Oct 1, 2011, 10:38 p.m.

Obama criticizes Republican rivals in speech to gays

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama criticized Republican presidential candidates on Saturday for not defending a gay American soldier who was booed by the crowd at a Republican debate last week. "We don't believe in standing silent when that happens," Obama said in the keynote address at the annual convention of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest U.S. gay lobby group.

Perry suggests U.S. military role in Mexico drug war

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said on Saturday he would get the U.S. military involved in Mexico's war with drug cartels, in comments likely to upset the Mexican government. The remarks appear to be a new misstatement on foreign policy by Perry, the Texas governor who is struggling to hold on to the mantle of frontrunner for the Republican nomination.

Perry says slowing carbon emissions hurts economy

ATKINSON, New Hampshire (Reuters) - Texas Governor Rick Perry, struggling to regain his status as front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, expressed fresh doubt on Saturday about whether humans are causing climate change. "I still stand by that the science is not settled on man-made global warming," Perry said while campaigning in the key early primary state of New Hampshire.

Exclusive: Democrats push tax hikes first in deficit talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats want tax hikes to be the first item negotiated in "super committee" deficit-reduction talks, trying to force Republicans to confront an issue at the heart of this year's budget fights, sources told Reuters. The tough stance by Democratic members of the powerful 12-member congressional panel reflects the party's wariness that Republicans might try to sideline the issue of revenue increases in the negotiations.

Obama presses Republicans for jobs bill support

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama urged Republican lawmakers on Saturday to spell out exactly what they can and cannot support in his $447 billion plan to create jobs, saying it was "time for Congress to get its act together." Obama, whose re-election chances in November 2012 are clouded by high unemployment and a sluggish economy, has said his jobs bill should be funded mainly by ending tax breaks for corporations and limiting deductions for the rich.

Is Christie conservative enough for Tea Party?

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Is tough-talking Republican Chris Christie tough enough for the Tea Party? Christie's potential entry into a 2012 White House race dominated by conservatives would electrify the campaign but trigger scrutiny of his record as a Republican governor in heavily Democratic New Jersey.

U.S. issues travel alert after Awlaki death

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The State Department issued a worldwide travel alert on Saturday warning of the possibility of anti-American attacks in response to the killing of two top al Qaeda members. The warning came a day after U.S. officials said Anwar al-Awlaki, identified as "chief of external operations" for al Qaeda's Yemen branch, was killed in an attack by missiles fired from multiple CIA drones in Yemen.

Anti-counterfeiting agreement signed in Tokyo

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