While increasing pressure on Russia on the Ukraine crisis, the United States is also seeking to offer President Vladimir Putin a way out. US President Barack Obama has offered to address point by point Moscow's concerns over the situation in Ukraine, said a senior White House official, who declined to be named. He said Obama suggested the possibilty during telephone talks Saturday with Putin on the crisis in the ex-Soviet state, where pro-Kremlin forces have taken control of the strategic Crimea peninsula.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia is unlikely to pull back its military forces in Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, analysts and former Obama administration officials say, forcing the United States and Europe into a more limited strategy of trying to prevent President Vladimir Putin from making advances elsewhere in the former Soviet republic.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is trying to have it both ways with an election-year budget that pays faint lip service to reducing federal deficits while piling on about $1 trillion in tax increases and hundreds of billions in higher spending designed to appeal to economically squeezed voters rather than congressional foes of red ink.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whose popularity with voters in his home states has already taken a hit over a traffic jam scandal, has also lost some of the goodwill he earned for his response to Superstorm Sandy in 2012, according to a poll released on Wednesday. Those accusations, along with the traffic jam scandal, have taken a toll on state residents' impression of Christies's handling of the devastating storm, with just 54 percent of New Jersey voters now saying they approved of his efforts after Sandy, a 26 point drop from November, with 36 percent saying they disapprove, the Rutgers-Eagleton poll found. "These new numbers are a far cry from the nearly unanimous praise the governor had received for post-Sandy leadership," said David Redlawsk, the poll's director and professor of political science at Rutgers University. E-mails released earlier this year revealed that top aides to Christie had ordered a massive traffic snarl near the busy George Washington Bridge last September, apparently to punish a Democratic mayor who had declined to endorse Christie's bid for re-election.
By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Missile Defense Agency on Tuesday mapped out plans to overhaul the ground-based U.S. missile defense system managed by Boeing Co and improve its reliability after several test failures in recent years. Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Admiral James Syring said the government was requesting about $300 million in fiscal 2015 to redesign the Raytheon Co "kill vehicle" that hits and destroys an enemy missile on contact, add a new long-range radar, and fund other measures to helping the system better identify, track and destroy potential enemy missiles. Overall, the budget requests $8.5 billion for missile defense, including about $7.5 billion for the Missile Defense Agency. Missile defense is one of the biggest items in the Pentagon's annual budget, although Republicans have faulted the Obama administration for scaling back funding in recent years.
By Roberta Rampton MCLEAN, Virginia (Reuters) - Democrats need to wake up and understand the stakes involved in holding on to control of the U.S. Senate in the November congressional elections, President Barack Obama told Democratic Party donors at a fundraiser on Tuesday. We don't fund campaigns as passionately," Obama said. Obama was speaking to a group of more than 40 donors who paid $10,000 to $32,400 a ticket to attend a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee event at the home of former Senator Chuck Robb and his wife, Lynda Bird Johnson Robb. Obama said he planned to devote time and energy to working for Democratic candidates because advancing issues ranging from the environment to women's health issues depend on keeping control of the Senate.
By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texans went to the polls on Tuesday in primary elections where the top candidates for governor were projected to post easy wins and favorites of the conservative Tea Party movement shook up several races with established Republicans. U.S. Senator John Cornyn, a Republican, will win his race by a wide margin, local media projected. Attorney General Greg Abbott, the leading Republican candidate for governor, and state Senator Wendy Davis, the top Democratic Party candidate, were also projected to win in landslides, they said. The vote marks a changing of the guard for the Republicans with long-serving Governor Rick Perry not seeking re-election, perhaps to pursue a presidential run in 2016.
North Korea poses a mounting threat to the United States due to its pursuit of long-range missiles and nuclear weapons, the Pentagon said Tuesday in its latest strategy document. Describing the regime in Pyongyang as "closed and authoritarian," the Defense Department said the US military would maintain a major presence in the region and keep up investments in missile defense. The North represents "a significant threat to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia and is a growing, direct threat to the United States," said the Quadrennial Defense Review, an update of the military's global strategic outlook. US forces would continue to collaborate closely with South Korea's military "to deter and defend against North Korean provocations," it said.