White House

Climate Change
7:30 am
Wed November 12, 2014

China And U.S., Titans Of Carbon Pollution, Move To Cut Gases

Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Obama, seen here during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, announced pledges to reduce greenhouse gases.
HUANG JINGWEN Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 12:30 pm

President Obama says the U.S. will sharply cut its emissions of greenhouse gases, announcing a new approach to climate change alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping. The plan also includes China's agreement to cap its emissions.

The two leaders' pledges are being called dramatic and ambitious — for the U.S., because Obama's earlier plans had called for a smaller cut in emissions, and for China, because the country had previously resisted calls for it to consider capping its emissions as it grows and modernizes.

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Foreign Policy
10:46 am
Tue November 11, 2014

In China, Dreaded Process Of Getting Visa To The U.S. May Get Easier

Chinese citizens wait to submit their visa applications at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in 2012. Wait times for interviews once could stretch to a month or more.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 6:41 pm

On Wednesday, the U.S. will begin offering Chinese tourists and business people multiple-entry visas valid for up to 10 years. The change, announced by President Obama in Beijing, is designed to help the American economy and build goodwill in China. China's Foreign Ministry says it will reciprocate.

The first impression most Chinese have of the U.S. government comes when they apply for a visa. For years, they've dreaded the process.

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Bush
3:33 am
Tue November 11, 2014

43 On 41: A President Traces The Life Of His Father

Former President George W. Bush (right) and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, wave as they leave a family wedding in Washington, D.C., in May 2006.
Normand Blouin-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 9:16 am

Only twice in American history has a son followed his father into the presidency. The first was John Quincy Adams. The second, George W. Bush, has now written a biography of his father, George H.W. Bush. It's called 41: A Portrait of My Father.

The 43rd president of the United States traces the life of the 41st from his youth in New England through his entry into the Texas oil business, combat during World War II, party politics, diplomacy, the White House, retirement — and skydiving.

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China
8:11 am
Mon November 10, 2014

In China, Obama Touts Visa Deal, Progress On Free-Trade Pact

President Obama arrives at the Beijing airport Monday. Speaking at the APEC summit, the president unveiled a new deal to ease visa restrictions between the U.S. and China.
Lintao Zhang Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 10:25 am

The U.S. and China are easing visa rules for each other's citizens, in a reciprocal agreement that President Obama says will "benefit everyone from students, to tourists, to businesses large and small." Starting his eight-day visit to East Asia, the president also said "good progress" has recently been made for a free-trade agreement among Pacific Rim countries.

Obama and other leaders are visiting China for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, where the president announced the U.S. and China have agreed to expand their visas beyond the current one-year term.

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White House
12:08 pm
Sat November 8, 2014

Obama Nominates Loretta Lynch For Attorney General Post

Loretta Lynch has handled or supervised a wide range of cases including New York police brutality against a Haitian immigrant, a $45 million cybertheft involving ATMs and the ongoing fraud prosecution of Republican Rep. Michael Grimm of New York.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Sat November 8, 2014 3:33 pm

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

President Obama today officially announced his nomination of Loretta Lynch, a two-time United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder.

"It's pretty hard to be more qualified for this job than Loretta Lynch," the president said at a news conference today after praising the work of Attorney General Eric Holder.

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Election Day 2014
1:43 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

President Obama on Colin McEnroe Show: "Don't Be Discouraged, Hartford"

President Obama stands with Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy in Bridgeport on Sunday.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Democrats are working hard to get out the vote across the country, and that now includes a call-in from President Barack Obama to WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show

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Immigration
8:25 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Dreamers Heckle President Obama for Action on Immigration

Members of Connecticut Students for a DREAM protest in Bridgeport on Sunday outside the rally where President Obama appeared.
Lucas Codognalla

President Barack Obama responded to hecklers during a campaign rally for Governor Dannel Malloy in Bridgeport on Sunday. Hecklers have interrupted speeches by President Obama and the First Lady before, but in recent visits to Connecticut, the hecklers at the New Haven and Bridgeport events were from the group Connecticut Students for a DREAM.

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White House
10:51 am
Mon November 3, 2014

New Reports Question Whether CDC Contractor On Elevator With Obama Was Felon

As an extra layer of protection, a perimeter fence has been placed in front of the White House fence on the North Lawn along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 12:32 pm

What began as one of the most remarkable days of Kenneth Tate's life turned into a "nightmare."

That's the story The New York Times is telling about the man the paper identifies as having ridden an elevator with President Obama with a gun in his holster.

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Election 2014
7:31 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Obama's Low Approval Rating Casts Shadow Over Democratic Races

President Obama stands with Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy in Bridgeport on Sunday. Malloy is in a tough re-election battle with Republican Tom Foley. The president spent the weekend trying to energize the Democratic base to get out and vote in Tuesday's midterm elections.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 7:59 pm

It's crunch time for campaign workers across the country. With the midterm elections just one day away, Republicans and Democrats are scrambling to turn out every possible vote.

