The United States has condemned \"ugly and disrespectful\" racist comments directed at Barack Obama by North Korea's official KCNA news agency comparing the US president to a black \"monkey\" in a zoo. North Korean propaganda is known for vitriolic personal attacks on foreign leaders, but the KCNA despatch published last Friday -- not long after Obama's visit to South Korea -- stood out for its use of highly inflammatory and abusive racist language. \"The way Obama looks disgusts me,\" said one worker at an ironworks factory. Four people were interviewed in total and all their comments were similar in their racist nature, with one referring to Obama as \"sub-animal.\"
San Antonio (Philippines) (AFP) - Scores of US and Filipino marines launched mock assaults on a South China Sea beach in the Philippines on Friday in war games aimed at honing the allies' combat skills. The exercise came as tensions simmer between the Philippines and China over rival claims to the strategic waters. Three US rubber raiding craft and two small-unit Filipino riverine boats made repeated sallies at a desolate beach at a northern Philippines navy base in a practise stealth landing of squads of armed marines.
By Steve Holland SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - President Barack Obama warned tech leaders on Thursday to dig deep in their wallets to fund Democratic candidates and feel a sense of urgency about congressional elections in November or risk further gridlock in Washington and a failure to move on their priorities. Obama was the headline speaker at four California fund-raising events, raising his two-day total to five. During his remarks, Obama struck at the heart of the issue that Republicans are using against Democrats in their campaigns: The Affordable Care Act, the Obamacare law whose troubled rollout has given Obama's political opponents much grist for criticism. Republicans have mounted a strong effort to seize control of the Senate from Democrats and are also trying to build on their majority in the House of Representatives.
The U.S. Federal Election Committee said on Thursday that the virtual currency, bitcoin, could be used for donations to political action committees under certain conditions. In a unanimous vote, the FEC, which enforces U.S. campaign finance laws, said a political committee could accept donations in bitcoins up to an individual limit of $100 for each election cycle and could also purchase bitcoins. But the advisory opinion, issued in response to a request for guidance by the Make Your Laws political action committee, said the committee \"must sell the bitcoins it purchases and deposit the proceeds into its campaign depository before spending those funds.\" The FEC did not approve the use of bitcoins to purchase campaign goods and services. Users can transfer bitcoins to each other online and store the currency in digital \"wallets.\" The FEC said it concluded that bitcoins were \"money or anything of value\" under federal election law.