COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (CNN) - President Barack Obama delivered a strong defense of his international leadership at the U.S. Air Force Academy on Wednesday, telling graduating cadets they'll be building on "new era of American leadership."
Obama told the incoming corps of second lieutenants they are stepping into "a different world" than the one the United States faced when they entered the academy in 2008.
"Four years ago, you arrived here at a time of extraordinary challenge for our nation. Our forces were engaged in two wars. Al Qaeda, which had attacked us on 9/11, was entrenched in their safe havens," he said. "Many of our alliances were strained, and our standing in the world had suffered."
President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the demilitarized zone that splits the Korean Peninsula in two for the first time on Sunday.
His planned visit to the heavily fortified border is part of a three-day trip to South Korea to participate in a summit meeting about nuclear security in Seoul.
Top officials from 54 countries including China and Russia will attend the summit meeting next week, but its message of international cooperation has been overshadowed by North Korea's announcement last week that it is planning to carry out a rocket-powered satellite launch in April.
(CNN) - Protesters plan to hold hands and encircle the White House on Sunday to demand President Barack Obama reject a proposed oil pipeline that would stretch from Canada through Texas.
Obama has implied he may weigh in on whether to allow construction of the 1,700 mile oil pipeline, which is at the center of a bitter environmental battle.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said Friday morning that the abortion issue is the lone remaining stumbling block for negotiators trying to reach a budget agreement that would prevent a government shutdown.
"This all deals with women's health. Everything (else) has been resolved. Everything," Reid said. "It's an ideological battle. It has nothing to do with fiscal integrity in this country."
Republicans have been pushing to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood during the budget talks. They are also trying to get federal dollars now set aside for family planning and women's health turned into block grants for states, according to a Democratic source.
Such a move - opposed by Democrats, according to the source - would give governors and state legislatures more ability to cut funding for services opposed by conservatives.
A spokesman for Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, immediately disputed Reid's assertion that abortion is the key sticking point.
"While nothing will be decided until everything is decided, the largest issue is still spending cuts," Michael Steel said. "The American people want to cut spending to help the private sector create jobs - and the Democrats that run Washington don't." (follow live blogging on the latest developments)
Washington (CNN) – Taking questions from the White House press corp Tuesday, President Barack Obama said that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner will meet at 4 p.m. ET to discuss the budget and the looming government shutdown. If they can't reach an agreement, Obama said, he expects them to return to the White House on Wednesday for further talks.
The White House will put in "whatever resources are required in terms of time and energy" to reach an agreement, Obama said.
Obama said he could support one more short-term extension of federal funding to avert a partial government shutdown only if a deal is reached on spending for the rest of the current fiscal year, but a few more days are needed to get it passed through Congress.
He criticized Republicans for trying to use the budget talks to push unrelated priorities relating to issues such as abortion and environmental protection.
He also urged a greater spirit of compromise in the ongoing budget negotiations.
"What we can't do is have a 'my way or the highway' approach to this problem," he told reporters at the White House. "If we start applying that approach ... we're not going to get anything done this year."
House Speaker John Boehner said "there was no agreement reached," but that conversations will continue.
"We’re talking about real spending cuts, no smoke and mirrors," Boehner said at a press conference Tuesday. “I’m not gonna allow the senate nor the White House to put us in a box where we have to make a choice between two bad options." (read more on cnn.com)
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will meet Tuesday with congressional leaders to discuss budget negotiations three days before the deadline to avoid a government shutdown, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday.
Carney said Obama believes it is "a very good time for these senior leaders coming together to assess where we are" and see what can be done to reach final agreement on government spending for the rest of the current fiscal year, which ends on September 30. FULL POST
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama made his case Monday night for intervention in Libya, addressing the nation amid tough calls for him to clarify the United States' role in the U.N.-authorized military mission.
Both Democrats and Republicans have criticized the president's policy in the war-torn North African nation. Among other things, they have questioned the purpose of the mission, as well as its cost, endgame, and consequences for the broader Arab world.
"It was not in our national interest" to let the citizens of Benghazi suffer a massacre at the hands of Gadhafi's forces, said Obama. It would have "stained the conscience of the world," he said, referring to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
He added that he ordered U.S. warships into the Mediterranean off Libya because of Gadhafi's "brutal repression" of his people and "a looming humanitarian crisis."
The transfer from U.S. to NATO command will take place Wednesday, Obama said.
(CNN) - President Obama said jobs and the economy would be central to his upcoming State of the Union address in a videotaped preview of the speech that was sent to supporters on Saturday.
"My principal focus, my number one focus, is going to be making sure that we are competitive, that we are growing, and we are creating jobs not just now but well into the future," Obama said.
The message, taped Friday, went up on YouTube and went out to backers of the Democratic National Committee's Organizing for America initiative on Saturday.