April 21, 2014 |
WASHINGTON — Two and a half years after President Obama vowed to shift America's diplomatic, economic and military focus to Asia, he will head back to the region this week to try to convince allies and adversaries alike that he really meant it. Since the much-touted decision to "pivot" to Asia, the Obama administration has found itself repeatedly pulled away by crises in the Middle East, political battles in Washington and, more recently, turmoil...
April 18, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration on Friday delayed a decision on the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, citing a Nebraska state court decision that invalidated part of the project's route. The latest hold-up in the unusually lengthy review of the $5.3-billion oil pipeline almost certainly will push any decision until after the November midterm election, getting President Obama off a political hook. The White House has been pressed on one side by environmentalists who have turned opposition to the pipeline into a touchstone issue and on the other by conservative Democrats from energy-producing states who say approving Keystone XL would show the administration's commitment to job creation.
April 15, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's first-ever limits on air toxics, including emissions of mercury, arsenic and acid gases, preserving a far-reaching rule the White House had touted as central to President Obama's environmental agenda. In a 2-to-1 decision, the court ruled that the mercury rule “was substantively and procedurally valid,” turning aside challenges brought both by Republican-led states that had argued the rule was onerous and environmental groups that had contended it did not go far enough.
April 11, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration on Friday sanctioned six Crimean leaders, a former lawmaker from Ukraine and a natural gas company as it tried to ramp up pressure on Russia to de-escalate tensions over control of Ukraine. The Treasury Department identified the individuals as Crimean separatists and leading organizers of the March referendum approving the Crimean peninsula's secession from Ukraine. The U.S. and many European officials say the vote was unconstitutional and invalid.
April 11, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama named White House budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to take over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act on Friday, saying there was "no manager as experienced and competent" to run the next phase of his signature domestic program. "Sylvia was a rock, a steady hand on the wheel" as the administration dealt with the government shutdown last year, Obama told a crowd gathered in the White House Rose Garden for the announcement. "Once the government was allowed to reopen, Sylvia was vital to winning the two-year budget agreement that put an end to these manufactured crises that we had seen here in Washington so that we could keep our full focus on growing the economy and creating new jobs and expanding opportunity for everybody who's seeking opportunity.
April 9, 2014 |
The United States is irked that Iran has chosen as its representative to the United Nations a diplomat who apparently was involved with a student group that seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979. The embassy takeover, a violation of international law that led to the 444-day captivity of 52 American hostages, contributed to hostility between the two countries that only recently has begun to abate. But the Obama administration is making a mistake in publicly labeling as "not viable" the posting to the U.N. of Hamid Aboutalebi, an experienced diplomat aligned with Iran's reformist President Hassan Rouhani.