Obama has issues waiting for him in U.S.

Discussion in 'Americas' started by happy, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. happy

    happy Senior Member Senior Member

    Mar 12, 2013
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    Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
    President Barack Obama boards Air Force One on Saturday at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Air Force One was making a refueling stop and Obama used the opportunity to meet with members of the U.S. military. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

    RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — A week of international prodding, outreach and reassurance behind him, U.S. President Barack Obama is returning to Washington amid looming domestic and foreign challenges, from a fast-approaching deadline for health care enrollment to renewed worries about Russia’s intentions in Eastern Europe.

    Obama left Saudi Arabia on Saturday, a day after meeting with the country’s aging monarch, King Abdullah. But tensions between Russia and Ukraine, which dominated his visit earlier in the week to the Netherlands and Belgium, continue to dog him, and his health care apparatus is dealing with an influx of last-minute sign-ups.

    Before leaving Riyadh, Obama met with the Saudi winner of a State Department Women of Courage award, presented for her role in combating domestic violence and winning landmark legislation on protecting women.

    The winner is Maha Al Muneef, the executive director of the National Family Safety Program, which she founded in 2005 to combat domestic violence and child abuse in Saudi Arabia.

    Obama, in remarks during the award at his hotel in Riyadh, praised her for not only being able to “set up services here in the kingdom, but also more importantly in some ways, being able to pass laws providing protections for women and children for domestic abuse and to provide a safe space and shelter for those who are suffering from domestic abuse.

    “To see that kind of progress that’s been made, her ability to work with the kingdom to persuade many that this is an issue that is going to be important to society over the long term, I think makes this award fully justified.”

    Stopping to refuel at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, Obama joined two Air Force generals and walked from his plane to an air base lounge on a balmy afternoon to meet privately with four families of wounded soldiers.

    The fallout of Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula away from Ukraine has been a persistent worry. Russian President Vladimir Putin called Obama on Friday evening, and Obama urged Putin to pull troops away from Ukraine’s eastern border, the White House said. The Kremlin said Putin told Obama that various regions of Ukraine were facing a “continued rampage of extremists who are committing acts of intimidation towards peaceful residents, government authorities and law enforcement agencies.”

    Despite the differing summaries, both sides said the presidents agreed to have U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discuss further steps.

    Kerry, who had joined Obama in Saudi Arabia, made a last minute change to his schedule Saturday, turning his plane around during a fueling stop in Shannon, Ireland, to go to Paris to meet Lavrov as early as today or Monday.

    Obama has issues waiting for him in U.S. | The Columbian
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