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Obama lays into Putin, Pete Souza

Pete Souza’s best photograph: Obama lays into Putin

I wasn’t supposed to be here for this picture. It was taken on the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings – all the heads of state had gathered there and were coming out of an impromptu luncheon. The official photographers from each country had been kicked out – we were all supposed to leave the …

FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, Chief of Staff Andy Card whispers into the ear of President George W. Bush to give him word of the plane crashes into the World Trade Center, during a visit to the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/Doug Mills, File)

Testing presidents from Bush to Trump, 9/11 shaped politics

Four presidential campaigns. Eight congressional elections. The longest war in U.S. history. The Sept. 11 attacks have shaped U.S. politics, sometimes over the objections of victims’ families. The attacks that crashed four airliners and killed nearly 3,000 also tested U.S. presidents, starting with that indelible image of still-new President George W. Bush hearing his chief …

US President Donald Trump has said he accepts the conclusion that Russia sought to influence the 2016 US election -- after failing to challenge Vladimir Putin on the issue a day earlier/AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM

Under fire, Trump says he misspoke on Russia election meddling

President Donald Trump on Tuesday moved to limit the damage from his summit with Vladimir Putin, claiming he misspoke in appearing to accept the Russian leader’s denial of election meddling — in a rebuke to US intelligence chiefs. At their meeting in Helsinki on Monday, Trump failed to challenge Putin over the 2016 presidential election, …

Donald Trump talks about gun safety

Trump ignores European pleas and abandons ‘defective’ Iran nuclear deal

President Donald Trump on Tuesday pulled the United States out of an international nuclear deal with Iran, raising the risk of conflict in the Middle East, upsetting European allies and casting uncertainty over global oil supplies. Trump said in a televised address from the White House that he would reimpose U.S. economic sanctions on Iran …

Former US president Barack Obama (L) is greeted by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before the pair have lunch - POOL/AFP / Shizuo Kambayashi

Obama: N. Korea ‘real threat’, urges co-operation

North Korea poses a “real threat” whose solution will require international co-operation, former US President Barack Obama said Sunday on a visit to Japan.

Obama also said the US needed to ensure there was a defence system in place to protect countries in the region from a potential attack from North Korean missiles.

“North Korea is a real threat” and has developed a weapons programme and delivery system that “poses a significant threat not just to the region but to the whole world”, Obama said in a speech in Tokyo.

“So far, we haven’t seen as much progress obviously as we would have liked. But the one thing that is very important to recognise is that individually, no country can solve this problem as effectively as if we all work together,” Obama stressed.

He said North Korea was “a country that is so far removed from the international norms and so disconnected with the rest of the world” that it was particularly difficult to put pressure on the isolated regime.

Under the Obama administration, Washington pursued a policy of “strategic patience” towards the North in hopes that sanctions would bring Pyongyang to heel and force it to abandon its weapons ambitions.

But during that time, a string of nuclear tests and missile launches amply demonstrated the ineffectiveness of the sanctions regime in addressing the issue.

Obama is on a swing through Asia which has already taken in Singapore, New Zealand and Australia.

He has largely avoided the limelight, playing golf with former prime minister John Key in New Zealand and offering parenting tips to the current leader Jacinda Ardern, who is pregnant.

Later Sunday, Obama met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for lunch, sparking memories of their 2014 “sushi summit” when the American was still in the White House.

Obama reportedly talked business and trade throughout the 2014 meal, which was supposed to be an informal opportunity for bonding between the two world leaders.

The then-president emerged to tell waiting reporters “that’s some good sushi right there” but reportedly ate only half of his Michelin-starred offerings.

Asked after his speech on Sunday what he most missed about his time in office, Obama quipped: “I do sometimes miss Air Force One. That’s a nice airplane — especially when you fly across the Pacific.”

But he also revealed that he had to buy his own groceries in the White House. “You think you get to live for free but no, no! It’s expensive being in the White House, I’ll tell you.”

Donald Trump - Melania Trump - South Lawn o White House Washington - first lady

Trump puts aside the feud with media for a night at Gridiron

President Donald Trump engaged in a good-natured duel of one-liners with political rivals and the press at the annual Gridiron Dinner this weekend, largely putting aside his ongoing criticism of the media for a night. Trump dished out sharp one-liners throughout his comments Saturday night, occasionally lapsing into recurring themes about the 2016 election and …

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