President Barack Obama on Thursday discussed a review of U.S. intelligence gathering with British Prime Minister David Cameron a day before the president's announcement of reforms triggered by revelations about U.S. spying, the White House said. "President Obama ... updated the Prime Minister on the ongoing U.S. signals intelligence review and both leaders noted the intensive dialogue that the United States and United Kingdom have had on these issues, at all levels," the White House said in a statement about the phone call.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama tested his persuasive powers Thursday, summoning university presidents to the White House to win their commitments to expanding access to higher education and to demonstrate a new determination to use his own presidential authority in the face of legislative roadblocks.
Two senior U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation on Thursday that would expand to all countries the "Magnitsky" act passed in late 2012 to penalize Russia for alleged human rights abuses. Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, who championed the original law, and Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona said their "Global Human Rights Accountability Act" would ensure human rights abusers from anywhere in the world are denied entry to the United States and barred from using U.S. financial institutions. The Magnitsky Act was named for Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian whistleblower lawyer who died in his jail cell in 2009. Under the act, the White House designated a list of human rights abusers tied to Magnitsky's death who are subject to visa bans and asset freezes in the United States.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court decided 40 years ago that police don't need a search warrant to look through anything a person is carrying when arrested. But that was long before smartphones gave people the ability to take with them the equivalent of millions of pages of documents or thousands of photographs.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will make a statement on Syria at 1:30 p.m. (1830 GMT) on Thursday, the State Department said. Kerry just returned from travel in Europe and the Middle East where discussions focused on a peace conference in Switzerland next week to end the Syrian civil war. Donors pledged more than $2.4 billion in Kuwait on Wednesday for U.N. aid efforts in Syria. (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
By Gabriel Debenedetti WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The first real test of the damage to Chris Christie's chances of being the Republican nominee for president in 2016 from the "Bridgegate" scandal could come during the next few days. Christie is scheduled to attend a $1,000-per-ticket reception for New Jersey Republican House candidate Steve Lonegan on Thursday. He then will head to Florida for a series of weekend events aimed at raising money for Republican Governor Rick Scott's re-election campaign, plus a meeting with wealthy Republican donors from all over the United States. Interviews with a half-dozen Republican strategists, donors and operatives indicate that if Christie is interested in a bid for the White House, as many suspect, he has some work to do.
House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday said the United States should avoid a major fight over raising the federal debt ceiling that brings the United States close to a default. After passage of a $1.1 trillion spending bill, the only major fiscal hurdle facing Congress over the next nine months is an increase in the $17 trillion debt ceiling that is expected to be needed in as little as six weeks. Boehner told a news conference that the United States should not default on its debt and "shouldn't even get close to it." He did not say whether Republicans would tie an increase in the debt ceiling to demands for additional deficit reduction. Speaking to reporters at his weekly press conference, Boehner was asked whether he would engage in direct negotiations with President Barack Obama on a new deficit-reduction package as part of the effort to increase the debt limit.