Obama: Egypt not an Ally or Enemy

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama says in an interview that the U.S. would not consider Egypt an ally, “but we don’t consider them an enemy.” Obama says in an interview with the Spanish-language network Telemundo that Egypt is a “new government that is trying to find its way.” He warns that if the Egyptian government takes actions showing “they’re not taking responsibility,” then it would “be a real big problem.” The president discussed the Middle East in the aftermath of protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo that led to crowds climbing the embassy walls and tearing down an American flag. It coincided with attacks on the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi that led to the killing of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

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Clinton Pays Tribute to Slain Ambassador

WASHINGTON (AP) – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans who were killed in an attack on a U.S. consulate last night had been “committed to helping the Libyan people reach for a better future.” Ambassador Chris Stevens was a career diplomat who was confirmed as ambassador to Libya by the Senate earlier this year. He had already served two tours in Libya, and had run the office in Benghazi during the revolt against Moammar Gadhafi. Clinton said Stevens had a “passion for service, for diplomacy and for the Libyan people.” She says he was dedicated to “advancing closer ties with the people of the Middle East and North Africa.” The secretary of state says Stevens “risked his own life to lend the Libyan people a helping hand to build the foundation for a new, free nation”

Obama Observes 9/11 Anniversary Moment of Silence

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and White House staffers observed a moment of silence Tuesday on the White House south lawn in memory of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. With three bell tolls and a bugler playing taps, the White House observance marks the 11th anniversary of the suicide hijackings that struck New York and the Pentagon and downed a plane in Pennsylvania, leaving nearly 3,000 dead. Obama and the first lady also planned to attend an observance ceremony at the Pentagon later Tuesday morning. In the afternoon, the president was scheduled to visit wounded soldiers and their families at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Vice President Joe Biden was traveling to Pennsylvania to deliver remarks at the Flight 93 National Memorial Commemorative Service.

US Economy Adds 96,000 Jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs last month, a weak figure that could slow any momentum President Barack Obama hoped to gain from his speech to the Democratic National Convention. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July, but only because more people gave up looking for work. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively searching. The Labor Department also says 41,000 fewer jobs were created in July and June than first estimated. The economy has added just 139,000 jobs a month since the beginning of the year, below 2011’s average of 153,000. The bleak report comes just two months before Election Day, and the economy is the top issue on most voters’ minds.

Obama Advisers Don’t Expect Big Bounce in Polls

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – President Barack Obama will lay out his vision for a second term, even as advisers say they don’t anticipate a big bounce in the polls following the Democratic National Convention. White House senior adviser David Plouffe tells ABC’s “Good Morning America” he expects the race to remain “tight as a tick” until Election Day. Plouffe says Americans will have a clear sense of where Obama thinks the country should go after his speech Thursday night. Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod says he was thrilled with former President Bill Clinton’s speech, which laid out the most forceful case so far for re-electing Obama. Axelrod tells NBC’s “Today” he’s not worried about Clinton upstaging Obama. He says Clinton played the role Democrats wanted him to play.

Old Oil Washes Up in La. after Hurricane Isaac

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Old oil has washed up on some Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac and officials are testing whether it’s left over from BP”s Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010. Officials late Tuesday restricted fishing in waters extending a mile off a roughly 13-mile stretch of coastline. The weathered oil was in the form of tar. The state Wildlife and Fisheries Department said there was a large mat of tar on one beach and concentrations of tar balls on adjacent beaches. An adviser to Gov. Bobby Jindal said later surveys found several more tar mats. Their size was not immediately clear. Oil company BP PLC said it was too early to say if the tar came from oil that spewed into the Gulf of Mexico when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded.

Why Does Social Security Need 174,000 Bullets?

WASHINGTON (AP) – It didn’t take long for the Internet to start buzzing with conspiracy theories after the Social Security Administration posted a notice it was purchasing 174,000 hollow-point bullets. Why is an agency that provides benefits to 56 million retirees, disabled workers, widows and children stockpiling ammunition? Whom are they going to use it on? One website suggested the agency was preparing for civil unrest. And comedian Jay Leno wondered just which senior citizens the agency believes are about to storm its offices. The explanation, it turns out, isn’t as tantalizing as an arms buildup to defend against unruly old people. The bullets are for nearly 300 agents who investigate Social Security fraud and made almost 600 arrests last year. Most of the ammunition will be expended on the firing range.

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