- - Monday, August 27, 2012

George Clooney raised almost $15 million for President Obama’s re-election campaign at the actor’s Los Angeles home in May. For his second act, Mr. Clooney is expect in Geneva this week, a center for international organizations, governance and business.

Organizers expect to pull in a more modest amount of about $500,000 from U.S. donors for Mr. Obama’s campaign, with many flying in to Geneva from around the world.

Americans Abroad for Obama, the event’s sponsor, says on its website that guests are paying $15,000 per person to dine with Mr. Clooney, $5,000 for a photo with him and $1,000 to attend a reception before the dinner. About 30 people are attending the dinner, with at least 100 at the reception.

The event is co-hosted by Geneva-based American lawyer Charles C. Adams Jr. and Matthew Barzun, Mr. Obama’s campaign finance chairman. The dinner is being held at Mr. Adams’ home in a historic part of the city overlooking Lake Geneva, where Mr. Adams held a fundraiser for Obama in 2008.

Mr. Clooney was due to arrive in Geneva from the villa where he typically spends time during the summer on Italy’s Lake Como. Obama campaign officials in Washington have declined to comment on the fundraiser.

The president has called the actor and director a good friend who tries to keep his distance so Mr. Obama won’t be criticized for hanging out with Hollywood celebrities. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight earlier this month, Mr. Obama said he got to know Mr. Clooney through his work on Sudan when Mr. Obama was in the U.S. Senate. Mr. Clooney has led campaigns to end the conflict in Darfur, Sudan, and for more humanitarian aid for millions of people caught up in the fighting.


Politicians prepare for own hurricane disaster

Politicians know every hurricane means avoiding disaster — including their own.

Republicans from Mitt Romney to Southern governors scrambled to shape their tone and tactics Monday as an ominous storm barreled past their national convention site in Tampa, Fla.

Political peril awaits those who fumble disaster preparedness and the response. That’s the legacy of Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 storm that forever changed how responses to disasters would be judged.

Democrats are also quietly making their own calculations, mindful of how one insensitively timed political speech or line of attack could bring blowback. On a low-profile day at the White House, President Obama got briefings on Tropical Storm Isaac and went forward — for now — with plans for a campaign trip beginning Tuesday to Iowa, Colorado and Virginia.


Not so fast: Electronics in flight not done deal

It’s going to be a while before airline passengers can use iPads and other electronic devices during their whole flight.

The Federal Aviation Administration says it’s forming a committee to study the issue, but its plan suggests the committee’s work won’t be done until March at the earliest.

The committee will give a recommendation to the FAA, which will make the final decision about any changes. The FAA says allowing cellphone use during flights isn’t under consideration.

Airlines currently ban electronic devices until the plane reaches 10,000 feet. They have to be put away before landing, too.

In March, the FAA raised hopes that it might loosen rules for electronic devices by saying it would study ways to test them.


Former GOP governor to speak at DNC event

TAMPA — Florida’s former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist will be a speaker at the Democratic National Convention.

An official with President Obama’s campaign said late Sunday that Mr. Crist will speak at next week’s convention in Charlotte, N.C. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because an announcement had not yet been made.

Mr. Crist announced Sunday that he is endorsing Mr. Obama. Republicans called the decision political opportunism and pointed out that Mr. Crist previously has criticized the president on issues including his health care overhaul.

Mr. Crist changed his voter registration to no party affiliation after he dropped out of the 2010 Republican Senate primary and ran as an independent. Many speculate that he will return to politics as a Democrat and possibly challenge his Republican successor, Gov. Rick Scott.


Feds approves anti-HIV pill that combines medicines

The Food and Drug Administration says it has approved a new anti-HIV pill that combines four medicines to combat the virus in patients who previously have not been treated for infection.

The agency approved Gilead Sciences’ Stribild as a once-a-day treatment to control the virus that causes AIDS.

The pill contains two previously approved antiviral drugs sold as the combination pill Truvada. Those drugs are combined with two new drugs, elvitegravir and cobicistat. Elvitegravir interferes with one of the enzymes that HIV needs to multiply. Cobicistat helps prolong the effect of elvitegravir.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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