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White House spokesman Jay Carney to step down

After more than three years of jousting with the White House press corps, President Barack Obama's chief spokesman, Jay Carney, will step down next month to pursue yet-to-be-named opportunities, Mr Obama has announced.

President Obama said that White House press secretary Jay Carney will be stepping down Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

The president interrupted Carney on the podium, where he was answering questions during the White House daily news briefing, catching reporters by surprise.

Obama called Carney one of his closest friends and advisers, and said he was "not thrilled" when Carney first told him in April that he wanted to leave.

Second White House lockdown triggered in a week

Suspicious items thrown over the White House fence today have triggered the second security lockdown of the US President's residence this week.

President Barack Obama was not at the White House when the incident took place.

A bomb technician works with an explosives ordinance disposal robot to help recover an item thrown over the White House fence.
A bomb technician works with an explosives ordinance disposal robot to help recover an item thrown over the White House fence. Credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

A Secret Service spokesman said two people have been taken into custody and the suspicious items were being examined.

A car that trailed a motorcade carrying Obama's daughters Sasha and Malia on Tuesday prompted another White House security lockdown that lasted more than an hour.

Read: White House lockdown after car trails Obama daughters

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White House issues stark warning on climate change

The White House has called for urgent action to mitigate the affects of climate change, in its third National Climate Assessment.

This picture, showing the snow on the Sierra Nevada mountain range is said to be one of the images prompting the urgent tone of the report. Credit: NASA/NOAA

It its starkest warning to date, the Obama administration said the effects of climate change are already being felt, and already costing money. The report said:

"Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present."

The report has be called a "game changer" as it details, for the first time, the predicted effects on different regions: Residents in the northeast coast could face bigger storm surges and flooding, whilst the southwest of the country is likely to confront more wildfires and severe water shortages.

Girl, 10, hands over dad's CV in meeting with First Lady

A 10-year-old American girl used a face-to-face meeting with the First Lady as an opportunity to try and help her dad find a job.

While attending a question and answer session with Michelle Obama at The White House, schoolgirl Charlotte Bell approached the First Lady and handed her her dad's CV.

Michelle Obama hugs Charlotte Bell after the 10-year-old handed over her dad's CV. Credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Charlotte told Mrs Obama: "My dad's been out of work for three years and I wanted to give you his resume."

The two embraced on stage, with the First Lady saying: "Oh my goodness." The two then spoke before Mrs Obama addressed the crowd: "Well it's a little private, but she's doing something for her dad. Alright?".

She held up the piece of paper in her hand and shook it. "Got it."

US: Ukraine has 'responsibility to provide law and order'

The White House said Ukraine's government has the "responsibility to provide law and order" as its troops move against pro-Russia separatists in the country's eastern region.

Ukrainian troops near a MI-8 military helicopter and armoured personnel carrier at a checkpoint in east Ukraine.
Ukrainian troops near a MI-8 military helicopter and armoured personnel carrier at a checkpoint in east Ukraine. Credit: REUTERS/Dmitry Madorsky

"These provocations in eastern Ukraine are creating a situation in which the government has to respond," White House spokesman Jay Carney said at a briefing.

The US is "seriously considering" new sanctions against Russia, but is not considering providing lethal aid to Ukraine, he added.

Man who shot at White House jailed for 25 years

A man who pleaded guilty to firing an assault rifle at the White House in 2011 has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez hit the White House about eight times and did nearly $100,000 (£60,000) worth of damage, although no one was injured.

Police handout of Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez.
Police handout of Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez. Credit: REUTERS/United States Park Police/Handout

Ortega-Hernandez's lawyers argued he was suffering from extreme depression and mental stress at the time of the shooting, and was under the misguided belief that Armageddon was coming.

Prosecutors initially charged him with attempting to assassinate President Barack Obama, but agreed to drop the charge as part of a plea deal last year.

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Christie primed to take on Clinton for US Presidency

The 2016 race for the White House has collected a likely candidate in Chris Christie, who appears primed to run for the US Presidency after his triumphant re-election as New Jersey Governor.

Gov. Christie said he is happy to "stubbornly" refuse to discuss his future ambitions, but few doubt he plans to sell his moderate Republicanism to a national audience.

But will he be a match for an experienced campaigner like Hillary Clinton, who remains hotly tipped to run again for the Democrats?

Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports from New Jersey:

Military veterans demand war memorials reopen

Hundreds of US military veterans gathered outside the White House demanding that the country's war memorials be reopened after their temporary closure due to the government shutdown.

The 'Million Vet March on the Memorials' demonstration outside the White House.
The 'Million Vet March on the Memorials' demonstration outside the White House. Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Law enforcement officers clash with protesters from the 'Million Vet March on the Memorials'.
Law enforcement officers clash with protesters from the 'Million Vet March on the Memorials'. Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Protesters from the 'Million Vet March on the Memorials' demonstrate in front of the White House.
Protesters from the 'Million Vet March on the Memorials' demonstrate in front of the White House. Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

White House urges Congress to 'do its job' on finances

The White House has urged Congress to "do its job" and find a solution to end a fiscal impasse over raising the US debt ceiling after the Senate rejected a Democratic plan.

A statement from White House press secretary Jay Carney said it was unfortunate that the Senate Democratic plan failed to pass because it would have taken the threat of a debt default off the table ahead of a looming Thursday deadline.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Congress 'must do its job' Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Carney said: "Congress must do its job and raise the debt limit to pay the bills we have incurred and avoid default.

"Congress needs to move forward with a solution that reopens the government and allows us to pay our bills."

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