By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House spokesman Jay Carney mocked Karl Rove on Tuesday after the Republican strategist was quoted as saying potential Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton might have suffered brain damage from a 2012 blood clot. The New York Post reported that Rove made the suggestion last week at a conference. Rove denied using the phrase, but told the Fox News Channel that Clinton's health would be an issue should she run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. Asked about the brain damage comment at his daily news briefing, Carney noted the Republican's steadfast refusal to admit President Barack Obama had defeated Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the key state of Ohio on election night in 2012.
By Gabriel Debenedetti WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator Marco Rubio, a likely Republican candidate for the White House, on Tuesday unveiled plans to give more Americans a way to save for retirement while raising the retirement age for younger workers. The first-term Florida senator's announcement at the National Press Club in Washington is part of a broader set of proposals that are helping Rubio shore up his policy credentials with the Republican Party's conservative wing. Financial security has faded for millions Americans, and with it the hope of a stable and secure retirement.\" Rubio proposed opening up to more Americans the federal Thrift Savings Plan currently offered to federal employees and members of Congress.
President Barack Obama warned Tuesday a narrow window remained to pass immigration reform before mid-term elections, seeking to keep alive perhaps his last hope for a major second-term domestic achievement. Obama told police chiefs and top law enforcement officers that bitter party politics ahead of November's polls would threaten hopes of moving a reform bill, currently stalled in the US House of Representatives. \"We have got this narrow window -- the closer to the mid-term elections, the harder it is,\" Obama said. The Democratic-led Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill last year.
The United States voiced confidence Tuesday that Thailand's military will not stage another coup as worries mount in Washington of prolonged turmoil in its oldest Asian ally. Amy Searight, the top Pentagon official devoted to Southeast Asia, said the United States was \"reasonably confident\" that the Thai armed forces \"will continue to be restrained and professional in all of this.\" \"At this point we don't have any reason to expect that the Thai military will change their current stance,\" she told a conference in Washington. Searight said that the Thai military appeared to have learned lessons from 2006, when it overthrew tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra as prime minister and the United States briefly imposed sanctions.
Cuba's de facto embassy in Washington said Tuesday that it would begin renewing some citizens' expired passports despite being unable to find a US bank able to handle its finances. Cuba halted consular services in mid-February after failing to resolve a long-running search for a local bank. The Cuban mission will nonetheless begin renewing passports \"that have expired or are about to expire\" for individuals with trips to Cuba scheduled from May 15 to August 31. The passports will be issued with the help of \"travel agencies with a working relationship with the consular office,\" the Cuban Interests Section said.
The commander of US forces in Africa held talks Tuesday in Nigeria as Washington sought to help the government in Abuja trace more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamist militants. General David Rodriguez, head of US Africa Command, flew to Nigeria on Monday as the United States confirmed it was flying manned surveillance aircraft over the country and sharing commercial satellite imagery to aid the hunt for the abducted girls. The talks are focused in part on forging an agreement that will enable the United States to share intelligence with Nigeria from spy planes and other sources, officials said Tuesday.
China and the United States will hold annual strategic talks in July, US officials said Tuesday as Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew visited Beijing, with economic reform and regional territorial disputes likely to top the agenda. The sixth US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue will take place in the Chinese capital, with Lew and US Secretary of State John Kerry expected to attend. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councillor Yang Jiechi are also likely to be present. There are a number of contentious economic issues between Washington and Beijing, including intellectual property rights and China's valuation of its currency, the yuan.