President Obama spent the weekend rallying supporters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

The last-minute swing was unusual for a president who's kept a relatively low profile on the campaign trail this year. But whether he wants to or not, Obama is playing an outsized role in shaping the political landscape.

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First Lady
11:46 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Supporters Turn Out to Greet Michelle Obama Stumping for Gov. Malloy in New Haven

Rachel Vereen-Bellamy waits for Michelle Obama.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

A recent poll shows Governor Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, doing better among women than men. And he’s doing just fine with Rachel Vereen-Bellamy, who came to the gym at the Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven to see him. If we’re being honest, she really came to see Michelle Obama. 

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Ebola Outbreak
12:45 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

U.N. Ambassador Goes To Sierra Leone For Closer Look At Ebola Crisis

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power has her temperature taken as she arrives in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on Monday. Power is on a visit to West Africa to get a first-hand look at the global response to the epidemic.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 12:23 pm

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations has arrived in Sierra Leone on her multi-nation swing through Ebola-stricken West Africa

Samantha Power, who arrived in the capital Freetown after visiting neighboring Guinea, has said Washington wants to help the region fight the deadly virus.

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Ebola Outbreak
11:04 am
Fri October 17, 2014

White House Appoints An Ebola 'Czar'

Ron Klain (left), then chief of staff for Vice President Joe Biden, talks with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on Capitol Hill in December 2009.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 1:59 pm

Ron Klain, a former White House adviser, has been appointed to head U.S. efforts to combat Ebola.

A White House official says Klain "will report directly to the president's Homeland Security Adviser Lisa Monaco and ... National Security Adviser Susan Rice as he ensures that efforts to protect the American people by detecting, isolating and treating Ebola patients in this country are properly integrated but don't distract from the aggressive commitment to stopping Ebola at the source in West Africa."

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Administrative Discharge
9:34 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Biden's Son, Hunter, Discharged From Navy Over Failed Cocaine Test

Joe Biden fields questions as his son Hunter Biden looks on at a campaign stop back in 2007 in Dubuque, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 1:57 pm

Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, has been discharged from the Navy after testing positive for cocaine, a source familiar with the matter tells NPR's Tom Bowman.

Navy spokesman Cmd. Ryan Perry tells Tom:

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White House
1:45 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Obama Postpones Connecticut Visit to Consult Cabinet on Ebola Outbreak

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the Oval Office in September.
Pete Souza White House

President Barack Obama is postponing a trip to Bridgeport, Connecticut on Wednesday night in order to meet with his cabinet on the Ebola outbreak. 

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Homecoming
4:56 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

EPA Head Gina McCarthy Tours Connecticut

Gina McCarthy, at left, visiting the Sound School in New Haven with Rep. Rosa DeLauro.
Patrick Skahill WNPR

Gina McCarthy, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, visited Connecticut on Tuesday.

It was a homecoming of sorts for McCarthy, who was commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection from 2004 to 2009. 

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Election 2014
8:52 am
Mon October 13, 2014

President Obama To Attend Rally For Conn. Gov. Malloy

President Obama speaking at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY in May.

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 1:46 pm

President Barack Obama will participate in a campaign rally for Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, who is in a close re-election race in a state that Obama won handily in 2012.

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Massachusetts
8:59 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Two Members Of Obama Cabinet Visit Springfield Community College

U.S. Sec. of Education Arne Duncan ( in blue shirt) and U.S. Sec. of Labor Thomas Perez participated in a panel discussion about federally funded job training programs developed by Massachusetts community colleges.

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 3:51 pm

Two top officials with the Obama administration visited western Massachusetts today to see the impact of federal dollars on workforce development.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan were briefed about the job training programs developed by Massachusetts community colleges since the schools were awarded $20 million by the Labor Department in 2011 to forge partnerships with employers.

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Foreign Policy
1:01 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Panetta: Fight Against Terrorism Will Be A Long, Sustained War

Leon Panetta says he and other top national security advisers to the president argued to keep some U.S. forces on the ground in Iraq after 2011.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 12:04 pm

As a member of the Obama administration, Leon Panetta was involved in many of the major foreign policy decisions of the past six years. He stepped down as secretary of defense last year.

As director of the CIA, Panetta carried out President Obama's decision to end enhanced interrogation of terror suspects, and he oversaw the operation to kill Osama bin Laden.

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Secret Service
4:56 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

The White House Could Be Made A Fortress, But Should It Be?

Visitors take photos in front of the White House.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 7:46 am

It turns out the Secret Service isn't too good at protecting the White House, and maybe one reason is that we don't want it to be.

Secret Service agents are famously willing to sacrifice their own lives to protect the president and his family. They are also trained to take the lives of others in defense of their protectees.

But are they equally prepared to do either of those things for the White House itself? Should it be policy for the armed agents around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to use deadly force whether the president or his family is present or not?

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White House
2:33 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Secret Service Chief Grilled Over White House Security Failures

Secret Service director Julia Pierson enters a hearing room in April to answer questions before a closed meeting of the Senate homeland security committee in Washington. Today, Pierson will appear before a House committee to respond to questions about White House security breaches.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:58 pm

Update at 1:50 p.m. ET

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson faced a tough inquiry by lawmakers today as she appeared before a House committee to answer questions about the Sept. 19 White House security breach in which a man with a knife entered the executive mansion.

