• With President Barack Obama set to take his message on the economy to John Boehner's backyard, the Republican House speaker landed a preemptive blow with a video blaming Senate Democrats for a congressional logjam that has stalled bills meant to create jobs. (The president makes his first major economic address of the general election cycle at a community college in Cleveland on Thursday.)

    In the video, the Ohio lawmaker points to documents covering his desk, identifying them as House-passed legislation blocked by the Democratic-held Senate.

    "This isn't just our work—it's your work in progress," Boehner says.

    "You see, we're going to keep adding to this pile, and we're going to keep calling on President Obama and Democrats in the Senate to give these jobs bills a vote," he says.

    Boehner's message aims to turn the tables on Obama—and on Democrats in general, who charge that House Republicans have locked up legislation to create jobs. The White House has described the House-passed bills—one of which would repeal "Obamacare"—as partisan nonstarters.

    Obama spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that unspecified independent economists have come down on the side of the president's approach and criticized the Republican proposals.

    "Some of them would actually do near-term damage to the economy," he said.

    Read More »from Boehner defends Republicans on jobs ahead of Obama speech
  • Mitt Romney is using President Barack Obama's "the private sector is doing fine" comment against him in a new television ad, which suggests the president is out of touch with the nation's economic struggles.

    Cast against footage of people on unemployment lines and homes slapped with foreclosure signs, the ad features gloomy messages about record job loss and struggles of the country's middle class.

    The ad then segues to "the president's response" and plays footage of Obama's now-infamous June 8 White House news conference in which he suggested the private sector is "doing fine."

    Obama later clarified his remark, telling reporters the "economy is not doing fine," but the footage of the initial comment airs twice in a row in Romney's ad, apparently for dramatic effect. And at the video's conclusion, the audio repeats the "doing fine" phrase twice in a row.

    "How can the president fix our economy," a message on the screen reads, "if he doesn't understand it's broken?"

    (more...)

    Read More »from Romney attacks Obama’s ‘doing fine’ comment in new TV ad
  • Israeli President Shimon Peres and President Barack Obama (Susan Walsh/AP)

    President Barack Obama formally bestowed the nation's highest civilian honor — the Presidential Medal of Freedom — on visiting Israeli President Shimon Peres late Wednesday. Peres thanked Obama and said Israel supports his policy on Iran.

    Guests at a gala dinner in Peres' honor included Israeli Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren, Bill and Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, as well as Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel. Dalia Rabin, daughter of slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, was also present.

    Peres invoked the memory of Nazi Germany's efforts to exterminate European Jews, and warned that in a new age "the danger is today concentrated in Iran," whose leaders "bring darkness to a world longing for light."

    "They are trying to build a nuclear bomb," he said. "It is our responsibility to our own people, to our friends throughout the world, to posterity, that the Iranian threat must be stopped, and it cannot be delayed."

    "Mr. President, you

    Read More »from Israeli President Peres to Obama: ‘We support you’ on Iran

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  • Under fire and out of cash, U.N. overwhelmed by Gaza crisis
    Under fire and out of cash, U.N. overwhelmed by Gaza crisis

    By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Noah Browning GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The United Nations in Gaza is struggling to withstand a flood of almost a quarter of a million refugees into shelters that have repeatedly come under Israeli fire. Out of cash, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main U.N. body in the impoverished enclave of 1.8 million Palestinians, says it can barely handle the humanitarian crisis unleashed by more than three weeks of fighting between militants and Israel. ...

  • AP Analysis: Putin cornered over Ukraine
    AP Analysis: Putin cornered over Ukraine

    MOSCOW (AP) — For Russian President Vladimir Putin, there are few options left in the Ukraine crisis and they all look bad.

  • International probe to begin at MH17 crash site in Ukraine
    International probe to begin at MH17 crash site in Ukraine

    International experts will attempt Friday to begin a stalled investigation at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 as Ukrainian forces threaten to resume their offensive against pro-Russian rebels after a one-day halt. The international probe into the downing of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine inched forward on Thursday as experts risked attack to reach the site for the first time in nearly a week after Kiev announced a halt to its military offensive. A small team of Dutch and Australian experts accompanied by international monitors accessed the vast site of the Malaysia Airlines jet after days of fierce fighting between government forces and rebels had stopped them reaching the area. Dutch police heading up the international probe said the situation around the crash site remained perilous despite the small team managing to access the scene.

  • Say 'cheese' (and a few four-letter words): Sky divers leap from 33,000 feet

    Two French sky divers leapt from a plane, about 33,000 feet in the air, and captured this breathtaking photo.

  • Congresswoman who co-sponsored Bush impeachment bill said Democrats never tried to impeach Bush
    Congresswoman who co-sponsored Bush impeachment bill said Democrats never tried to impeach Bush

    Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said Democrats had never moved to impeach former President George W. Bush, but she co-sponsored a bill to do just that in 2008.

  • Microsoft ordered by U.S. judge to submit customer's emails from abroad

    By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp must turn over a customer's emails and other account information stored in a data center in Ireland to the U.S. government, a judge ruled on Thursday, in a case that has drawn concern from privacy groups and major technology companies. Microsoft and other U.S. companies had challenged the warrant, arguing it improperly extended the authority of federal prosecutors to seize customer information held in foreign countries. Following a two-hour court hearing in New York, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska said a search warrant approved by a federal magistrate judge required the company to hand over any data it controlled, regardless of where it was stored.

  • Whole Foods plans major marketing push
    Whole Foods plans major marketing push

    Whole Foods is getting ready to launch its first national marketing campaign and expand home delivery as it looks to fend off bigger players muscling into the organic and natural foods category. The company, ...

  • Ebola discoverer says would sit next to victim on train
    Ebola discoverer says would sit next to victim on train

    The scientist who helped discover the Ebola virus said the outbreak in west Africa was unlikely to trigger a major epidemic outside the region, adding he would happily sit next to an infected person on a train. Since March, there have been 1,201 cases of Ebola and 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has warned that the crisis is set to get worse and that there is no overarching strategy to handle the crisis. Piot co-discovered the Ebola virus as a 27-year-old researcher in 1976.

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