30 April 2013, 20:26

Obama: Russian authorities had been 'very cooperative' in Boston bombing probe

President Obama told reporters that Russia have "very cooperative" with their US counterparts investigating the Boston Marathon bombing, although there are still lingering suspicions between the two countries' intelligence agencies.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday defended US investigators' handling of the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, saying federal law enforcement officials and others appear to have done their jobs correctly. 

"Based on what I've seen so far, the FBI performed its duties, Department of Homeland Security did what it was supposed to be doing, but this is hard stuff," Obama told reporters in a news conference. 

The president added that he is asking his counterterrorism team to look at what more work can be done to detect threats from people who become self-radicalized. 

Obama vows new push to close Guantanamo

President Barack Obama vowed Tuesday to make a renewed attempt to close the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, amid a hunger strike by suspected terrorist detainees.

Obama told a White House news conference he did not want any prisoners to die and called on Congress to help him find a long-term legal solution to the problem of prosecuting terror suspects.

"I continue to believe we have to close Guantanamo. I think it is critical for us to understand that Guantanamo is not necessary to keep America safe.

"It is expensive. It is inefficient. It hurts us in terms of our international standing. It lessens cooperation with our allies on counterterrorism efforts. It is a recruiting tool for extremists.

"It needs to be closed," he said.

Obama favors prosecuting enemy combatants in civilian courts and transfering those cleared of wrongdoing to their home countries.

His tough words were the most extensive the president has delivered on Guantanamo for months and reflected his frustration with Congress which he blamed for blocking his efforts to shut the jail at a US naval base in southeastern Cuba. 


US President Obama takes questions at news conference

President Obama’s news conference Tuesday marks his second solo appearance before the White House press corps in his second term, coming two months after he took questions in the briefing room March 1. 


Obama on Jason Collins: "Seems like a terrific young man, I told him I couldn't be prouder of him."


Obama says LGBT Americans deserve "not just tolerance but a recognition that they're fully a part of the American family."


Obama: We have to have better border security, crack down on employers, and make immigration system work more effectively.


Obama on Gang of Eight bill: "There are elements of it that I would change, but it meets the basic criteria that I laid out from the start."


"Even if we do everything perfectly there'll still be glitches and bumps," the president says of Obamacare.


Obama says all the implementation issues for Obamacare are related to the 30 million who don't now have health insurance.


Obama: Americans with health insurance "are experiencing the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, even if they don't know it."


Obama says he will ask his team to re-engage with Congress on ways to close Guantanamo prison.


Obama on Guantanamo detainees: I don't want these individuals to die.


Obama: I continue to believe that we need to close Guantanamo; it's not sustainable.


Washington needs to lift the sequester, but it is going to take cooperation on a bigger budget deal. "It slowed our growth. It is throwing people out of work," Obama says.


Obama says gov't reviewing security procedures to guard against self-radicalized people in US.


Obama says Congress should be thinking down the road, should "engage with me on a broader deal" about fixing sequestration.


Obama on Boston Marathon bombings: Based on what I've seen so far, the FBI performed its duties


Obama on Syria: We have evidence chemical weapons were used, but don't know how they were used and by whom.


Obama on Russian cooperation and lingering Cold War sentiments - "Old habits die hard."


Obama: Russians have been very cooperative with us since Boston bombings

Voice of Russia, Reuters, AFP

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