U.S. President Barack Obama plans to visit with Pope Francis at the Vatican in March during a trip to Europe, the White House said on Tuesday. Obama is scheduled to meet with the pope on March 27 in a trip that will include stops in the Netherlands, Belgium and other parts of Italy, it said in a statement. "The president looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality," the White House said. Pope Francis, who took the helm of the Roman Catholic Church in March 2013, has led an effort to simplify the church and focus on the needy.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican Party star enmeshed in scandal after re-election in November, will return to the themes of small government and bipartisan cooperation when he is sworn in for a second term on Tuesday. Instead, the speech criticized the idea that an "almighty government" can "fix any problem." "I do not believe that New Jerseyans want a bigger, more expensive government that penalizes success and then gives the pittance left to a few in the name of income equity," Christie said in the excerpt.
By Michelle Martin BERLIN (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has not gone far enough in reforming the monitoring activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) and is continuing to violate the privacy rights of individuals, the head of Human Rights Watch told Reuters. On Friday, Obama banned eavesdropping on the leaders of allies and began reining in the vast collection of U.S. citizens' phone data as he sought to reassure Americans and foreigners the United States would take into account privacy concerns highlighted by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's revelations. "All Obama has offered us is some vague assurance that people's communications will be listened to only if there is a national security interest at stake, which is a pretty fuzzy broad standard," Kenneth Roth, executive director of New York-based Human Rights Watch, said in an interview in Berlin.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Should Edward Snowden ever return to the U.S., he would face criminal charges for leaking information about National Security Agency surveillance programs. But legal experts say a trial could expose more classified information as his lawyers try to build a case in an open court that the operations he exposed were illegal.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Tuesday's celebrations to mark the start of Gov. Chris Christie's second term could be tempered by multiple investigations into traffic tie-ups that appear to have been ordered by his staff for political retribution and an allegation that his administration tied Superstorm Sandy aid to approval for a real estate project.