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White House weighs in on Jimmy Kimmel China controversy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House has weighed in on a petition calling for the government to crack down on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," a television talk show that sparked a furor in China in October with a joke about killing Chinese people to avoid paying down U.S. debt to the country.

White House steps up push for jobless aid extension, says it will aid economy and individuals

WASHINGTON - The White House is stepping up efforts to extend jobless benefits to long-term unemployed Americans, arguing that more than a million people will lose the assistance if it isn't renewed by the end of the month, slowing economic growth. In a report released Thursday, the White House Council of Economic Advisers and the Labor Department concluded that if Congress allows benefits, to expire 3.6 million people will lose access to the benefits by the end of 2014.

Journalists take White House to task over photo access

By Mark Felsenthal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Simmering tensions between the Obama administration and the White House press corps spilled into the open on Thursday when news organizations formally protested decisions to bar photojournalists from many presidential events. The White House Correspondents Association and major news organizations, including Reuters, wrote to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to complain about being shut out of events that the White House documented with its own photographer.

White House press blasts Obama administration on access

White House reporters and photographers on Thursday accused top officials of deliberately blocking access to President Barack Obama and of substituting its own "visual press releases" for independent news coverage. In a letter to White House spokesman Jay Carney, the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) and other news organizations said the practice belied the administration's frequent claims to a new level of transparency.

Obama surprises visitors as White House tours resume

Barack Obama and his wife Michelle surprised visitors at the White House Tuesday, as tours of the US presidential residence resumed after an eight-month break sparked by government budget woes. "How are you! So good to see you," the president said, welcoming visitors to the state rooms of the mansion in the heart of Washington. He and the first lady, accompanied by their dogs Bo and Sunny, shook hands and chatted for several minutes with tourists who appeared shocked and thrilled, according to a video posted on the White House web site.

White House locked down in security alert

The White House was locked down in a sudden security alert Monday after a man set off firecrackers outside the gates, hours after a gun massacre at a US naval base in Washington. A Secret Service source confirmed to AFP that the man set off firecrackers, following some earlier reports that shots were fired, in a incident that scrambled security teams at the White House. Witnesses said that uniformed Secret Service officers tackled a man outside the gate soon after the incident, as reporters and staff were quickly hustled back into the White House complex. col/adm

White House locked down in firecracker alert

The White House was locked down in a sudden security alert Monday after a man threw firecrackers over the outer fence, sparking alarm hours after a gun massacre in Washington. A Secret Service source confirmed to AFP that the man set off firecrackers, discounting some earlier reports that shots were fired, in a incident that scrambled heavily armed security teams at the White House. Witnesses said uniformed Secret Service officers tackled a man outside the gate soon after the incident, as reporters and staff were quickly hustled back into the White House complex.

White House announces action and legislative proposals to protect innovators from patent suits

WASHINGTON - The White House is taking steps to encourage innovation in high tech patents that it calls "a key driver of economic growth." The White House on Tuesday announced five executive actions and seven recommendations for Congress to protect innovators from lawsuits. A statement from the Obama administration says innovators continue to face challenges from so-called patent trolls, companies that obtain patents but don't do actual research or development. Those companies can use their patents to seek licensing fees from others who make products or provide services.

Under fire from loyalists, White House admits 'potholes' in handling IRS scandal

By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Facing criticism from Democratic loyalists, the White House acknowledged on Wednesday that President Barack Obama's team has struggled to get its story straight on who knew what when about the IRS targeting of conservative groups.

White House cuts long-run economic growth forecast

By Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Beneath the customary optimism of a political policy pitch, the Obama administration has cut its outlook for how fast the U.S. economy can grow without generating inflation. As part of the assumptions underlying President Barack Obama's 2014 budget proposal released on Wednesday, the White House said the potential growth rate currently appears to be 2.4 percent a year. That is down from an estimate of 2.5 percent in the 2013 budget plan and from 2.6 percent in the 2010 proposal.
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