White House

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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."

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:

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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."

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."

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

Obama Rules Out Another Ground War In Iraq

Sep 17, 2014

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.

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.

Pages