News / USA

Obama to Hold Formal News Conference Friday

President Barack Obama speaks to the media at the White House, Aug. 1, 2013.
President Barack Obama speaks to the media at the White House, Aug. 1, 2013.
— President Barack Obama will hold a formal news conference Friday. The decision to cancel a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and terrorism threats that forced the temporary closure of U.S. embassies, are likely to dominate the event.

It will be Obama's first opportunity to speak publicly about his decision to cancel the summit with President Putin.  They were to have met in Moscow before next month's G-20 summit in St. Petersburg.

In explaining the decision, the White House has said that despite cooperation with Russia in several areas, there was not enough progress on key issues in the bilateral agenda to make a summit constructive.

Russia's decision to grant temporary asylum to Edward Snowden, the admitted leaker of information about U.S. electronic surveillance programs, was a "factor" as the White House put it, in the summit decision.

Obama will have a chance to expand on that when he addresses the media in the East Room.

On Thursday, spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. position remains that Snowden should be returned to the United States to face espionage charges.  

With U.S. and Russian officials going ahead with Washington talks on Friday, Carney said Snowden is just one of many issues on which to engage with Russia in a relationship marked by challenges.

"We still do have cooperation with the Russians on number of important issues, and we will continue to engage with the Russians as we are tomorrow to try to make progress on those and other areas.  But there is no question that we have run into some obstacles on some important issues," said Carney.

Other issues include the political crisis in Egypt, and the civil war in Syria, including the status of arms and aid flows to Syrian rebels, in addition to domestic issues such as his push for comprehensive immigration reform.

President Obama is also certain to be asked about the terrorism threat warning that forced the temporary closure of nearly two dozen U.S. embassies across the Middle East, North Africa and other areas.

Asked how long the current level of vigilance would have to be maintained,  Obama's spokesman declined to provide a time line, but stressed the very specific nature of the threat.

"This was not the ongoing, generalized reality that we have groups and individuals out there in the world who want to do harm to the United States, this was more specific than that," said Carney.

On the diplomatic rebuke to President Putin, White House spokesman Carney was asked whether President Obama and President Putin might still meet at some point in St. Petersburg during the G20 summit.

Since Russia is hosting the summit, Carney said it is likely the two will meet, but not in any formal bilateral session.

Friday's news conference comes a day before Obama and his family are due to depart Washington for a nine-day vacation in Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid