White House

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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Television
2:12 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

3 Roosevelts Come Alive In PBS Documentary, Ken Burns' Best Yet

In this undated photo, Theodore Roosevelt waves to a crowd.
Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 3:28 pm

Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his most resonant and famous line during his presidential inauguration speech of 1933: "So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief, that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." It was resonant because he was being defiant, and optimistic, in the face of the Great Depression — and it was famous because it was broadcast live, to the entire nation, on the relatively new medium of radio.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:27 am
Wed September 10, 2014

JFK Conspiracy Theories: American As Apple Pie

Patrick Nolan is a forensic historian, freelance writer and the author of "CIA Rogues and the Killing of the Kennedys: How and Why US Agents Conspired to Assassinate JFK and RFK."
Chion Wolf

The JFK assassination is like the Maine coastline: craggy, uneven, full of serration, points, inlands, islands, amenable to endless exploration and quickly obscured by sudden fogs. There are so many side trips and any one of them is a potential life's work.

Let me give you some examples.

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Islamic State
10:48 am
Wed September 10, 2014

How Far Will President Obama Go?

President Obama has been wary of open-ended military commitments in the Middle East. But the president, shown speaking in Estonia on Sept. 3, now appears likely to expand the current bombing campaign against the Islamic State.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 1:43 pm

President Obama previewed his plan for dealing with the Islamic State by comparing it to counterterrorism operations in recent years and said it would not be an invasion akin to the ground war in Iraq.

As he prepares to lay out the details in a speech to the nation Wednesday night, several key factors are likely to determine the success or failure of any military mission.

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Congress
5:13 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

In An Era Of Gridlock, Does Controlling The Senate Really Matter?

Senate Minority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell has reportedly been talking privately about what he'd do as majority leader.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 7:41 pm

Republicans are increasingly confident that when this year's midterm elections are over, they will control both houses of Congress. But in this period of polarization and gridlock, what difference would it make?

This midterm election doesn't seem to be about anything in particular other than whether you like President Obama or not. There's no overarching issue, no clashing national agendas. Instead, it's just a series of very expensive, brutally negative races for Congress.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Obama Wants Congress' Support On ISIS, But He May Not Need It

President Obama will address the nation Wednesday to present his strategy against the Islamic State.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 2:57 pm

The top four congressional leaders will be at the White House today to talk to President Obama about U.S. military action against the group known as the Islamic State, or ISIS. This comes just one day before Obama will address the nation and lay out his strategy for dealing with the extremist group.

The president says he wants congressional buy in, but "buy in" can mean a lot of things.

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NATO
12:34 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Obama: Our Goal Is To 'Dismantle' The Islamic State

President Barack Obama speaks at a news conference at the NATO summit at Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales, on Friday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 12:43 pm

During a press conference to mark the end of a two-day meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Wales, President Obama said he found "conviction" among U.S. friends and allies that the international community must "degrade and ultimately destroy" the Islamic State.

Obama said the militant Sunni group cannot be contained because it is already causing so much damage.

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World Relations
8:33 am
Fri September 5, 2014

U.S. Announces Coalition To Fight Against The Islamic State

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 11:28 am

The United States says it has formed a coalition of 10 countries to help in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq.

The group consists of the United States plus Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Denmark.

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NATO
6:55 am
Fri September 5, 2014

NATO Announces 'Rapid-Reaction Force' Amid News Of Ukraine Cease-Fire Deal

President Obama stands alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron, center left, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, second left, Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, left, Romanian President Traian Basescu, right, and RAF Group Captain David Bentley, second right, during a flypast at the NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Friday.
Jon Super AP

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 11:11 am

(This post was last updated at 8:04 a.m. ET.)

On the second and final day of their meeting in Wales, members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are expected to announce more aid to Ukraine.

NATO also announced the formation of a so-called rapid-reaction force. As The Associated Press describes it, this consists of "several thousand troops in Eastern Europe that could quickly mobilize if an alliance country in the region comes under attack."

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Federal Investigation
1:32 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Ferguson Police Tactics Draw Justice Department Investigation

Police stand watch Aug. 13 as demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 11:05 am

The U.S. Department of Justice will launch an investigation into police tactics in Ferguson, Mo., NPR's Carrie Johnson reports, with a focus on looking for a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing.

Carrie says the department was holding off on announcing the investigation until clashes in the town died down:

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NATO
8:24 am
Thu September 4, 2014

At NATO Summit, Allies Consider Lethal, Nonlethal Aid To Ukraine

President Obama sits with (from left) French President Francois Hollande; Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko; British Prime Minister David Cameron; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as they meet about Ukraine Thursday at the NATO summit at Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 11:18 am

President Obama, along with all members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, are in Wales today as a set of international conflicts puts the military alliance back in the spotlight.

