By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The latest delay to a final decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline will reinforce a White House strategy to energize President Barack Obama's liberal-leaning base before fall elections in which Democrats risk losing control of the U.S. Senate. Environmentalists, worried about the project's effect on climate change, have put enormous pressure on the president to reject the pipeline from Canada's oil sands, staging demonstrations outside the White House and protests in states where he travels. A decision to approve it now could have prompted that vocal group, which was instrumental in electing Obama in 2008 and 2012, to sit out the November 4 congressional elections. The State Department's announcement on Friday that it would give government agencies more time to study the project was seen by strategists from both parties as a move to prevent that and boost Obama in the eyes of his supporters.
By Chris Francescani NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans with accounts on President Barack Obama's health insurance enrollment website, HealthCare.gov, were advised that their passwords had been reset to guard against the "Heartbleed" bug, in a message posted on the site on Saturday. The warning marks the latest fallout from the widespread security bug, which surfaced this month and allows hackers to steal data online without a trace. Companies from Amazon.com Inc to Google Inc. have been forced to take steps to protect against Heartbleed. HealthCare.gov, a health insurance exchange for the 36 states that opted out of creating their own state insurance exchanges, was created under Obama's signature health care law, the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
President Barack Obama will not visit China on his Asia tour next week, but its broadening shadow will be cast everywhere he goes at a time of complex regional disputes and questions about US strategy. China's regional ascent is now reality, with its growing economic and military influence nudging and worrying neighbors that look to Washington as a counterweight. China is the "leitmotif that's going to be running through the trip," said Christopher Johnson, a former CIA China analyst now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "The thing that both Beijing and those of us who watch at all closely will be watching ...will the president be saying the 'C-word' -- China -- on a regular basis throughout the trip?"
By Mark Miller CHICAGO (Reuters) - Paper Social Security benefits statements, which used to be mailed out every year and then fell victim to budget cuts, are going to make a partial comeback. Starting this September, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will resume mailings at five-year intervals to workers who have not signed up to view their statements online, an agency spokesman told Reuters. The statements will be sent to workers at ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60, he said, adding the agency would continue to promote use of the online statements. The SSA stopped mailing most paper statements in 2011 in response to budget pressures, and saved the SSA $70 million annually - about 50 cents per mailed statement.