Obama administration

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US, Afghan Leaders Make Nice Again

John Kerry talks with Ashraf Ghani at Camp David

(Newser) - In a show of unity, US and Afghan officials laid the groundwork for new relations between the two countries today, including plans to seek American funding to maintain an Afghan security force of 352,000 and long-term counterterrorism efforts. Discussions over future US troop levels continue as the war winds... More »

Obama, Netanyahu, Iran: What You Need to Know

Israeli PM to speak to Congress on Iran as Kerry works for nuke deal

(Newser) - Over the next two days, Washington will be a study in contrasts. Today, President Obama and two key advisers will push for a diplomatic means of avoiding a nuclear Iran; tomorrow, in a controversial speech to Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will push back against the plan, the New ... More »

Susan Rice Slams Netanyahu Visit as 'Destructive'

Says PM is damaging Israel's relationship with Washington

(Newser) - Controversy has been swirling over the Israeli prime minister's upcoming speech to a joint session of Congress, which John Boehner planned without Obama administration approval and comes shortly before Israeli elections. Now, National Security Adviser Susan Rice is bashing the visit as having "injected a degree of... More »

US Names 1st Global Envoy for LGBT Rights

Randy Berry will help fight discrimination overseas

(Newser) - The US named its first international envoy for gay rights today, tasking a veteran diplomat with leading the country's efforts to fight violence and discrimination against LGBT individuals overseas. Randy Berry, currently the consul general in the Netherlands, will promote human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals,... More »

Report: US Sat on Info About Hostages' Location

Daily Beast says US waited a month to act on British intelligence

(Newser) - A few weeks after the US staged a failed rescue mission last July to retrieve ISIS hostages Kayla Mueller , James Foley , and Steven Sotloff , the Muslim insurgents started sending out a gruesome chain of beheading videos. Now US and UK officials are saying that the hostages had been moved just... More »

5 Things to Know About Obama's $3.99T Budget

The goal: a 'sustainable' deficit

(Newser) - President Obama has unveiled his fiscal 2016 budget, and it's not likely to receive a warm welcome from Republicans, Reuters reports. The $3.99 trillion plan for the budget year that begins Oct. 1 is founded on higher taxes both for the wealthy and corporations; some money will come... More »

Obama Rolls Out Rules to Hack Methane Emissions

Obama administration aims to cut emissions by 45% by 2025

(Newser) - President Obama is rolling out major new steps to fight methane emissions, aiming to cut them by up to 45% of 2012 levels within a decade. The administration's rules will address the growing domestic oil and gas industries, whose expansion is expected to significantly increase the amount of methane... More »

Family Rains Cash on Dems, Immigration Breaks Ensue

Travel ban on Estefania Isaias is dropped

(Newser) - Estefania Isaias was banned from entering the US after getting illegal visas for her maids—a ban that was lifted right around the time the Isaias family donated tens of thousands of dollars to President Obama's campaign, the New York Times reports. The family has given vast sums to... More »

What New US-Cuba Relations Look Like

US to cut travel restrictions after release of Alan Gross

(Newser) - With the release of American Alan Gross , the beleaguered relationship between the US and Cuba is poised to undergo major changes. The two countries are preparing to normalize their diplomatic relations, which were severed in January 1961, the Wall Street Journal reports, and the US plans to re-establish its embassy... More »

Obama Picks Pentagon Nominee: Report

Ashton Carter has worked quietly behind the scenes until now

(Newser) - President Obama has apparently chosen a new candidate for Pentagon chief—a relative unknown on the national stage who worked as former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's "alter ego" for about two years. That candidate is Ashton Carter, whose public profile was boosted by his role in planning the... More »

Biden Vacayed for Cheap in Fancy Federal Log Cabin

Other Obama bigwigs also apparently stayed at Wyoming's Brinkerhoff Lodge

(Newser) - With its ritzy decor and stunning view of the Grand Tetons, Wyoming's Brinkerhoff Lodge sounds like a vacation home fit for a king—or at least for VP Joe Biden and high-level Obama team members who've all stayed at the fancy log cabin with their families and friends.... More »

Ebola Death Toll Passes 3K

WHO prepares thousands of experimental vaccines

(Newser) - The number of deaths linked to Ebola has now passed 3,000, according to a WHO toll published today. In just two days, more than 150 people died in Liberia, the hardest-hit country. And WHO has warned that even those high tolls might be an underestimate as patients fear going... More »

US Cracks Down on Companies Moving Overseas

Treasury Dept tries to curb tax inversions

(Newser) - The Obama administration cracked down today on so-called tax inversions, aiming to curb a spate of American companies shifting overseas in an attempt to shirk paying US taxes. New regulations from the Treasury Department will make inversions less lucrative by barring creative techniques that companies use to lower their tax... More »

Homeland Security's Big Problem: Staff Keep Quitting

Department grapples with morale problems

(Newser) - One of the biggest challenges faced by the Department of Homeland Security is an internal one: Top staff members keep quitting, and it's hampering officials in their efforts to fight external dangers. In the past four years, the rate of departure from the department has been almost double the... More »

White House's New Enemy: Coolant Found in Your Home

Calls on firms, trading partners to cut down on R-134a

(Newser) - The Obama administration has a new goal in its effort to fight climate change: get Americans—and the world—to quickly stop using a chemical coolant found in just about every US home, car, and office. R-134a is a hydrofluorocarbon, or HFC; the chemical was used to replace ozone-damaging Freon... More »

Bobby Jindal Sues White House Over Common Core

Says education standards amount to nationalizing education

(Newser) - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is suing the Obama administration over Common Core education standards, arguing that they represent a federal effort to wrest control over education from the states, the AP reports. According to the suit filed today, the White House has "effectively force[d] states down a path toward... More »

Clinton Knocks White House 'Failure' in Syria

And suggests she'll run in 2016?

(Newser) - In a new Atlantic interview, Hillary Clinton has underlined her differences with President Obama on foreign policy—particularly when it comes to Syria. Clinton pointed to the administration's limited involvement in Syria as a major factor in the Islamic State's surge to power in Iraq, Politico notes. "... More »

US Spent $11B Spinning Wheels on High-Speed Rail

Obama's 2011 promise was 'unadulterated hype,' critics say

(Newser) - Since 2009, $11 billion has gone toward speeding up passenger trains in the US, yet there's little to show for it, the New York Times reports. Though the Obama administration isn't wholly to blame—GOP opposition, community protests, and lawsuits have also ridden the brakes—an expert says... More »

Trade in Focus as African Leaders Meet in Washington

Coca-Cola leads way in agricultural initiative

(Newser) - This week, Washington is hosting most of Africa's leaders for the White House's US-Africa Leaders Summit, which aims to forge stronger ties between the US and the continent, CNN reports. The event will address issues ranging from trade to security, the Wall Street Journal notes. A business forum... More »

Obama Approves Sonic Gun for East Coast Oil Search

Eastern Seaboard will be open for exploration in 2018

(Newser) - The Obama administration is opening the Eastern Seaboard to oil exploration for the first time in decades, it announced today, and it's approving the use of a controversial sonic cannon in the effort. Companies will be able to apply for permits from Delaware to Florida in 2018, when the... More »

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