At the top of the agenda is, of course, the crisis in Ukraine.

In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, said the allied forces are facing a situation they never thought they would see again in the region.

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Eastern Europe
3:01 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Can NATO Find A Way To Contain Russia?

Pro-Russian rebels prepare their weapons in the eastern city of Donetsk on Aug. 31. Russia's role in Ukraine has raised tensions between Russia and NATO to their highest level since the Soviet breakup more than two decades ago.
Mstislav Chernov AP

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 3:44 pm

Ever since the Cold War ended, the armies of NATO and Russia have been moving warily toward each other while their political positions keep moving further apart.

Twelve Eastern European countries have joined NATO since the Soviet breakup, and NATO is now on the verge of creating a rapid-reaction force for the region. Russia has sent troops into two former Soviet republics, Ukraine and Georgia, that have relationships with NATO, but not membership.

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White House
9:28 am
Wed September 3, 2014

'Justice Will Be Served,' Obama Warns The Islamic State

President Obama speaks during a press conference with Estonia's president at the Bank of Estonia in Tallinn on Wednesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 12:42 pm

Speaking in Estonia today, President Obama issued a warning to the extremist group that took responsibility for beheading two American journalists: "We will not be intimidated," Obama said, according to Time. "Those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget, and that our reach is long, and that justice will be served."

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Horn of Africa
8:23 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Targeting Al-Shabab Leadership, U.S. Launches Airstrikes In Somalia

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 3:23 pm

The United States conducted airstrikes in Somalia late Monday, targeting the leadership of the al-Qaida affiliate al-Shabab.

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Ukraine/Russia Conflict
2:05 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

White House Says "Continuation," Murphy Says "War"

Sen. Chris Murphy on WNPR's Where We Live in December, 2013.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

As the conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues to escalate, Democratic U.S. Senator Chris Murphy wants to call it what it is: a war.

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Sweetness and Light
8:25 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Golf May Be Too Polite A Sport For Presidential Politics

Commentator Frank Deford advises the White House press office not to let the president be photographed in a golf cart again.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 8:53 am

There's been much criticism of the president lately, even within his own party, that he's too detached and withdrawn, not combative enough anymore. This can be explained completely with a sports analogy: We elected a basketball president, but then we ended up with a golf president.

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Middle East
6:49 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Reports: U.S. Authorizes Surveillance Flights Over Syria

Fighters from the Islamic State during a parade in Raqqa, Syria.
AP

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 3:41 pm

President Obama has authorized surveillance flights over Syria, The Associated Press and The New York Times are reporting this morning, citing unnamed U.S.

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Police Gear
6:24 pm
Sat August 23, 2014

Obama Orders Review Of Transfers Of Military Surplus To Local Police

Police arrest a man as they disperse a protest Wednesday for Michael Brown, who was killed by police Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo.
Charlie Riedel AP

President Obama has ordered a review of federal programs that supply local law enforcement agencies with military weapons and equipment after concerns over how the police handled unrest in Ferguson, Mo., in the aftermath of the shooting death of Michael Brown.

A senior Obama administration official says the president "whether state and local law enforcement are provided with the necessary training and guidance; and whether the federal government is sufficiently auditing the use of equipment obtained through federal programs and funding."

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Missouri
3:41 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Holder Seeks To Soothe Nerves During Visit To Ferguson

Attorney General Eric Holder participates in a closed-door meeting Wednesday with students at St. Louis Community College, Florissant Valley.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 1:07 pm

The nation's top law enforcement officer traveled to Ferguson, Mo., on Wednesday to wrap his arms around a community in pain.

Attorney General Eric Holder hugged community leaders, a highway patrol captain and the mother of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old killed by a police officer earlier this month.

From the moment he walked into a soul food restaurant in Ferguson, the attorney general found friends and began getting reports on the community's mood after days of protests and sporadic violence.

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Vice Presidential Visit
2:20 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Biden, in East Hartford, Says Manufacturing Jobs Are Coming Back

Vice President Joe Biden during a visit to New Hampshire in 2012.
Marc Nozell Creative Commons

Vice President Joe Biden said manufacturing jobs are coming back to the U.S., but workers need the right training to fill those positions. 

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White House
2:25 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Obama Urges Healing, Peace In Ferguson, Mo.

President Obama speaks to reporters Thursday about the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 7:35 pm

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET:

President Obama is calling the situation in Ferguson, Mo., where violence has broken out in the aftermath of a police shooting of an unarmed black teenager, "heartbreaking and tragic."

Speaking in Edgartown, Mass., on Martha's Vineyard where he is vacationing, Obama said he received a briefing this morning from Attorney General Eric Holder.

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