Hagel reassures Gulf allies U.S. committed to regional security
By David Alexander MANAMA (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel toured an anti-mine warfare ship in the U.S. Fifth Fleet on Friday to underscore U.S. commitment to Middle East security despite policy differences over Iran and Syria that have angered Washington's longtime Gulf allies. His visit to Bahrain, in which he will also speak at the Manama Dialogue security conference, came at a time of regional unease over President Barack Obama's policies ranging from the cautious U.S. response to Syria's civil war to the six world powers' interim deal with Iran on its nuclear program. The warship he toured, the USS Ponce, is to be equipped in 2014 with a new Navy laser weapon designed to deter aircraft and missiles as well as attacks by swarms of small boats like those used by Iran, on the opposite side of the Gulf. "But having a steady American hand in this region can help our allies and reassure our allies." Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington, said Gulf Arab leaders felt U.S. policy was misguided and that when they wanted to air their concerns, there was no one in the Obama administration to talk to.
Not a lot of fans knew who Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Lorde were when last we gathered a year ago to celebrate music with the Grammy Award nominations.
White House reverses, says Obama met uncle and lived with him during law school
By Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama lived briefly with his Kenyan-born uncle while attending law school, the White House said on Thursday, reversing earlier statements that there was no record of the two men ever having met. White House spokesman Jay Carney said he clarified the issue with the president directly after reports that Onyango Obama, who faced deportation from the United States, said he had housed his nephew temporarily. Barack Obama attended Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the late 1980s. Carney said White House press staff had consulted the president's book for evidence of a meeting between the two men when the issue came up previously, but no one had posed the question to the commander in chief.
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