- - Sunday, May 29, 2011

WHITE HOUSE

Obama shares Karzai concern on Afghan civilian casualties

JOPLIN, MO. — The White House shares Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s concerns over civilian casualties and takes them very seriously, President Obama’s spokesman said Sunday.

“President Karzai has expressed on a number of occasions his concerns about civilian casualties. Those are concerns that we share and take very seriously,” spokesman Jay Carney said on a flight taking Mr. Obama to view tornado damage in Missouri that killed at least 139 people here a week ago.

CAMPAIGNS

Pawlenty stands firm against raising nation’s debt ceiling

Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty reaffirmed Sunday he is against raising the federal debt ceiling.

In an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” the former Minnesota governor said Washington lawmakers and economists are overstating the negative impact a decision to raise the nation’s debt limit, currently at $14.3 trillion, would have on the economy.

“There are some serious voices challenging that very premise … and the answer is nobody really knows because we’ve not been at this point before,” he said.

Mr. Pawlenty officially announced his bid for the GOP presidential nomination last week.

WHITE HOUSE

Obama said to tap new U.S. envoy to Russia

President Obama plans to nominate his top Russia adviser as the next U.S. ambassador to that country, a man who helped the administration’s work to “reset” the two countries’ relationship.

A senior administration official on Sunday confirmed the choice of Michael McFaul. That would be a departure from standard practice because Mr. McFaul is not a career diplomat.

The administration official spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak ahead of a formal announcement. The choice was first reported by the New York Times. Aboard Air Force One, White House press secretary Jay Carney had no comment.

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