Obama says regrets Liu can’t attend Nobel ceremony

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday he regretted that neither Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo nor his wife would be allowed to attend the ceremony in Oslo awarding Liu the Nobel Peace Prize and urged China to do more to advance democracy. Read more

Democrats defy Obama on tax deal as Senate sets vote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Angry Democrats in the House of Representatives on Thursday rejected President Barack Obama’s plan to extend low tax rates, as the Senate scheduled a vote on the measure, which has significant Republican support. Read more

Senate Republicans block 9/11 health bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a bill that would provide medical care for firefighters and other responders to the September 11, 2001, attacks who developed illnesses from breathing toxic, dust-filled air. Read more

Airport pat-down of India envoy appropriate: U.S.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An airport pat-down of the Indian ambassador to the United States in Mississippi angered her government but the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday said it was appropriate under the circumstances. Read more

Obama dangled White House visit to ease Ivorian row

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama offered to invite Laurent Gbagbo to the White House if he respected Ivory Coast’s election and stepped down, but has not received a response, a White House official said on Thursday. Read more

Bid to repeal military gays policy fails in Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a White House-backed bid to repeal the ban on gays serving openly in the U.S. military, but lawmakers seeking to end the policy said they would soon try again. Read more

U.S. labor group to oppose Obama on South Korea trade

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The largest U.S. labor organization said on Thursday it will fight President Barack Obama on a free trade deal with South Korea, despite changes his administration made to the pact to broaden support. Read more

U.S. yanks high-speed rail funds for Wisconsin and Ohio

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Thursday rescinded $1.195 billion intended to fund the development of high-speed rail in Ohio and Wisconsin and said it will redirect the funds to “other states eager to develop high-speed rail corridors” in the United States. Read more

Holder urges Senate reject ban on Guantanamo moves

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday made a last-ditch plea urging lawmakers to allow foreign terrorism suspects held at the Guantanamo military prison to be moved to U.S. soil for prosecution. Read more

Congress votes to avert Medicare doctor pay cut

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Legislation to avert a 25 percent pay cut for doctors treating patients covered by the federal Medicare health insurance program for the elderly won final U.S. congressional approval on Thursday. Read more