Barack Obama

"If there was ever a moment for all of us to reflect and reaffirm our most basic beliefs that everybody counts and everybody has dignity, now's the time," President Obama said in remarks during a visit to Orlando, Fla., to express his support for the victims of Sunday's deadly attack and their families.

As NPR's Scott Horsley tells our Newscast unit, "The president hopes his presence in Orlando will provide some support to the families of the 49 people who died in Sunday's massacre, as well as the dozens of people who are still recovering from the wounds they suffered."

President Obama came into office with a dream of a world without nuclear weapons, and he's sure to touch on this theme Friday when he becomes the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, site of the world's first atomic bombing.

Yet Obama also has put the U.S. on course to spend around $1 trillion on upgrading its nuclear arsenal over the next three decades, critics say.

Everything about nuclear weapons is extreme: the implications of their use, the costs involved, and the strategic and political paradoxes they create.

President Obama will visit Hiroshima later this month, while he's in Japan for the G-7 summit, the White House has confirmed.

The trip will mark the first visit by a U.S. president to the site since American forces dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.

"I will not rest, and I'm going to make sure that the leaders at every level of government don't rest until every drop of water that flows to your homes is safe to drink, and safe to cook with, and safe to bathe in," President Obama told an energetic audience in Flint, Mich. "Because that's part of the basic responsibilities of a government in the United States of America."

Any doubt that Senate Republicans would hold the line behind their leader's decision to block President Obama's Supreme Court nominee has been erased.

"I can now confidently say the view shared by virtually everybody in my conference, is that the nomination should be made by the president the people elect in the election that's underway right now," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters.

President Obama said Tuesday that despite Republican vows to block him, he will nominate a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly on Saturday.

Obama spoke during a news conference after a summit with leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Rancho Mirage, Calif., but the first questions from reporters were about filling the empty Supreme Court seat.

The U.S. economy added just 151,000 jobs in January while unemployment dropped slightly, to 4.9 percent, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Economists had expected to see about 190,000 new jobs.

The unemployment rate, which has held steady at 5 percent the past few months, dropped slightly to 4.9 percent. It's the first time unemployment has fallen below 5 percent since the recession.

President Obama delivered remarks at a mosque in Baltimore on Wednesday afternoon, in the first visit to an American mosque he's made during his presidency.

His visit, which also included a roundtable with Muslim community members, ws intended to "reaffirm the importance of religious freedom" to life in America, the White House says.

He opened by thanking Muslim-Americans for their service to their communities, before declaring the importance of religious tolerance in America.

Following the militant occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, the Obama administration is weighing whether to move forward with a huge land conservation proposal in an Oregon county that has drawn strong local opposition.

A decision by President Barack Obama to protect up to 2.5 million acres surrounding the remote Owyhee Canyonlands could help cement his legacy for protecting the country’s wild lands.

When President Obama first took the oath of office seven years ago this month, the U.S. economy was so battered that many economists were pondering the possibility of another Great Depression.

The fears were real: Employers were cutting 796,000 jobs; the auto industry was facing bankruptcy; private foreclosures and public debts were soaring.

President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that he's taking executive action in an attempt to reduce gun violence. But his actions will mean few immediate changes for many gun buyers in the Northwest.

In this Dec. 9, 2015, photo, a sales associate walks past semiautomatic rifles at Bullseye Sport gun shop in Riverside, Calif.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Bill Radke talks to Senator Patty Murray about President Obama's proposed executive actions on gun control, including tighter rules on background checks.

In this Jan. 26, 2015, file photo, Scott Smith, a supporter of open carry gun laws, wears a pistol as he prepares for a rally in support of open carry gun laws at the Capitol, in Austin, Texas.
AP Photo/Eric Gay, File

Bill Radke speaks with Joanna Paul, of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, and Dave Workman with the Second Amendment Foundation, about their reaction to President Obama's executive action on gun control. 

Saying that America faces a "gun violence epidemic," President Obama is taking "a series of common-sense executive actions" to reduce gun violence Tuesday, the White House says. First among the measures: tighter rules on background checks for gun buyers.

President Obama is announcing a series of executive actions intended to combat gun violence, including a regulatory change designed to make it harder for gun buyers to avoid background checks. Obama plans to detail the moves on Tuesday with a statement in the White House East Room.

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