Washington, Apr. 28: Among President Barack Obama’s greatest national security challenges has been deciding who will replace Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
According to the Christian Science Monitor (CSM), coming to that decision has involved a delicate confluence of considerations.
Who is suitably steeped in defense policy matters? Who will have credibility both with the White House and within the halls of the Pentagon? And equally important, how will a new Defense secretary affect the balance of power within Obama’s cabinet?
Washington, Apr 28: Top media organizations devoted little time to the so-called "birther" issue, according to a study.
President Barack Obama, released his long-form birth certificate saying that the issue was distracting attention from other important issues of the country, but recent Pew Research Center''s analysis of news coverage shows that ‘birther’ issuue was not dominant.
According to Fox News, the study found that during the week of April 11-17, Obama and the "birther" issue filled a mere 4 percent of the news coverage.
This amounted to far less coverage than that dedicated to other issues, such as the 40 percent devoted to the economy, despite Donald Trump making an issue out of Obama''s birth certificate in numerous interviews.
Washington, Apr 28: A U. S. Justice Department report has found that many agents attached to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s elite cyber unit lack the skills to investigate cases of cyberespionage and other computerized attacks.
According to the report, the US recorded 5,499 known intrusions into its government computer systems in 2008 alone – a 40 percent jump from 2007.
Investigating these cases falls largely on the FBI’s National Cyber Investigative Joint Task force, which also includes representatives from 18 different intelligence agencies.
Washington, Apr 27: Potential Republican candidate Donald Trump has very little chances of winning the 2012 presidential elections, according to a poll.
According to a Gallup survey, nearly 64 percent of general election voters, including 46 percent of Republican voters, would "definitely not vote" for Trump.
That was the second-worst showing by any potential Republican candidate, after former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who 65 percent of the voters said they would not consider voting for.
Washington, Apr 27: US President Barack Obama is expected to announce changes in his national security team, including the ambassador to Afghanistan, this week.
The Washington Post quoted administration officials familiar with internal deliberations as saying that around four high-level appointments could be announced by Thursday, including a replacement for Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.
Senior congressional aides said the administration has not informed national-security-related committees of any firm decisions yet.
Washington, April 27: Pakistan is lobbying Afghan President Hamid Karzai against building a long-term strategic partnership with the United States, and urging him instead to look to Pakistan and its ally, China, for help in striking a peace deal with the Taliban and rebuilding the economy, according to Afghan officials.
Afghan sources said that the pitch was made at an April 16 meeting in Kabul by Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who bluntly told Karzai that the Americans had failed them both, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Philadelphia (Pennsylvania, US), Apr. 27 : A senior Obama administration official has said the controversy surrounding the outsourcing of jobs from the United States to India or China will always be a "hot button issue", especially around the time of elections in his country, but added that he sees economic relations between Washington and New Delhi remaining balanced and progressing along expected lines.
Philadelphia (Pennsylvania, US), Apr. 27 : A senior official of the Obama administration has said that while there will be a discussion in Washington and New Delhi on nuclear safety issues in the wake of the March 11 nuclear plant crisis in Japan, civil nuclear cooperation between the United States and India will continue to maintain momentum.
Washington, Apr 26: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said that US President Barack Obama let him down on the Israeli settlement issue.
Describing the Israeli construction as a sticking point in the peace talks, Abbas said it was Obama who had suggested a full settlement freeze.
"I said OK, I accept. We both went up the tree. After that, he came down with a ladder and he removed the ladder and said to me, jump. Three times he did it," The Politico quoted Abbas, as saying.
In his recent interview, Abbas also criticized the work of George Mitchell, Obama's Special Envoy to the Middle East.
Washington, Apr. 26 : The White House is defending its response so far to the unrest in Syria by arguing that the two scenarios are different.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that Libya was a "unique situation" in that large portions of the country were out of control.
Fox News further quoted him, as saying: "We had a [Muammar al-]Qaddafi regime that was moving against its own people in a coordinated military fashion and was about to assault a very large city on the promise that it would show it -- the regime would show that city and its residents no mercy."
Washington, Apr. 26: The White House said on Monday it was exploring new sanctions against Syria - mostly involving the assets of top officials around President Bashar al-Assad.
Obama administration officials speaking on condition of anonymity said imposing financial sanctions would have a limited effect.
According to the New York Times, the Obama administration faces problems with Syria that are similar to those involving North Korea and Myanmar.
Washington, April 26: US President Barack Obama has reviewed the cooperation between Washington and Islamabad in the ongoing war on terror.
"The President led his monthly meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan with his national security team," the White House said in a statement following the meeting.
"The President received an update on our efforts to ensure effective cooperation with Pakistan against al Qaeda and other violent extremists," it added.
The statement said that Obama also received a briefing on the security situation in Afghanistan.
Culver City (California, US), Apr. 23 : U. S. President Barack Obama has blamed the soaring prices of gasoline for the dip in his approval ratings.
Speaking at a fundraiser dinner in Culver City, California, Obama said: "My poll numbers go up and down depending on the latest crisis, and right now gas prices are weighing heavily on people."
Fuel currently costs four dollars a gallon nationwide, the New York Daily News reports.
A recent Gallup poll shows just one in four (41 percent) of Americans approve of Obama''s performance, which ties his all time low from the fall of 2010.
Washington, Apr 23 : Voters in New Hampshire supported Republican candidate Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama, according to a poll.
A poll conducted by Dartmouth College''s Nelson A. Rockefeller Center, including 426 voters, showed former Massachusetts Governor Romney tops Obama in a general election matchup by 8 points.
Romney received 47 percent votes to Obama's 39 percent, the Politico reports.
Washington, April 23: Pakistan must meet expectations on counter-terrorism cooperation, abidance to human rights standards and its economic reforms in order to maintain the `level of assistance' it has been receiving from the United States, Under Secretary of Defence for Policy, Michele Flournoy, has said.
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