Politics

Obama signs defense bill

Obama signs defense billWashington, Jan. 3 : U. S. President Barack Obama has signed a 633-billion-U. S. dollar defense bill for next year, the White House said early Thursday.

Obama had threatened to veto the bill because of a number of concerns. He said although he continued to oppose certain sections of the bill, "the need to renew critical defense and authorities and funding was too great to ignore."

The bill covers the cost of ships, aircraft, weapons and military personnel as well as the war effort in Afghanistan.


Obama signs ‘fiscal cliff’ bill into law

Obama signs ‘fiscal cliff’ bill into lawWashington, Jan. 3 : U. S. President Barack Obama has signed a `fiscal cliff' bill into law that raises tax rates for the wealthiest Americans and extends tax cuts for most of the U. S. households, the White House has said.

Obama signed the `American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012' late on Wednesday, raising taxes on households earning above 450,000 U. S. dollars and delaying across-the-board spending cuts for two months, the White House said.

The Republican-controlled House approved the bill by a 257-167 vote late Tuesday after the Democratic-led Senate passed it 89-8.

Obama, who is on vacation in Hawaii, signed the bill using an autopen. (ANI)


US condemns China for persistently breaching world trade rules

US condemns China for persistently breaching world trade rulesWashington, Dec 27 : The United States has issued a blistering attack on China for persistently breaching world trade rules and abuse of industrial secrets.

Washington has accused Beijing of failing to abide by treaty obligations.

The report accused Chinese officials of running rough-shod over foreign firms, forcing them to give up trade secrets in clear violation of WTO rules.

According to the Telegraph, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said that China was still flouting World Trade Organisation rules 11 years after it first joined, misusing the complaints machinery for tit-for-tat retaliation.


Ben Affleck leaping from Hollywood to US Senate?

Ben Affleck leaping from Hollywood to US Senate?Washington, Dec 25 : Media pundits are talking that Ben Affleck may enter in to politics amid speculation over who will run for John Kerry''s US Senate seat if the Massachusetts senator moves over to the State Department to serve as President Obama''s foreign affairs chief.

The actor-director, who seems to be reaching a new career peak behind the camera, has not revealed weather he would have an interest in trying for elected office or not.


Chelsea Clinton to play ''larger political role'' following mother Hillary''s exit

Chelsea Clinton to play ''larger political role'' following mother Hillary''s exitWashington, Dec 24 : As Hillary Clinton exits the political stage in coming weeks, her daughter Chelsea Clinton, who has evolved into a self-assured public figure in her own right, is getting ready to play an increasingly larger role in national debates.


Obama's choice to replace Clinton is a friend of India

Obama's choice to replace Clinton is a friend of IndiaWashington, Dec 22 : Senator John Kerry, President Barack Obama's choice to replace Hillary Clinton as the next secretary of state, a former Democratic presidential candidate, is considered a true friend of India.

If for Clinton Washington's relationship with New Delhi was an "affair of the heart", Kerry, 69, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, looks at India-US ties as "without doubt one of the most significant partnerships in the US foreign policy".


Pak requires political will to make ''hard decisions'' on energy crisis, says US official

Pak requires political will to make ''hard decisions'' on energy crisis, says US officialWashington, Dec 20 : Political will is required from the government of Pakistan and opposition parties to make hard decisions on the country''s energy crisis, according to Alex Thier, who is USAID''s Assistant to the Administrator for the Office of Pakistan and Afghanistan Affairs.

Thier, who returned from a trip to Pakistan last week, said that USAID programmes would have added 900 megawatts to the grid by early next year, reports The Express Tribune.


US to reimburse 688 mln dollars to Pakistan for war effort

US to reimburse 688 mln dollars to Pakistan for war effortWashington, Dec 19 : The Pentagon has notified Congress this month that it would reimburse Pakistan nearly 700 million dollars for the cost of stationing 140,000 troops on the border with Afghanistan. The 688 million dollar payment, the first since this summer, which covers food, ammunition and other expenses from June through November 2011, was sent to Capitol Hill on December 7, reports The Dawn.


Boehner, Obama ‘closer than ever’ to ‘fiscal-cliff deal’ after latest offers

Boehner, Obama ‘closer than ever’ to ‘fiscal-cliff deal’ after latest offers Washington, Dec. 17 : Though many differences remain, President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner have never been closer to a deal, numerous congressional and White House sources have confirmed.

But sources familiar with the Friday call from Boehner to Obama said that it was the most productive of the fiscal cliff process.

In that call, Boehner offered to raise marginal income tax rates on households earning more than one million dollars in adjusted gross income.


Independent report on Libya’s US consulate attack expected on Monday

Independent report on Libya’s US consulate attack expected on Monday Washington, Dec 17 : The results of the independent review ordered by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton into the attack on American consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi will be presented to the State Department on Monday.

The State Department is expected to get a report on the incident from the independent Advisory Review Board, according to sources in the State Department.

Congress will receive the report from the board ahead of a classified briefing for members on Wednesday by Thomas Pickering, who led the Advisory Review Board, CNN reports.


Obama congratulates Japan’s Abe on election victory

Obama congratulates Japan’s Abe on election victoryWashington, Dec. 17 : U. S. President Barack Obama has extended his congratulations to Shinzo Abe, a former Japanese prime minister, on his party''s victory in the parliamentary elections, saying he looks forward to "working closely" with the next Japanese government.

"I congratulate Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) President Shinzo Abe on his party''s success in the elections in Japan today," the president said in a statement.


US draws up plans to counter Assad losing control of chemical weapons cache

US draws up plans to counter Assad losing control of chemical weapons cache Washington, Dec 17 : The Obama administration has drawn up plans for responding to a possible scenario if Syria's weapons of mass destruction fall into the hands of Islamist extremists, rogue generals or other uncontrollable factions, a report has said.

The opposition Free Syrian Army said it did not find any chemical weapons at the first installation.

But the developments have fanned fears that even if Assad does not attack his own people with chemical weapons, he is on the verge of losing control of his formidable arsenal.


Obama overwhelmingly won 71 pc of Asian American votes in 2012 presidential election: Poll

Obama overwhelmingly won 71 pc of Asian American votes in 2012 presidential election: PollWashington, Dec. 13 : Asian American voters came out in droves to vote for President Barack Obama over GOP challenger Mitt Romney, a new poll has found.

According to the survey by the Asian American Justice Center, Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote and the National Asian American Survey, Obama won an estimated 2.3 million of Asian American votes over Romney's estimated 900,000 votes, or 71 percent to 28 percent.


Probe launched over US Secret Service tapes ‘lost on Washington subway train’

Probe launched over US Secret Service tapes ‘lost on Washington subway train’Washington, Dec. 8 : An investigation has been launched over a set of lost top secret tapes containing important classified information, which was reportedly left by a US Secret Service official in a Washington subway train in
2008, according to a report.

Law enforcement and congressional sources have said a contractor working for the U. S. Secret Service accidentally left a pouch containing two computer backup tapes on a train in Washington''s Metrorail subway system.


Even car salesmen more trusted than Congress in US, finds poll

Even car salesmen more trusted than Congress in US, finds pollWashington, Dec. 4 : Americans' opinion about congressional honesty has improved over the past year, but lawmakers are still more distrusted than car salesmen, a new poll has found.

According to the Gallup Poll, more than half of Americans, 54 percent, have a low or very low opinion of congressional honesty and ethics.

That has, however, improved from 2011, when 64 percent had a low or very low opinion.

The poll found that 10 percent had a high or very high opinion of congressional trustworthiness, up from 7 percent a year ago.


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