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Apr 28, 2014

White House casts Russia sanctions strategy as battle of attrition

WASHINGTON, April 28 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
calls his sanctions policy against Russia “calibrated”, while
his Republican rivals dismiss it a “slap on the wrist” and
Russia condemns it as “illegitimate.”

As the White House embarks on what experts agree is a
cautious approach to penalizing Russia for its intervention in
Ukraine, the strategy behind the seemingly light penalties is
being cast by Obama administration officials as a slow battle of
attrition, chipping away at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s
credibility while keeping U.S. policy in lockstep with Europe.

Apr 28, 2014

New U.S. sanctions on Putin allies cause few ripples

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States imposed fresh sanctions on Russian firms and government officials on Monday, a move that financial markets largely shrugged off and U.S. Republican lawmakers dismissed as too little to deter Moscow from further action in Ukraine.

The reaction underscored the dilemma facing President Barack Obama: how to use sanctions to punish Moscow for its intervention in Ukraine without hurting European countries and foreign companies with deep financial ties to Russia.

Apr 28, 2014

U.S. imposes sanctions against seven Russians, 17 companies it links to Putin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Monday slapped sanctions on seven Russian government officials and 17 companies linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a fresh attempt to force Moscow to back down from its intervention in Ukraine.

The White House said the third round of sanctions in response to the Ukraine crisis was prompted by Moscow’s failure to adhere to an April 17 agreement in Geneva on ways to resolve the situation.

Apr 28, 2014

U.S. sanctions Russians over Ukraine

WASHINGTON/KOSTYANTYNIVKA, Ukraine (Reuters) – The United States froze assets and imposed visa bans on seven powerful Russians close to President Vladimir Putin on Monday and also sanctioned 17 companies in reprisal for Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

President Barack Obama said the moves, which add to measures taken when Russia annexed Crimea last month, were to stop Putin fomenting rebellion in eastern Ukraine. Obama added he was holding broader measures against Russia’s economy “in reserve”.

Apr 20, 2014

Pipeline delay gives boost to Obama’s political base

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The latest delay to a final decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline will reinforce a White House strategy to energize President Barack Obama’s liberal-leaning base before fall elections in which Democrats risk losing control of the U.S. Senate.

Environmentalists, worried about the project’s effect on climate change, have put enormous pressure on the president to reject the pipeline from Canada’s oil sands, staging demonstrations outside the White House and protests in states where he travels.

Apr 20, 2014

Analysis: Pipeline delay gives boost to Obama’s political base

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The latest delay to a final decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline will reinforce a White House strategy to energize President Barack Obama’s liberal-leaning base before fall elections in which Democrats risk losing control of the U.S. Senate.

Environmentalists, worried about the project’s effect on climate change, have put enormous pressure on the president to reject the pipeline from Canada’s oil sands, staging demonstrations outside the White House and protests in states where he travels.

Apr 17, 2014

Obama argues healthcare law is working, rejects Republican criticism

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama mounted a vigorous effort on Thursday to show his signature healthcare law is working and dismissed Republican critics who are using flaws in Obamacare to campaign for ousting Democrats from the U.S. Congress in November.

Appearing in the White House briefing room days before leaving the national stage for a week-long trip to Asia, Obama used a news conference to make the case that the Affordable Care Act had mended nicely from its disastrous October rollout.

Apr 16, 2014

Obama, Biden visit Pennsylvania to promote job-training plan

, April 16 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
and Vice President Joe Biden took a trip to a Pennsylvania
community college on Wednesday to promote a plan to train
workers for skills they need for hard-to-fill jobs.

For security reasons, Obama and Biden flew in separate
planes for the event in this suburb of Pittsburgh but rode in
the same limousine from the airport and appeared together at the
Community College of Allegheny County.

Apr 16, 2014

Obama to announce $600 million U.S. job-training initiative

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will announce an initiative on Wednesday to devote $600 million to address a central challenge of today’s economy: How to train workers for skills they need for jobs that are open but hard to fill.

American companies will need 522,000 software developers and computer programmers over the next 10 years as well as nearly 110,000 pharmacists, 224,000 electricians and 941,000 customer service representatives, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Apr 12, 2014

With new leader for Obamacare, White House shifts to election mode

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Kathleen Sebelius’ departure as President Barack Obama’s health secretary signals a new chapter in the White House’s efforts to defend Obama’s signature healthcare law and help Senate Democrats who face tough battles for re-election in conservative states this fall.

In the tightly orchestrated transition that included Sebelius’ resignation late Thursday and Obama’s quick appointment of well-regarded budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell as Sebelius’ replacement, the political calculus was clear:

    • 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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