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December 4, 2013 | By Laura E. Davis
A 2-year-old who was checking out the White House's Christmas decorations on Wednesday was bowled over by the greeting she got. No, seriously, she fell down. But it's OK -- her short stature didn't allow her to tumble far, and the whole ordeal ended with a hug from First Lady Michelle Obama. Ashtyn Gardner of Mobile, Ala., was in the White House's State Dining Room as part of a group of military families who got a first look at the mansion's decked halls. When Michelle Obama brought in the first family's dog Sunny on a leash, the pup could scarcely contain herself and jumped up to greet little Ashtyn.
November 12, 2010 | By Paul Richter and Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
The Democrats' midterm election losses appear to have spurred a shift in a key alliance, with Israel stepping up its resistance to the Obama administration's Mideast peace initiative and efforts to halt Iran's nuclear ambitions. President Obama has pressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for months to avoid any move that would set back the peace effort Washington launched Sept. 1. The talks faltered almost immediately over Israel's refusal to extend a partial freeze on building in disputed territories.
February 20, 2013 | By Meredith Blake
Anchor Robin Roberts made her triumphant return to "Good Morning America" on Wednesday after a lengthy medical leave that began Aug. 30. The episode of "GMA" began with a close-up on Roberts. "I've been waiting 174 days to say this: 'Good morning, America.'" She also reflected on the importance of "faith, family and friends" in helping her through her medical ordeal, which involved a bone marrow transplant for treatment of the rare blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome.
August 20, 2012 | By Amy Hubbard
It was billed as the first-ever Kids' State Dinner, but it wasn't.  This was lunch. And the 54 winners of the competition, dreamed up by Epicurious and created in conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama, made lunch fare: Scrumptious Salmon Salad Lunch and Strawberryana Smoothie, for example. There was also Fish Fueled Pepper Rocket with Kale Chips and Quinoa. And Yummy Cabbage Sloppy Joes. Cabbage on a bun?  It had better be yummy. The 54 lucky winners joined the first lady in the East Room of the White House on Monday, right about brunch time.  The event was streamed live on her Let's Move website, which also has a list of winners and some select recipes, such as Secret Service Super Salad . President Obama crashed the event , according to the Chicago Tribune, where he admitted he was not a great cook -- just an "OK" one.  "I don't cook that often these days," he said, "but I remember cooking.
July 6, 2010 | By Kathleen Hennessey, Tribune Washington Bureau
Theirs was a love affair that began in the glow of a candlelit table. It was a white tablecloth and red wine evening. The food was refined, the service impeccable. The private room with the glass door was discreet, but the couple behind it could not go unnoticed. It's been a year and a half since that meal at Equinox, a chic and sleek restaurant a couple of blocks from the White House, in which Barack and Michelle Obama dined on greens with poached apples and pickled watermelon radish, pan-fried Rappahannock oysters, all-natural strip loin steak, crispy bananas and zabaglione gelato.
August 15, 2010 | By Peter Nicholas, Tribune Washington Bureau
It was meant to be a quick family trip to the Gulf Coast to show that local beaches are safe for swimming and that the Obamas can vacation as humbly as the next family. But President Obama's visit was overshadowed by his foray into the dispute over the mosque planned near the former World Trade Center site, once again drowning out what was supposed to be a sharp, focused message. The night before leaving Washington, the president defended plans to put an Islamic community center two blocks from where Manhattan's twin towers fell.
February 15, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
President Obama and his wife, Michelle, had a Valentine's Day dinner at a restaurant in their hometown. The Obamas are spending a long weekend in Chicago with their daughters, Sasha and Malia. The couple left their Hyde Park home for a quiet dinner at Table 52, owned by Oprah Winfrey's former chef.
February 15, 2011 | By Richard Simon, Los Angeles Times
For struggling California, President Obama's proposed budget will provide less money for a state government awash in its own red ink, less energy assistance for tens of thousands of poor households and less funding for projects such as those aimed at reducing beach pollution and neighborhood blight. And that's just a starting point in the eyes of the House's new GOP majority, which is determined to wield the ax a lot more to reduce a record deficit. As Washington gears up for its biggest budget battle in years, the reaction to Obama's plan from California's famously fractured congressional delegation ?
January 25, 2013 | Sandy Banks
I'm just back from Washington, after a weeklong trip to cover the inaugural festivities. And by cover , I mean walking for miles in bone-chilling cold and waiting for hours with hundreds of thousands of strangers to watch the proceedings on giant video screens. Inauguration morning may have looked good on TV. The pomp, the crowds, the soaring rhetoric, the patriotic songs. In real life, it involved rising before dawn to navigate barricaded streets with confused crowds given faulty directions by clueless volunteers and out-of-town police.
November 19, 2012 | By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The increasingly bloody conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip is threatening the Obama administration's plans to reinvigorate its Middle East diplomacy, creating new obstacles across the region as the president prepares for his second term. With negotiators struggling to craft a cease-fire agreement, diplomats and experts say the strife is hampering administration efforts to help resolve the civil war in Syria, improve relations with Egypt's new government, support moderate Palestinian leaders and check Iran's growing ambitions.
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