senate.

Apr 10, 2014

Obama wraps himself in civil rights legacy of President Lyndon Johnson

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Barack Obama wrapped himself on Thursday in the civil rights legacy of Lyndon B. Johnson, the 1960s president who helped clear the way for an African-American to one day become U.S. president.

Obama was joined by three former presidents this week in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark legislation that tested Johnson’s vaunted negotiating skills and took a step toward ending America’s segregationist past.

Apr 10, 2014

Obama blasts ‘least productive Congress in modern history’

HOUSTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama sharply criticized what he called the least productive U.S. Congress in modern history on Wednesday in a fund-raising speech that he used to try to energize Democrats to vote in November congressional elections.

Obama blasted Republicans in the U.S. Senate for blocking a Democratic-supported bill earlier in the day aimed at addressing a gap in pay between male and female workers. Republicans argued that pay discrimination is already illegal.

Apr 9, 2014

Obama returns to Fort Hood for second memorial service in five years

FORT HOOD, Texas (Reuters) – As the U.S. flag snapped at half-staff in a stiff breeze, President Barack Obama for the second time in five years attended a solemn memorial service on Wednesday for victims of a tragic shooting at Fort Hood Army base.

Standing before an estimated 3,000 people, including family members of the fallen and soldiers dressed in Army fatigues, Obama spoke at a podium where the combat helmet, rifle, boots and photos of each of the three victims of last week’s attack were on display.

Apr 9, 2014

Obama to mark U.S. civil rights law that paved way for his presidency

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama this week celebrates the civil rights advances of 50 years ago which laid the groundwork for him to become the first black president, but his own record in making life better for the African-American community that catalyzed his election is mixed.

Obama will join former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in speaking at the Lyndon Baines Johnson presidential library in Austin, Texas, this week to mark a half century since Johnson’s landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Apr 4, 2014

Obama briefs congressional leaders on Ukraine crisis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama brought congressional leaders to the White House on Thursday for talks on the Ukraine crisis, with diplomatic efforts between the United States and Russia facing a hard slog.

A week after a trip to Europe that was dominated by meetings to discuss ways to react to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Obama sat down with Democratic and Republican leaders of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

Apr 3, 2014

White House objects to Samsung’s use of Obama photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It was a fun moment: Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz snapped a “selfie” photo with President Barack Obama when the World Series champions visited the White House this week.

But the smiles turned to scowls when mobile provider Samsung promoted the picture on Twitter to the company’s 5.2 million followers and pointed out the image had been taken with a Samsung smartphone.

Mar 29, 2014

Obama ends four-nation trip in diplomatic limbo over Ukraine

RIYADH (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama ended a four-nation foreign trip on Saturday at the same point that he began it, still facing great uncertainty about a diplomatic way out of the Ukraine crisis.

His diplomatic consultations at The Hague, Brussels and Rome over the past week all resulted in a strong show of unity between the United States and Europe that Russia must face consequences should it move against southern or eastern Ukraine.

Mar 29, 2014

Obama seeks to reassure Saudi Arabia over Iran, Syria

RIYADH (Reuters) – President Barack Obama sought to reassure Saudi King Abdullah on Friday that he would support moderate Syrian rebels and reject a bad nuclear deal with Iran, during a visit designed to allay the kingdom’s concerns that its decades-old U.S. alliance had frayed.

Flying by helicopter to the king’s desert camp, Obama underscored the importance of Washington’s relationship with the world’s largest oil exporter in a two-hour meeting that focused on the Middle East but did not touch on energy or human rights.

    • 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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