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State Department Issues World Travel Alert


iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The State Department issued a travel alert for the world on Friday.The alert reminds Americans to be "extra cautious" when they travel. The alert, which expires in March, also tells Americans to "maintain a very high level of vigilance, and take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security."The alert is allegedly prompted by the lone wolf attack in Sydney earlier this week.According to a State Department official, a similar warning was issued in August 20

First Family Arrives in Hawaii for 16-Day Vacation


JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The president and first family have arrived in Hawaii, for a 16-day tropical vacation that’s become their annual tradition over the Christmas and New Year holidays.“The president himself is eagerly looking forward to” the time away, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said last week.They will remain on the island until after the New Year.While there’s no such thing as a work-free vacation for an American president, Obama w

Obama Highlights America's Progress in 2014, the Future in Weekly Address


Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- In his weekly address, President Obama reflected on the progress America has made since his first election in 2008, and more specifically the steps forward the country has taken this year.Obama called 2014 the strongest year for job growth since the 1990s, and highlights the decreasing cost of gas and the nation's leadership in containing the spread of Ebola, combating ISIS and addressing climate change, as well as the recent policy changes

GOP Address: Rep. Mike Kelly Issues a Call for Coal


US Congress(WASHINGTON) -- In this week's Republican Address, Rep. Mike Kelly called for energy reform and increased reliance on coal -- offering President Obama a lump of coal, though he avoided calling the commander in chief "naughty.""Coal is our most abundant and valuable resource," Kelly says. "It lights our home, keeps our electric bills low, and puts food on the table for countless families."Kelly criticizes the president's "all of the above" strategy for energy, saying that Obama is "lea

First Family Off to Hawaii for 16-Day Vacation


NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(HONOLULU) -- Aloha, Obama family!The president and first family are heading off to Honolulu for a 16-day tropical vacation that’s become their annual tradition over the Christmas and New Year holidays."My presidency is entering the fourth quarter," President Obama said at his final press conference of the year. "Going into the fourth quarter, you usually get a time-out. I am now looking forward to a quiet time-out, Christmas with my family."While there’

Sen. Rand Paul Criticizes Marco Rubio's Stance on Cuba


Credit: US Senate(WASHINGTON) -- In an unusual series of events, a Republican Senator on Friday called out one of his fellow party members online on Friday.Sen. Rand Paul, R-S.C., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., have publicly shared differing viewpoints on President Obama's decision to begin normalizing relations with Cuba. Paul has stated his interest in engaging Cuba, while Rubio is staunchly against the decision.On Friday, Paul posted a series of messages on both his Facebook and Twitter pages

Obama Makes History, Calling Only on Female Reporters


Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Mark this down as a historic day in White House history.President Obama has just become the first president to field questions from only female reporters at a White House press conference.Former ABC News correspondent Ann Compton, the first woman to report on the White House full time for a network and who covered the beat for 40 years, said that never before has a president only taken questions from women during a solo press conference.On Friday, Oba

Obama to Deliver State of the Union Address on Jan. 20


Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama has accepted House Speaker John Boehner's invitation to report to Congress on the state of the union next month.Boehner, R-Ohio, invited the president to deliver his State of the Union address in a letter Friday."The new year will bring a new American Congress, and with it, the opportunity to continue our work to build a stronger economy and secure a better future for our country," the House speaker said in the letter. "In t

Obama Determined to 'Chip Away' at 'Hermetically Sealed' Cuba


The White House(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama's decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba will "chip away" at the island's "hermetically sealed society," the president said Friday at what is likely his last press conference of the year."This is still a regime that represses its people," the president acknowledged. "But what I know, deep in my bones, is that if you’ve done the same things for 50 years, you should try something different if you want a different outcome.""Suddenly

Sony Hacking: Obama Says Sony Made 'Mistake' in Canceling "The Interview"


The White House(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama says Sony Pictures Entertainment made a "mistake" in canceling its planned release of the movie The Interview following a destructive cyber attack the U.S. government says was launched by North Korea."Sony is a corporation. It suffered significant damage. There were threats against its employees. I’m sympathetic to the concerns that they faced," Obama said. "Having said all that, yes I think they made a mistake.""We cannot have a society where

Aloha, Obamas! First Family Off to Hawaii for 16-Day Vacation


JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Aloha, Obama family!The president and first family are heading off to Honolulu, Hawaii, for a 16-day tropical vacation that’s become their annual tradition over the Christmas and New Year holidays.“The president himself is eagerly looking forward to” the time away, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said last week.While there’s no such thing as a work-free vacation for an American president, Obama will likely spend plenty o

Obama's Presidency in 2014 by the Numbers


Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Fresh off his announcement about normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba, President Obama on Friday will hold what will likely be his final press conference of the year before the first family jets off to Hawaii for 17 days of R and R.Here's a look at how the commander-in-chief has fared this year:He has a 41 percent job approval rating in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll out this week, a single point from his career low, with 54 percent disapp

President Obama to Close the Year with Annual Press Conference


The White House(WASHINGTON) —  President Obama will hold his annual year-end press conference Friday afternoon at the White House before taking off on his annual Hawaiian holiday vacation.Obama last fielded reporters' questions the day after the mid-term elections and there's a lot of new ground to cover since then. The president is expected to face tough questions on relations with Cuba, cyber-terrorism, torture, immigration, the economy, and race relations. Many also are watching cl

The Gingriches' Guide to Surviving a Presidential Campaign


ABC News/Yahoo! News(WASHINGTON) -- As the wife of a former presidential candidate, Callista Gingrich has some advice for the spouses of 2016 presidential hopefuls.“Focus on the positive, try not to let the negativity get you down, because you really have to keep your [attention] on those issues that are most important to the future of this country. And some days that's a challenge,” Gingrich said. “But just be open-minded and appreciate the moment.”Gingrich, who is out w

White House Considering 'Range of Options' in Responding to Sony Hack


Jim Dorian/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The White House will consider a "range of options" in dealing with the Sony hack, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday.Earnest would not speculate on the eventual White House response, saying, "I would acknowledge that an appropriate response is something that is not always obvious, but it's something that's worthy of careful consideration." The president's national security team continues to consider their options carefully, Earnest

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