Huntsman to step down
Amb. Jon Huntsman, seated in the front row, watches President Obama at a town hall in Shanghai on Nov. 16, 2009.
January 31st, 2011
06:31 PM ET

Huntsman to step down

Washington (CNN) – U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman submitted a hand-delivered letter of resignation to President Obama Monday, effective April 30th, according to two senior administration officials.

The news comes amid speculation that the former Utah governor will run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

Check out the complete story on CNN's Political Ticker.


Topics: President Obama • The News
CNN mourns one of our own
January 31st, 2011
05:32 PM ET

CNN mourns one of our own

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Those of us at CNN are mourning the loss of one of our beloved photojournalists, Jerry Thompson, who passed away this weekend after a long-fought battle with brain cancer.

Jerry was not only a wonderful cameraman and photojournalist, he was also a friend to many. He joined CNN in 1985 and was on the front row of many events, including many at the White House. You may not have realized it but you saw his work for years and years as he was the steady eye and hand behind the camera. Whether it be for a high-profile interview or presidential news conference or world summit, Jerry was one of the ones who brought us pictures of so many historical moments. Beyond his consummate skills, he was a caring friend who made every work environment a great experience. All of us who had the chance to be on a shoot with Jerry can count it as a blessing to have been able work along side of him. He was a truly great guy.

Jerry leaves behind a wife and three sons and a host of friends and colleagues. We'll miss him tremendously.

Briefing Bites
January 31st, 2011
05:08 PM ET

Briefing Bites

WASHINGTON (CNN) - White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs held his briefing this afternoon- the only public update we'll get from the White House in reaction to today's events in Egypt. While most of the briefing focused on Egypt, a couple of other topics came up too.

Click below for the top three exchanges from today's briefing: FULL POST


Topics: Briefing Bites • Egypt • Robert Gibbs • White House
Florida judge strikes down parts of health care reform
January 31st, 2011
04:49 PM ET

Florida judge strikes down parts of health care reform

By CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears

(CNN) – A federal judge in Florida has ruled unconstitutional the sweeping health care reform law championed by President Obama, setting up what is likely to be a contentious Supreme Court challenge in coming months over the legislation.

Monday's ruling came in the most closely watched of the two dozen challenges to the law. Florida along with 25 states had filed a lawsuit last spring, seeking to dismiss a law critics had labeled "Obamacare."

Judge Roger Vinson, in a 78-page, ruling dismissed the key provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – the so-called "individual mandate" requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face stiff penalties.

Check out the complete story on CNN's Political Ticker.


Topics: Health care • The News
Obama working on the Egypt situation
January 31st, 2011
03:21 PM ET

Obama working on the Egypt situation

WASHINGTON (CNN)– President Obama continues to be briefed on the ongoing situation in Egypt and is monitoring the situation closely. Robert Gibbs said that he's being updated as part of his normal Presidential Daily Briefing and will continue to receive briefings throughout the day as news on the ground in Egypt warrants.

Over the weekend, he made a number of phone calls to various world leaders to discuss the situation in Egypt. On Saturday, he called Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Sunday, he followed up with a phone call to British Prime Minister David Cameron. According to a paper readout from the White House over the weekend, President Obama talked about supporting universal rights and called for restraint against violence, as well as "and supporting an orderly transition to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people."

Also on Saturday, Mr. Obama held a meeting with his national security team for about an hour. According to another readout from the White House, the president "reiterated our focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights; and supporting concrete steps that advance political reform within Egypt."

Among those present at the meeting: VP Biden, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan, Chief of Staff Bill Daley, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, and Senior Advisor David Plouffe.


Topics: Egypt • President Obama
Obama, big business have $$$ for your idea
January 31st, 2011
02:08 PM ET

Obama, big business have $$$ for your idea

By Catherine Clifford, CNNMoney.com staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - A campaign to promote new businesses and create jobs, bringing together government agencies and high-powered businesses such as Intel and IBM, was launched Monday by the Obama administration.

The Startup America Partnership aims to support overall entrepreneurship - with a focus on high-growth, job-creating industries such as clean energy, medicine advanced manufacturing and information technology.

Go to CNNMoney for the complete story.


Topics: Economy • President Obama
POTUS schedule for January 31, 2011
January 31st, 2011
07:17 AM ET

POTUS schedule for January 31, 2011

President Obama has private meetings today.  He is certain to be briefed on the turmoil in Egypt during the day. Schedule provided by the White House:

10:00AM        THE PRESIDENT receives the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office (Closed Press)

11:10AM        THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors in the Oval Office (Closed Press)

Briefing Schedule

1:00PM          Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs


Topics: Daily Schedule • White House
January 29th, 2011
12:32 PM ET

White House week in review

WASHINGTON (CNN) - For President Obama it was the week included a pretty big speech, West Wing staff changes and unrest in Egypt. Here is a look at what happened.

January 28th, 2011
08:22 PM ET

Obama's Egypt balancing act

CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian reports on the administration's reaction to unrest in Egypt.


Topics: Egypt • President Obama • The News
January 28th, 2011
07:54 PM ET

Obama speaks to Egyptian president

CNN) - President Barack Obama spoke with Egypt's president moments after Hosni Mubarak addressed his country, telling the Egyptian that he must make good on his promises and avoid a violent response to the thousands of protesters in the streets.

With parts of his capital ablaze, Mubarak said he was asking his government to resign and would soon announce a new one, pledging to address the concerns of thousand of Egyptians protesting in Cairo's streets.

"I just spoke to him after his speech," Obama said, "and told him he has a responsibility to give meaning to those words, to take concrete steps and actions that deliver on that promise. Violence will not address the grievances of the Egyptian people. Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.

"This moment of volatility has to be turned into a moment of promise," Obama said.

Check out the complete story on CNN.com.



Topics: Egypt • President Obama • The News