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Obama Weighs Options For Targeting IS Group

 
  

Update: 1:42 P.M. (AP) -- Obama: Regional Strategy Needed To Deal With Islamic State 

President Barack Obama says degrading Islamic State militants is going to require a "regional strategy" and assistance from partners in the Middle East.

Obama is speaking shortly before meeting with his national security advisers to discuss options for going after the militant group. The president says he has asked the Pentagon to prepare a range of options for confronting the militants.

The U.S. is already going after militant targets inside Iraq and officials say Obama is considering taking similar action in Syria.

Obama Says Russia Responsible For Ukraine Violence

(AP) - President Barack Obama is blaming Russia for the escalating violence in eastern Ukraine.

Obama is speaking at the White House amid escalating tensions between Russia and the West. He says Russia is training, arming and funding pro-Russian separatists in Russia. Obama says new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine make that plain to see.

Obama says Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will visit the White House next month. It's Poroshenko's first visit since becoming president and a major display of unity between the U.S. and Ukraine.

Obama says he spoke by phone Thursday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He says Russia's incursion into Ukraine will bring additional consequences.

Ukrainian officials say two Russian military columns have rolled into the southeastern part of Ukraine after missiles were fired at a border post.

Obama Touts Revised Economic Growth Numbers

(AP) - President Barack Obama is drawing attention to heartening evidence of economic growth. He says, quote, "there's reason to feel good for the direction we are heading."

He says he still wants to push Congress to take more action to move the economy along.

The government on Thursday said the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 4.2 percent in the April-June quarter. The figures represented a reversal from the first quarter of the year when the economy shrunk at a 2.1 percent annual rate.

The economic recovery has been a difficult issue for Obama because improvements have not matched public perceptions.

Obama made his remarks to reporters as he also addressed developments in Syria and Ukraine.


(AP) - President Barack Obama will speak at 4 p.m. from the White House before convening a meeting with his national security team on the militant threat in Syria and Iraq.

The U.S. is already launching airstrikes against Islamic State group targets in Iraq and Obama is considering similar action in Syria.

The president's remarks also come amid increased tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Officials in Ukraine say two Russian military columns rolled into the southeastern part of the country after missiles were fired at a border post.

The U.S. and European Union have levied economic sanctions against Russia as punishment for its provocations, but the penalties appear to have had little impact on Russian President Vladimir Putin (POO'-tihn)'s thinking.