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White House 'won't be commenting' on Bieber petition

The White House has responded to a petition calling to deport pop singer Justin Bieber from the US, saying: "Sorry to disappoint, but we won’t be commenting on this one."

Almost 275,000 citizens have added their names to a petition on the White House website calling on President Barack Obama to revoke the Canadian-born singer's green card.

Justin Bieber poses for a booking photo at the Miami-Dade Police Department on January 23, 2014 Credit: Miami-Dade Police Department / ABACAUSA.COM

The White House said in a statement: "To avoid the appearance of improper influence, the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments [...] in its response to a petition.

"So we'll leave it to others to comment on Mr. Bieber’s case, but we’re glad you care about immigration issues. Because our current system is broken."

It ended saying: "You better believe it," an apparent reference to the "Belieber" term used to describe Bieber's legions of adoring, mostly pre-teen fans.

Read: Justin Bieber 'spotted in Panama' after court appearance

New Russia sanctions threats over Ukraine stalemate

The White House has renewed President Obama's demands that the Kremlin use what Washington believes is its influence over the separatists in Ukraine to get them to vacate government buildings.

It warned of heavier economic sanctions than those already imposed over Crimea if Moscow failed to uphold the Geneva deal - or if it moved to send troops massed on the border into Ukraine.

A flag in the colours of the Ribbon of Saint George, which has become a symbol of Pro-Russian sentiment Credit: Reuters

"We believe that Russia has considerable influence over the actions of those who have been engaged in destabilising activities in eastern Ukraine," national security adviser Susan Rice said.

"If we don't see action commensurate with the commitments that Russia has made yesterday in Geneva ... then obviously we've been very clear that we and our European partners remain ready to impose additional costs on Russia.

"Those costs and sanctions could include targeting very significant sectors of the Russian economy."


Obama condemns 'utterly sickening anti-Semitic flyers'

President Obama's national security adviser has said that anti-Semitic leaflets reportedly distributed in Ukraine were "utterly sickening" and that Obama had bluntly expressed his disgust.

Susan Rice was referring to leaflets demanding that Jews in eastern Ukraine register with a self-proclaimed local authority or face consequences. She says the leaflets had no place in the 21st century.

Rice said US Secretary of State John Kerry had forcefully conveyed that view to his Russian counterpart.


WHAT ? .. #Ukraine: This is document John Kerry just referred to .. calling on #Jews in Donetsk to register #Jewish


Signing up Axelrod 'can hardly hurt Miliband's chances'

Although there are significant differences between the US and British electoral systems, Ed Miliband's decision to take on one of Barack Obama's key strategists, David Axelrod, can hardly hurt the Labour leader's chances.

ITV News Political Correspondent *Romilly Weeks *reports.

Read: Obama strategist Axelrod joins Labour's election campaign

Labour website misspells new strategic adviser's name

David Axelrod, one of US President Barack Obama's top strategists, has been warmly welcomed by Labour after joining their election team, however that did not stop the party's website from misspelling his name.

David Axelrod is one of US President Barack Obama's top strategists. Credit:

The news release spelled his name 'David Alexrod' but the website has now corrected the error.

Read: Miliband says Axelrod will be huge asset to Labour

Obama: Talks promising but sanctions still a possibility

President Obama has described talks between Russian and western powers on Ukraine as "promising".

But he added the US is still prepared to impose sanctions on Russia, should the situation fail to improve.

US President Barack Obama. Credit: Press Association

"There is the possibility, the prospect, that diplomacy may de-escalate the situation," he told reporters at the White House.

"The question now becomes will in fact they use the influence they've exerted in a disruptive way to restore some order so that Ukrainians can carry out an election and move forward with the decentralization reforms that they've proposed," he said.


David Axelrod 'proud' to work with Ed Miliband

President Obama strategist David Axelrod has tweeted he is proud to be working with Ed Miliband.


Proud to work with @ed_miliband. UK has same fight we fought in 2012; for an economy that works for working people.

Miliband: Axelrod will be huge asset to Labour campaign

Labour leader Ed Miliband has welcomed the news US presidential strategist David Axelrod is to join the party's election campaign.

Labour leader Ed Miliband. Credit: Press Association

He said: "It's excellent news that David has agreed to help One Nation Labour win the next election and build our campaign to change Britain so hard-working people are better off.

"He will be a huge asset to our campaign as we work to show the British people how we can change our country for the better."

Obama strategist to join Labour's election campaign

One of US President Barack Obama's top campaign strategists has been recruited by Labour to play a key role in Ed Miliband's bid for Downing Street in next year's general election.

Obama strategist David Axelrod is to join Labour's election campaign. Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACA/Press Association Images

David Axelrod, who is credited with masterminding Mr Obama's presidential victories in 2008 and 2012, will join Labour's general election campaign team as a senior strategic adviser, the party announced.

Obama: 'Diplomacy may de-escalate Ukraine'

US President Barack Obama makes a statement to the media. Credit: Reuters

President Obama has said that there is the possibility that diplomacy may de-escalate the situation in Ukraine.

Mr Obama also stressed that the Ukrainian people should make their own decisions about their own lives.

The US President was speaking to reporters at a White House press conference.

More: Geneva talks: Key points on Ukraine crisis

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