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US to 'reassess' options after Netanyahu comments

President Barack Obama told Benjamin Netanyahu the US would "reassess" its policy options after the Israeli prime minister took a position against Palestinian statehood during the election campaign, a White House official said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama last year. Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACAUSA.com

Obama called Netanyahu to congratulate him on his election win and used the opportunity to reaffirm US commitment to a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict.

But he also delivered another message, saying the US will need to "reassess" its options following Netanyahu's comments on the two state solution, the official said.

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Obama describes the 'clash of wills' of Selma

Fifty years ago a peaceful march in America was brutally stopped when protesters were savagely beaten by police in Selma, Alabama. It was a defining moment in the civil rights movement which has now been turned into a major feature film.

President Obama visited the city to commemorate what he called the "clash of wills" that made Selma America's bloody Sunday.

ITV News' Sue Saville reports:

Barack Obama pays tribute to Selma civil rights activists

US President Barack Obama has paid tribute to the sacrifice and commitment of civil rights activists, in a moving speech at an event to mark the 50th anniversary of a landmark march in Selma, Alabama.

Speaking at the historic Edmund Pettus bridge, which was the scene of a bloody crackdown against marchers in 1965 who were demanding the right to vote, Mr Obama said America owed the activists a debt of gratitude.

President Obama also spoke about recent incidents in America involving black men being killed by the police, particularly the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson.

He insisted that unequal treatment must be addressed but said America had changed since the 1960s.

However, Mr Obama went on to admit that "the race was not yet won" and called on every American to work on tackling discrimination.

Obama: US will not get dragged into 'another ground war'

President Obama says he will not allow the US to get "dragged back into another ground war" after formally asking Congress to approve military force against Islamic State.

President Obama speaking tonight. Credit: APTN

The US has been carrying out air strikes against Islamic State since last year.

"The United States should not get dragged back into another prolonged ground war in the Middle East - that's not necessary to defeat ISIL," Mr Obama said, citing recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Our coalition is on the offensive, ISIL is on the defensive, and ISIL is going to lose."

He was speaking a day after the death of aid worker Kayla Mueller was confirmed, the fourth American citizen to die in Islamic State captivity.

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US warns 'Russian costs will rise' without Ukraine peace deal

The White House said President Barack Obama urged Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call to agree to a peace deal.

"If Russia continues its aggressive actions in Ukraine, including by sending troops, weapons, and financing to support the separatists, the costs for Russia will rise," the White House statement added.

President Putin in on a trip to Egypt. Credit: Reuters

The Kremlin, in its statement about the call, said Putin and Obama highlighted the need for the need for a political solution to the "internal" conflict in Ukraine.

The Kremlin also said the two leaders also noted the necessity to safeguard the rights of inhabitants of all Ukrainian regions, including Russian-speakers in the east.

Russian aggression 'reinforces unity of US and Europe'

Russian aggression in Ukraine has only reinforced the unity of the US and Europe, President Barack Obama has declared.

Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been holding talks about the prospects of reviving an elusive peace plan to end the conflict.

But while the talking continues, so does the killing in eastern Ukraine.

ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports:

Obama: Concern lethal weapons 'could fall in wrong hands'

US President Barack Obama has expressed concerns that lethal weapons and other military assistance provided to Ukraine could "fall into the wrong hands."

Ukrainian servicemen ride on a self-propelled howitzer in Debaltseve. Credit: REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

"Can we be certain that any lethal aid that we provide Ukraine is used properly, doesn't fall into the wrong hands, does not lead to over-aggressive actions that can't be sustained by the Ukrainians?" Obama asked.

"What kinds of reactions does it prompt, not simply from the separatists but from the Russians? Those are all issues that have to be considered," he added.

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