Politics

Obama sports smile in2nd term White House portrait

Obama sports smile in2nd term White House portraitNew York, January 19 : Looking at the new official portrait of President Obama released by the White House on Friday, which is markedly different from the one taken four years ago after he won his first historic election, it seems that happy days are back again.

The new colour photo shows the current US President standing tall, flashing a big smile, his arms folded, flanked by flags and standing in front of his desk in the Oval Office, The New York Daily News reported.

In the 2008 photo the President looked somewhat somber, the setting was bland and unrecognizable, with flags over his right shoulder.


77 pc Americans want Congress to raise debt ceiling

77 pc Americans want Congress to raise debt ceilingWashington, Jan. 19 : A majority of Americans overwhelmingly want Congress to raise the debt ceiling, as lawmakers continue to negotiate over the debt ceiling and spending cuts, a new poll has found.

According to the CBS News/New York Times Poll, three-quarters, or 77 percent, of Americans said that they want the debt ceiling to be raised.

The Treasury Department has informed Congress that the United States is expected to hit its current debt limit of 16.4 trillion dollars by mid-February or March.

If Congress fails to raise the nation's borrowing limit, it could have severe economic consequences, CBS News reports.


Democrat mayors firmly back Hillary Clinton for 2016 presidential bid

Democrat mayors firmly back Hillary Clinton for 2016 presidential bidWashington, Jan. 19 : Democrat mayors of the United States have come close to settling on Hillary Clinton as the successor for President Barack Obama in 2016, even as Obama is set to start his second term.

Praising the Secretary of State, Frank Ortis, the Democrat mayor of Pembroke Pines, Florida, said that if Clinton were to run as President then she would have his full support, Politico reports.

According to the report, Clinton was the top choice for the post of the future President from majority of the Democrats and a large percent of the US population.


WH slams NRA’s repugnant, cowardly’ ad for using Obama’s daughters to criticize new gun laws

WH slams NRA’s repugnant, cowardly’ ad for using Obama’s daughters to criticize new gun lawsWashington, Jan. 17 : The White House has blasted an advertisement released by the National Rifle Association using President Barack Obama's daughters to criticize him on gun control as `repugnant and cowardly'.

White House press secretary Jay Carney blasted the NRA for its video calling Obama `an elitist hypocrite'

White house said that NRA was being skeptical of putting armed guards in schools while his daughters receive armed protection every day, Politico reports.

Carney said that most Americans agree that president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight.


Obama gun plans meet with stiff resistance from Republicans

Obama gun plans meet with stiff resistance from RepublicansWashington, Jan. 17 : President Barack Obama's plan to address gun violence in the US has been met with swift and stiff resistance by gun rights advocates and conservative lawmakers.

Obama has called for a new, tougher assault weapons ban and a 10-round limit on magazines.

He has also called for a new legislation to bar the possession of armor-piercing bullets and require criminal background checks for nearly all gun sales, Fox news reports.

Separately, he has also approved 23 executive actions while calling for additional funding to address mental health and school security.


Obama gets Senate Democrats’ support to ‘bypass Congress on raising debt ceiling’

Obama gets Senate Democrats’ support to ‘bypass Congress on raising debt ceiling’Washington, Jan 12 : Senior US Senator from Nevada Harry Reid and other members of Senate Democratic leadership have reportedly issued a letter to President Barack Obama, urging his administration to bypass Congress on raising the debt ceiling.

The letter is the strongest show of support from Senate Democrats that they would back Obama if he were to use his executive authority to unilaterally raise the nation's borrowing limit in the face of opposition from House Republicans.

According to the Huffington Post, Reid had earlier privately offered Obama his support for a unilateral option.


US discussing ways to secure Syria’s chemical weapons post Assad ouster: Panetta

US discussing ways to secure Syria’s chemical weapons post Assad ouster: PanettaWashington, Jan 11 : US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that American officials are discussing with Middle East governments the steps needed to ensure that Syria''s chemical and biological weapons sites are secured when President Bashar al-Assad leaves office.

When asked whether he had ruled out putting U. S. troops in Syria to secure such weapons, Panetta said they `always have to keep the possibility that, if there is a peaceful transition and international organizations get involved, they might ask for assistance in that situation.'


US Republican fears ‘attack on family’ for voting against House Speaker Boehner

US Republican fears ‘attack on family’ for voting against House Speaker BoehnerNew York, Jan 9 : A US Republican has claimed that Washington insiders will "punish" him and "attack" his family after he voted against John Boehner for House Speaker last week.

Congressman Tim Huelskamp of Kansas was one of a dozen House Republicans who voted against Boehner or abstained from voting altogether during a House vote last week.


US commander recommends keeping ‘6,000-20,000 troops’ in Afghanistan after 2014

US commander recommends keeping ‘6,000-20,000 troops’ in Afghanistan after 2014Washington, Jan 4 : Top outgoing top American commander in Afghanistan has said that the US would keep between 6,000 and 20,000 troops in the war-torn nation after 2014.

Marine General John Allen made his recommendations to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, but could not confirm what specific troop levels he has proposed as options.

Citing a senior military official, a report by the New York Times said that Allen gave Panetta plans for 6,000, 10,000 and 20,000 troops from which to choose for when NATO''s combat mission ends at the close of 2014.


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".


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