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US-POLITICS Summary

Sep 24, 2011, 9:21 p.m.

Cain upsets Perry in Florida Republican straw poll

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Former pizza executive Herman Cain surprised rival Rick Perry with an upset victory on Saturday in a Republican presidential straw poll in Florida, dealing a disappointing loss to the Texas governor two days after a shaky debate performance. Perry, leading in the polls for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination to run against Democratic President Barack Obama, had needed a victory in what was an early test of strength to salve the wounds left over from a debate with his rivals on Thursday in which he struggled.

Obama seeks to shore up black support in jobs push

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama urged black leaders on Saturday to "stop complaining" and help him push his jobs plan through the U.S. Congress, as he sought to bolster his eroding support in the black community amid concern over high unemployment. In an impassioned speech to an awards banquet of the Congressional Black Caucus, Obama likened his efforts to win approval of his $447 billion jobs package to the civil rights struggles of the 1960s and exhorted his audience to "march with me and press on."

Obama links education reform to economic recovery

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Young people in the United States are falling behind their overseas peers in reading, math and science, President Barack Obama said on Saturday, calling education reform an essential part of economic recovery. In his weekly radio and video address, Obama said as many as a quarter of American students are not finishing high school and far too few young people are getting college degrees.

Protesters march in Manhattan, criticizing Wall Street

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Several hundred marchers wound their way through the streets of lower Manhattan on Saturday in the latest of a string of protests over the past week against what demonstrators saw as corporate greed on Wall Street. Police said at least 80 protesters were arrested during the march, which was meant to criticize a financial system participants said unfairly benefits corporations and the rich. They said the protests were inspired by demonstrations in Egypt and Spain.

U.S. says Russia 'reset' to last, Putin fuels doubts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration said on Saturday the "reset" in relations it has pursued with Russia would remain on track despite a looming leadership reshuffle in Moscow widely expected to return Vladimir Putin to the presidency next year. The White House made clear that President Barack Obama would press ahead with efforts to repair relations regardless of who takes over in the Kremlin. Analysts said Putin's comeback could complicate -- and possibly slow -- the process of reconciliation between the former Cold War foes.

Four governors urge Washington against politics on disaster aid

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The governors of four East Coast states -- two Democrats and two Republicans -- issued a joint statement on Friday imploring the federal government to "put aside politics on disaster issues." They pleaded to clear away any partisan barriers that might interfere with emergency aid promised in the wake of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

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