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President Obama

WORLD
March 27, 2014 | By Christi Parsons, Kathleen Hennessey and Laura King
ROME - After spending four days in Europe dealing with the crisis over Russia's annexation of Crimea, President Obama now turns to a diplomatic challenge of another sort: trying to smooth relations with Saudi Arabia without making the longtime U.S. ally seem like an afterthought. Obama is scheduled to arrive in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, shortly before sunset Friday to meet with King Abdullah, whose inner circle is riled by how the United States has handled Iran's nuclear ambitions and Syria's civil war. Some with close ties to the royal family have talked about breaking ranks with Western partners.
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WORLD
March 27, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
VATICAN CITY - President Obama visited Pope Francis for the first time Thursday, a meeting the White House hoped would amplify the two men's shared concern about economic inequality rather than the president's conflicts with the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy at home. Obama introduced himself to Francis as a "great admirer. " The pope has become internationally popular as he has shed some of the lavish trappings of the papacy and focused his teachings on caring for the poor. Obama has sought to borrow some of that goodwill for the new pope to help promote his own effort to reduce income inequality in the United States.
WORLD
March 26, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
BRUSSELS - The crisis over Crimea has not restarted the Cold War but has revived a "contest of ideas" between belief in powerful leaders and in democratic ideals, President Obama declared Wednesday as he laid out his case for firm opposition to Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula. Speaking in this European capital as two decades of diplomacy on the continent unraveled, Obama cast the crisis as a fight between "the old way of doing things" and "a young century. " Obama dismissed as "absurd" Russian President Vladimir Putin's justifications for annexing Crimea and sought to gird Europe for a drawn-out dispute.
OPINION
March 26, 2014 | Doyle McManus
President Obama is scheduled to visit Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday, and the meeting will probably take the usual form of encounters between presidents and pontiffs: a polite conversation about their common agenda on poverty and world peace, plus a gentle remonstrance from the Holy Father on abortion and religious liberty. But if Obama and Francis had time to get to know each other, they might each benefit by trading notes on practical politics, as presidents and British prime ministers often do, and on the lessons they can draw from each other's experiences.
OPINION
March 26, 2014 | Patt Morrison
Michael McFaul was a scholar from Montana when he made his first trip to the West's Cold War enemy, the Soviet Union. Thirty years later, he was President Obama's chief Russia expert, then the United States ambassador in Moscow. He left the ambassadorship last month, after two years in the job, to return to teaching at Stanford University, his alma mater. In 1994, after a neo-fascist Russian figure denounced him, someone shot a bullet through his Palo Alto office window. Now the architect of Obama's 2009 "reset" watches from a virtual window as Russia is once again on the outs with the West.
WORLD
March 23, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON - Planned as a springtime tour with a modest itinerary - affording time to chat with the pope, admire the Rembrandts and take in the Colosseum - President Obama's weeklong trip to Europe instead has become a high-stakes test of whether he can move the continent's leaders into a tougher response to Russia's annexation of Crimea. Obama will huddle Monday in Amsterdam with other members of the G-7, seeking a strategy against what many see as the most threatening European land grab since World War II. He will have to navigate disagreements among the European nations over how far to go, and the price they are willing to pay, to sanction Russia for seizing the peninsula from Ukraine.
BUSINESS
March 20, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - President Obama teased Ellen DeGeneres about the selfie she took at the Oscars and confessed to leaving his socks and shoes lying around while the first lady is out of town, but before the end of his Thursday appearance on her talk show, he got DeGeneres to put in a plug for the Affordable Care Act. That's Obama's deal with popular media these days as the president enlists help to boost healthcare sign-up numbers before the March 31...
WORLD
March 20, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey, Paul Richter and Henry Chu
WASHINGTON - The U.S. and Russian presidents imposed sanctions on each other's top aides and other government officials Thursday as the dispute over Crimea intensified and the White House worried publicly that Moscow might be positioning its military to seize more of Ukraine. Denouncing Russia's annexation of Crimea, President Obama said the Treasury Department would freeze any U.S. assets of 20 prominent Russians - including several officials close to President Vladimir Putin, some of the country's wealthiest businessmen - and a Moscow bank that gives financial support to the Russian leadership.
NATIONAL
March 18, 2014 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON - It took decades, congressional legislation and a review of thousands of war records, but two dozen veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam received the Medal of Honor on Tuesday from President Obama at an emotional White House ceremony. "As one family member has said, this is long overdue," Obama told the single largest group of Medal of Honor recipients since 1945. The presentation came after Congress in a 2002 defense bill ordered a review of thousands of war records to determine whether Latino and Jewish veterans were denied the nation's highest military decoration because of discrimination.
WORLD
March 17, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON -- President Obama warned Monday that the penalties on Russia could be expanded if President Vladimir Putin's government does not back down from its military takeover of Crimea as the White House announced travel and financial sanctions on 11 senior Russian and Ukrainian officials. "Further provocations will do nothing except to further isolate Russia and diminish its place in the world," Obama said in a statement at the White House. "We can calibrate our response on whether Russia chooses to escalate or deescalate the situation.
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