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Feb 10, 2014

French president coming alone to White House this week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House officials are giving a dismissive Gallic shrug to French President Francois Hollande’s personal drama and preparing a state visit to showcase strong U.S.-French cooperation on a host of global priorities.

Hollande, 59, who just broke up with his longtime partner after an alleged affair with a much younger actress, arrives solo on Monday to begin two days of pomp and ceremony including a high-profile visit to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate.

Feb 5, 2014

Obama vows to help Democrats in 2014 in third day of talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama spent part of a third straight day on Wednesday talking to congressional Democrats about an agenda for the year that party leaders hope will help them make gains or limit losses in November elections.

Obama trooped over to the Washington Nationals baseball stadium for a private session with Senate Democrats in a meeting room in a section of the stadium behind home plate. Former President Bill Clinton also addressed the group.

Feb 4, 2014

The pen, phone and iPad: Obama’s tech push in U.S. schools

ADELPHI, Maryland (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has a pen. He has a phone. And on Tuesday, he wielded an iPad to help make a point about how he hopes to do more for schools without more funding from Congress.

Obama toured Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Maryland, where seventh-grade students were using tablets to work on math problems based on the Rover explorer on Mars.

Feb 3, 2014

Obama says Kerry to ‘give me a recommendation’ on Keystone project

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama made clear he would make the ultimate call on whether to approve the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline from Canada, and played down the number of jobs the project could create in a Fox News interview to air on Monday.

In recent days, officials from the White House and State Department have emphasized Secretary of State John Kerry’s role in determining whether the $5.4 billion project should go ahead, and have shied away from describing Obama’s role.

Feb 1, 2014

Obama’s executive actions: the power of taking small steps

WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s sixth
year in office is starting out as a testament to the power of
taking small steps.

Frustrated by congressional gridlock, he has turned to the
“pen and the phone” to provoke a “year of action” with a flurry
of executive orders, directives, meetings and reviews to get his
presidency back on track after the difficulties he encountered
last year.

Jan 29, 2014

Obama to lay out go-it-alone approach in State of Union speech

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will lay out his strategy for getting around a divided Congress starting with a wage hike for federal contract workers in a State of the Union speech on Tuesday that reflects scaled-back legislative ambitions after a tough year.

Obama will say in his 9 p.m. EST (0200 GMT Wednesday) address that he will bypass fractious U.S. lawmakers and go it alone in some areas with a series of executive actions aimed at boosting the middle class, many that do not require congressional approval.

Jan 28, 2014

Obama to lay out go-it-alone approach in big speech

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will lay out a strategy for getting around a divided Congress and boosting middle-class prosperity on Tuesday in a State of the Union speech that reflects some scaled-back legislative ambitions after a difficult year.

Obama will make clear in his 9 p.m. EST address that he is willing to bypass U.S. lawmakers and go it alone in some areas by announcing a series of executive actions that do not require congressional approval.

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.”

    • 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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