White House

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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Honoring Soldiers
5:11 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Medals Of Honor Recognize Harrowing Battle And A Dying Act

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins receives the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House. He describes the battle that earned him the medal as the toughest he saw in three tours of duty in Vietnam.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 9:43 am

President Obama on Monday awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, to two soldiers who served in Vietnam: Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie Adkins, who survived a harrowing battle and 18 body wounds; and Army Spc. 4 Donald P. Sloat, whose dying act saved his fellow soldiers.

In January 1970, President Obama said Monday, Sloat was on patrol with his squad in Vietnam.

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World
6:57 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Leaders Meet In Paris To Forge Fight Against Islamic State Militants

French President Francois Hollande (right) and Iraqi President Fuad Masum attend the Conference for Peace and Security in Iraq at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris on Monday. The two leaders were among those urging quick action against Islamic State militants.
David Silpa UPI/Landov

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 12:44 pm

World leaders and diplomats from more than 20 countries have gathered in Paris to discuss strategies for defeating the Islamic State insurgency, with France's president urging that there's "no time to lose" and Iraq's new president insisting that extremists must be pursued to their sanctuaries in neighboring Syria.

"The Iraqis' fight against terrorists is also ours," French President Francois Hollande said. "There is no time to lose."

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Politics
9:34 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Obama's Hawkish Plan For Islamic State Puts Doves In A Quandary

President Obama's plan to degrade and destroy the Islamic state poses a challenge for members of his own party, who have traditionally provided the anti-war voices in Congress.
Saul Loeb AP

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 3:47 pm

President Obama arguably won the Democratic primary in 2008 because of his strong opposition to the Iraq war. Now he's arguing he doesn't need congressional approval to ramp up a bombing campaign in Iraq and expand air strikes into Syria.

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National Security
5:04 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Susan Rice: Islamic State Fight Will Not Be 'Iraq War Redux'

National Security Adviser Susan Rice.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:06 pm

In an interview with NPR, President Obama's national security adviser Susan Rice says the United States will not be drawn into a ground war in Iraq and Syria, even if local forces are ineffective at holding gains made against the group calling itself the Islamic State.

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Congress
1:01 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Boehner: House GOP 'Ready To Work With The President'

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Capitol Hill on Thursday. Boehner says Congress stands ready to work with the president on the threat from Islamic State militants.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 3:31 pm

House Speaker John Boehner, commenting on President Obama's strategy to defeat Islamic State militants, says Congress has received a request for authorization to train Syrian rebels and "we ought to give the president what he's asking for."

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Middle East
9:17 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Transcript: President Obama On How U.S. Will Address Islamic State

President Obama delivers a prime-time address from the White House on Wednesday about his plan for fighting the Islamic State.
Saul Loeb Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 10:32 pm

The prepared text of President Obama's speech, as released by the White House:

My fellow Americans — tonight, I want to speak to you about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.

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White House
9:15 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Obama Says U.S. Will 'Take Out' Islamic State 'Wherever They Exist'

In this image made through a window of the Oval Office, President Obama speaks on the phone to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah on Wednesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 10:51 pm

In a prime-time speech on Wednesday, President Obama said the United States plans to "take out" the Islamic State "wherever they exist."

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