United States

Sochi Games brings back memories, but let's move on

The Beijing Olympics made China more famous.

My first trip to the United States in early 2008 - with the Beijing Olympic Games just months away - gave me a street-level glimpse of China's rising profile on Wall Street as well as among ordinary Americans.

Monday, 10 February, 2014, 1:54pm

Obama seeks to renew Asia role with rescheduled trip

US President Barack Obama in Washington on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

President Barack Obama will visit Asia in April to push closer ties, an aide said on Wednesday, after his earlier cancellation of a trip raised questions about US commitment to the region.

21 Nov 2013 - 9:48am

Obama says he would never have ditched Biden for Clinton

US President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden meet in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Tuesday. Photo: EPA

US President Barack Obama said on Thursday that he would never have ditched Joe Biden, following reports his 2012 re-election campaign bosses considered dropping the vice-president in favour of Hillary Clinton.

“Here’s the one thing I can say for certain, if they had asked me, I would have said there is no way that I’m not running again with Joe Biden,” Obama told NBC News.

8 Nov 2013 - 1:37pm

CIA paying millions to AT&T for phone records, says report

AT&T receives more than US$10 million a year for providing phone records to the CIA, reports say. Photo: Reuters

The Central Intelligence Agency pays US telecommunications giant AT&T more than US$10 million a year to provide phone records with possible links to suspected terrorists, the New York Times reported on Thursday, citing government officials.

8 Nov 2013 - 2:56pm

Biden to visit China, Japan, South Korea in new US push

US Vice-President Joseph Biden.

US Vice-President Joe Biden will visit China, Japan and South Korea next month, the White House said on Monday, as it seeks to ease doubts about its commitment to Asia.

On the trip in the first week of December, Biden will be the highest-ranking US official to visit China since Beijing’s leadership transition.

5 Nov 2013 - 10:42pm

Nuclear arms stockpile requires overhaul, US officials say

the United States' last B53 nuclear bomb. The 10,000-pound bomb was dismantled in 2011 as part of President Barack Obama's efforts to reduce  nuclear weapons. Photo: AP

The US nuclear arsenal needs a multi-billion dollar overhaul in the coming decade to ensure the weapons’ safety and effectiveness, defence officials said on Tuesday, despite warnings from arms control groups that the effort is unaffordable and unnecessary.

30 Oct 2013 - 11:40am

Key US official faces grilling over Obamacare website fiasco

The error-strewn Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) sign-up page on the HealthCare.gov website. Photo: Reuters

Two months before the troubled October 1 launch of Obamacare exchanges, a key administration official overseeing the programme assured a congressional oversight panel that work was on-track to roll-out a tested website that would make it easy for Americans to enrol in affordable health insurance coverage.

27 Oct 2013 - 5:35pm

President vows to fix flawed Obamacare website

US President Barack Obama. Photo: Reuters

President Barack Obama on Saturday acknowledged problems with the roll-out of a key health website, adding he had people “working overtime” to fix the glitches that have marred a flagship domestic policy.

Obama has faced a barrage of criticism over this month’s sputtering debut of healthcare.gov, through which millions of Americans are expected to buy insurance.

26 Oct 2013 - 7:57pm

Two wounded in Tennessee National Guard armoury shooting

Tennessee National Guard members at the scene of a shooting at the National Guard Armoury in Tennessee on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

A member of the US National Guard shot and wounded two of his superiors on Thursday at an armoury outside a Navy facility in Millington, Tennessee, authorities said.

The gunman shot a sergeant major and a major, both recruiters, as they were going through administrative policies and procedures with him, Tennessee Adjutant General Terry Haston told reporters at a press conference.

25 Oct 2013 - 12:35pm

Obama, India’s leader seek to reinvigorate ties

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Photo: AP

President Barack Obama is hosting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for talks on trade and security, offering a chance to inject new life into the partnership amid concerns that relations have stagnated.

27 Sep 2013 - 6:33pm

Stop-gap budget mooted to avoid US government shut down

Democrats insist House Speaker John Boehner is seeking to make automatic spending cuts permanent by not extending funding. Photo: Xinhua

A key US lawmaker introduced a stop-gap funding bill on Wednesday to prevent an October 1 government shut down, after acknowledging there is insufficient time to pass a US budget for the forthcoming fiscal year.

11 Sep 2013 - 10:50am

Ecuador flower growers in Snowden shock

Ecuador’s flower business employs about 50,000 people on about 550 farms across the country and is indirectly responsible for 110,000 jobs. Photo: AP

Gino Descalzi used to fret about things like aphids, mildew and the high cost of shipping millions of roses a year from Ecuador to florists in the United States. These days he’s worried about a 30-year-old American thought to be stuck in the transit area of the Moscow airport, and he can’t believe it.

1 Jul 2013 - 1:38pm 1 comment

Accused Fort Hood gunman Nidal Hasan barred from using Taliban claim

Nidal Hasan

US army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan cannot argue at trial that he was defending the Afghan Taliban when he went on a 2009 shooting rampage in Texas that killed 13 soldiers, a military judge has ruled.

16 Jun 2013 - 8:53am

Obama's imperialist presidency

President Barack Obama. Photo: AP

Many people around the world really liked Barack Obama when he was first elected US President in 2008. Smart, handsome and genuinely appealing, what was there not to like? But now people are having second thoughts.

The president, while a candidate, promised to shut down Guantanamo. Now it looks likely, as Time magazine has claimed on its front cover, that it will never close.

11 Jun 2013 - 1:43am 5 comments

No one nation, whether America or China, can rule Asia

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and U.S. President Barack Obama take a walk before heading into their second meeting, at the Annenberg Retreat, California. Photo: Xinhua

At their California summit, President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Barack Obama discussed a long list of disputes, from trade to climate change and cyberhacking. Both were anxious to get along and there will be only small steps forward. The key point to come out of the meeting is rapport.

11 Jun 2013 - 1:44am