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Oct 28, 2014

Suspicious cyber activity at White House detected, addressed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Suspicious cyber activity has been detected on the computer network used by the White House and measures have been taken to address it, a White House official disclosed on Tuesday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, would not say who might have been responsible for the activity on what was described as an unclassified computer network used by employees of the Executive Office of the President.

Oct 28, 2014

Obama sees different Ebola rules for U.S. military than for civilians

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday appeared to back more rigorous procedures for dealing with soldiers returning from missions to Ebola-hit West African countries, even as he criticized moves by some U.S. states to quarantine returning civilian health workers.

Obama said that American military personnel were in a “different situation” compared with healthcare workers. While civilians may be discouraged from volunteering to help fight the Ebola if they are facing quarantine on their return, troops were sent as part of their mission and could expect such inconveniences.

Oct 28, 2014

Obama fights his last campaign mostly in living rooms, hotel ballrooms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is fighting his last campaign mostly at staid Democratic fund-raising events in hotel ballrooms and the private homes of donors, a far cry from the huge crowds who turned out in droves during his White House runs and helped elect him twice.

This is not where Obama wanted to be in his second term. With the president’s job approval near 40 percent, however, a public rally with Obama would be a liability for most Democrats in contested states where U.S. Senate control will be decided on Nov. 4 elections.

Oct 26, 2014

Waiting on Jeb: Will another Bush run for the White House in 2016?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Jeb Bush’s flirtation with a possible run for the White House in 2016 has been so low key that some in his party aren’t convinced he’s prepared to take on the challenge.

    The former Florida governor with the famous family name is among the leaders in polls charting potential Republican contenders in 2016 and says he will decide late this year or early next year.

Oct 24, 2014

White House ex-counsel Ruemmler asks Obama not to consider her for attorney general

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, facing the possibility of a difficult Senate confirmation battle, has pulled out of consideration for replacing Eric Holder as U.S. attorney general, a White House official said on Friday.

Obama, who thinks highly of Ruemmler, had approached the Washington lawyer to see if he could put her on his shortlist for replacing Holder, who has announced he will leave his post when a successor is found.

Oct 22, 2014

U.S. may expand training role of Iraq military advisers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Any Iraqi request for more American military advisers or trainers to help the country’s security forces fight Islamic State militants would be considered, senior U.S. officials said Tuesday.

The issue was discussed in meetings that deputy White House national security adviser Antony Blinken and other U.S. officials had with top Iraqi officials last week on a trip to Baghdad and other parts of the country.

Oct 21, 2014

U.S. considering Iraqi request for more military advisers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior U.S. officials are considering an Iraqi request for more American military advisers to help Iraqi security forces in their campaign against Islamic State militants, a senior Obama administration official said on Tuesday.

The request came up in meetings that deputy White House national security adviser Antony Blinken and other U.S. officials had with top Iraqi officials last week on a trip to Baghdad and other parts of the country.

Oct 17, 2014

Obama to sign cybersecurity order, wants safer payments

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama planned to sign an executive order on Friday to make federal payments safer, urging banks and retailers to follow suit after massive data breaches put millions of consumers at risk.

In remarks to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Obama will announce steps such as microchips and PIN numbers for government credit cards, and enhancing the safety of payment card terminals at federal agencies.

Oct 17, 2014

Obama open to appointing Ebola ‘czar,’ opposes travel ban

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday that he was considering appointing an Ebola “czar” to coordinate the fight against the virus in the United States but he remained opposed to a ban on travel from West Africa.

Obama’s administration is under growing criticism from lawmakers over its efforts to contain the disease at home. Obama authorized calling up military reservists for the U.S. fight against Ebola in West Africa on Thursday.

Oct 17, 2014

Obama says considering appointing an Ebola ‘czar’ to lead U.S. effort

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday he is considering appointing an Ebola “czar” as the lead U.S. coordinator in the effort to contain the virus and that he remains opposed to a ban on travel from West Africa.

Obama met in the Oval Office with aides who are involved in the Ebola fight and spoke to reporters afterward. He said “it may be appropriate” at some stage to put one person in charge of the effort. Some lawmakers, such as Republican Senator John McCain, have been urging him to take this step.

    • 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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