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Pakistanis in Karachi on Wednesday protested the NATO airstrikes that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers last week. Asif Hassan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The White House has decided that President Obama will not offer formal condolences — at least for now — to Pakistan for the deaths of two dozen soldiers in NATOairstrikes last week, overruling State Department officials who argued for such a show of remorse to help salvage America’s relationship with Pakistan, administration officials said.

On Monday, Cameron Munter, the United States ambassador to Pakistan, told a group of White House officials that a formal video statement from Mr. Obama was needed to help prevent the rapidly deteriorating relations between Islamabad and Washington from cratering, administration officials said. The ambassador, speaking by videoconference from Islamabad, said that anger in Pakistan had reached a fever pitch, and that the United States needed to move to defuse it as quickly as possible, the officials recounted.

Defense Department officials balked. While they did not deny some American culpability in the episode, they said expressions of remorse offered by senior department officials and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton were enough, at least until the completion of a United States military investigation establishing what went wrong.

Some administration aides also worried that if Mr. Obama were to overrule the military and apologize to Pakistan, such a step could become fodder for his Republican opponents in the presidential campaign, according to several officials who declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

On Wednesday, White House officials said Mr. Obama was unlikely to say anything further on the matter in the coming days. via NY times

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President Barack Obama is hosting European Union leaders for a summit Monday that is likely to focus on the European debt crisis.

Obama will meet at the White House with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

The Obama administration is watching warily as European countries struggle to bolster confidence in the euro currency. The crisis has seen smaller eurozone nations Greece, Portugal and Ireland bailed out and is now threatening much bigger economies, such as Italy and Spain.

The Obama administration has expressed concerns that the crisis could damage the U.S. economy.

via AP.


Click here to go to Obama for America on Google+

Google+, the Internet search giant’s rival to Facebook, has a high-profile new member: US President Barack Obama.
“Obama for America,” the president’s 2012 reelection campaign, created an official Barack Obama page on Google+ on Wednesday.
We’re still kicking the tires and figuring this out, so let us know what you’d like to see here and your ideas for how we can use this space to help you stay connected to the campaign,” it said in its first message. Last month, Obama added popular microblogging platform Tumblr to the Internet arsenal for his White House campaign. During his 2008 presidential run, Obama relied heavily on the Internet for organising, fundraising and communicating and he is expected to do so again during his reelection bid. The White House is an active user of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare and other online services.


Targeting Republicans in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail, President Barack Obama is in New Hampshire, a political battleground, to begin a year-end push to extend payroll tax cuts.

U.S. President Barack Obama says he will veto any effort to undo automatic spending cuts that would kick in in 2013. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

During a speech Tuesday at a high school, the president was to argue that a failure to extend the tax breaks would hurt middle-class families already struggling amid a shaky economy, effectively daring congressional Republicans to block a measure and thus increase taxes.

“If we don’t act, taxes will go up for every single American, starting next year. And I’m not about to let that happen,” Obama said Monday, previewing the message he was expected to deliver.

The White House says a middle-class family making $50,000 a year would see its taxes rise by $1,000 if the payroll tax cuts are not extended.

Earlier, supercommittee co-chairs Patty Murray, a Democratic senator from Washington, and Jeb Hensarling, a Republican House representative from Texas, said despite “intense deliberations” the members of the panel had been unable “to bridge the committee’s significant differences.


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