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Pro-Brexit MPs warn Barack Obama to stay out of EU debate

The White House has said that the US hopes Britain remains in the EU. Credit: Reuters

Barack Obama has been warned against intervening in the EU debate by pro-Brexit MPs ahead of his visit to Britain next month.

In an open letter the cross-party group said it would be an "unfortunate milestone" at the end of the US president's time in office should he enter the debate with even a "passive diplomatic recommendation".

Labour backbencher Kate Hoey said the letter aims to caution Mr Obama that "feelings will run high" if he expresses a side in the debate.

"We would certainly never think of visiting the United States and telling the US public how to vote in an election or the amendment of their constitution."

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Obama issues 'robust new sanctions' on North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looks at a rocket warhead tip after a simulated test of atmospheric re-entry of a ballistic missile Credit: Reuters

Barack Obama has issued an executive order imposing tough new sanctions on North Korea in the wake of the country's recent nuclear and missile tests.

The US president's actions come in the wake of North Korea's nuclear test in January and a rocket launch that used ballistic missile technology on February 7, the White House said.

Spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement."The US and the global community will not tolerate North Korea's illicit nuclear and ballistic missile activities, and we will continue to impose costs on North Korea until it comes into compliance with its international obligations."

US President to meet Queen and PM on visit to UK

US President Barack Obama will visit Britain in April. Credit: ABACA/PA Images

US President Barack Obama will meet the Queen and Prime Minister David Cameron when he visits Britain next month, the White House has confirmed.

The trip is expected to be the President's last visit to the UK before his term in office ends in January.

Mr Obama will have a private dinner with Her Majesty at Windsor Castle and stage a joint conference with Mr Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

The visit will allow the president to offer his gratitude to the British government and people for their stalwart partnership with his administration and the American people throughout his presidency.

– White House spokesman

During his visit Mr Obama is expected to reiterate his desire for Britain to remain in the European Union.

He said the UK's EU membership gave America "much greater confidence about the strength of the transatlantic union" ahead of the June 23 referendum.

But the US president's intervention was described as a "piece of outrageous and exorbitant hypocrisy" by Boris Johnson, who is campaigning for Britain to leave the EU.

Obama: Plenty of reasons for ceasefire scepticism but we must try

Obama acknowledged that implementing a Syrian ceasefire could be tough Credit: RTV

US President Barack Obama has admitted that there are many "potential pitfalls" and "plenty of reasons for scepticism" with the principle agreement for a ceasefire in Syria but it is important that we at least try to end the conflict.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday he said:

None of us are under any illusions we're all aware of the many potential pitfalls and there are plenty of reasons for scepticism, but history would judges us harshly if we did not do our part in at least trying to end this terrible conflict with diplomacy.

If implemented, and that's a significant if, this cessation could reduce the violence and get more food and aid to Syrians who are suffering and desperately need it. It could save lives.

Potentially it could also lead to negotiations on a political settlement to end the civil war so that everybody can focus their attention on destroying Isil and that's why the United States will do everything we can to maximize the chances of success in this cessation of hostilities.

– President Obama
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