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Middle East
9:36 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Afghanistan Signs Deal Allowing 10,000 U.S. Troops To Remain

Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar (right) and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham exchange documents after signing the Bilateral Security Agreement, with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (rear, left) and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in the background.
Jawad Jalali EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:29 pm

Update at 9:55 a.m. ET

Afghanistan has signed a pact with the U.S. to allow about 10,000 troops to remain in the country after the end of the year, when most American forces are to be withdrawn.

The country's newly inaugurated president, Ashraf Ghani, signed the Bilateral Security Agreement, or BSA, which would leave in place the U.S. troops and a few others from NATO allies to bolster Afghan forces.

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White House
5:42 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

'Washington Post': White House Intruder Made It To Doorway Of Green Room

A perimeter fence has been placed in front of the White House fence on the North Lawn along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 11:17 am

The man who jumped the White House fence carrying a knife made it past the front doors, overpowered a guard, and then ran across the East Room before being tackled at the doorway to the Green Room, The Washington Post is reporting.

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White House
10:40 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Eric Holder To Step Down As Attorney General

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a Sept. 4 news conference at the Justice Department in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 8:29 am

This post was last updated at 4:44 p.m. ET.

Eric Holder Jr., the nation's first black U.S. attorney general, will resign his post after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and 5 1/2 years of fights with Republicans in Congress.

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United Nations
3:45 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

U.N. Security Council Unanimously Passes Anti-Terrorism Resolution

The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a historic resolution aimed at ending the flow of foreign extremists to the world's conflicts. President Obama thanked the council but warned that "a resolution alone will not be enough."
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 5:35 pm

In a vote presided over by President Obama, the U.N. Security Council has unanimously approved a historic resolution aimed at stopping the flow of foreign extremists to battlefields around the world.

Resolution 2178, which criminalizes traveling abroad to fight for extremist organizations as well as the recruiting for or funding of such groups, was adopted by all 15 members of the Security Council. According to Reuters: "It generally targets fighters traveling to conflicts anywhere in the world. It does not mandate military force to tackle the foreign fighter issue."

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Climate Change
12:43 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Obama At U.N.: World Risks Being Caught In 'Undertow Of Instability'

President Obama addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters in New York on Wednesday.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 11:54 am

President Obama told a gathering of the U.N. General Assembly today that the world is living in "pervasive unease" from such crises as terrorism, expansionism and the Ebola epidemic. He challenged the world body to fix the international system or risk being "pulled back by an undertow of instability."

"We come together at a crossroads between war and peace, between disorder and integration, between fear and hope," the president told member nations at U.N. headquarters in New York.

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Incarceration
5:38 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Crime Falls As U.S. Locks Up Fewer People, Attorney General Holder Says

In the past year, the U.S. prison population fell by roughly 4,800, the first time in decades the number has gone down, according to the Justice Department. Attorney General Eric Holder discussed the findings in New York on Tuesday.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 6:20 pm

The U.S. is seeing "historic" progress in reducing both its crime and its incarceration rates, Attorney General Eric Holder said, with the federal prison population falling by some 4,800 inmates in the past year — "the first decrease we've seen in many ‎decades."

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Middle East
10:35 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Obama: Airstrikes in Syria "Not America's Fight Alone"

President Barack Obama speaks on Tuesday morning on the White House lawn.
whitehouse.gov

President Barack Obama said the participation of five Arab nations in airstrikes against militants in Syria "makes it clear to the world this is not America's fight alone."

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Campus Sexual Assault
1:41 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

White House Announces Campaign Against Campus Sexual Assault

President Obama and Vice President Biden on Friday debuted the "It's On Us" campaign to help colleges and universities prevent and respond to sexual assault on campus.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 2:29 pm

President Obama unveiled a new White House campaign aimed at combating campus sexual assault, saying such violence is "an affront to our basic humanity."

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Armed Forces
2:15 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Obama Rules Out Another Ground War In Iraq

President Obama speaks at U.S. Central Command, at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 2:13 pm

President Obama reiterated that he will not commit U.S. troops to fight another ground war in Iraq, adding that U.S. airstrikes, combined with expertise, would be more effective in defeating the group that calls itself the Islamic State.

"As your commander in chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq," Obama said at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

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Islamic State
8:42 am
Tue September 16, 2014

U.S. Begins Airstrikes In Support Of Iraqi Ground Forces

Members of Iraqi security forces are seen during a fight with Islamic State militants Sunday on the outskirts of the city of Ramadi.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 4:01 pm

The United States has begun its first-ever airstrikes in direct support of Iraqi ground forces, in the opening move of what could be a protracted fight against so-called Islamic State militants in the region.

NPR's Tom Bowman, on Morning Edition, says the airstrikes, south of Baghdad, targeted an Islamic State position after Iraqi soldiers fighting them requested the assistance.

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