Entries in The White House (3)


Barcelona Soccer Team Booted From Impromptu Practice in DC

Pixland/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- If you’re the best soccer team in the world, you might think you’d be able to play wherever you want. Apparently not.

FC Barcelona, widely regarded as the world’s top soccer club after winning both the Champions League and the Spanish La Liga title last season, were booted off the national mall near the White House on Thursday when they tried to hold an impromptu practice there.

According to the team’s star midfielder Xavi, security was not a fan of the team using that location, not far from the home of President Obama.

“Security said you couldn’t have a group of more than 10 or 15 there,” Xavi said, according to the Washington Post. “We wanted to loosen up a little, stretch… Given that the White House was near so it was normal security, nothing more.”

The incident in Washington was such big news in Spain that it appeared on the front page of the Madrid sports daily paper, As. In the Spanish capital, where Real Madrid reigns supreme, the sports dailies are always eager to highlight the misfortune of bitter rivals Barcelona.

“Barcelona Kicked Out of the White House,” blared the headline of As this morning.

“The Secret Service expelled the team while they practiced in a park behind the Obama residence,” the paper said.

Barcelona is in Washington for a friendly on Saturday against Manchester United, the team they defeated in the Champions League final last May.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


White House Negotiating with the Taliban?

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration is accelerating efforts to negotiate with the Taliban, the Washington Post reported Monday, in hopes of some progress before the president’s expected announcement of a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan this summer.

"We have consistently supported an Afghan-led process of reconciliation," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said when asked about the report. "And currently we have a broad range of contacts that are ongoing across Afghanistan and the region at many different levels in order to support the Afghan initiative," she said, listing efforts by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

"We have outlined our red lines for the Taliban. They must renounce violence; they must abandon their alliance with al Qaeda, which would certainly seem as would be an easier step for them to take now, post the death of bin Laden; and they must abide by the constitution of Afghanistan," Clinton said.

She added that "I'm not going to get into any detail about any contacts other than to say we have repeatedly supported in word and deed an Afghan-led process."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pakistan Denies US Access to Osama bin Laden's Compound, Wives

ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Pakistan is denying U.S. investigators access to Osama bin Laden's compound and the wives who lived there with him, a rebuke to the U.S. that is escalating tensions between the two allies in the wake of the raid that killed the al Qaeda leader.

Pakistan's prime minister on Monday spoke publicly for the first time since the operation about the raid and rejected accusations that Pakistani officials aided bin Laden, who had been hiding in Pakistan for several years.

In a speech to the parliament, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani denied that officials were incompetent in searching for bin Laden or complicit in hiding him, a suggestion CIA chief Leon Panetta repeatedly made to lawmakers last week.

Gilani added that Pakistani officials will investigate why bin Laden went undetected while hiding virtually in plain sight in a military town, and criticized the United States for not sharing information of the mission beforehand.

Gaining access to bin Laden's compounds and his wives are among the United States' key demands to Pakistan and officials say the denial is another disappointment from Pakistan.

Pakistanis have in custody three of bin Laden's wives, eight of his children and five other children, according to a senior Pakistani military official.

The CIA is pouring through the trove of information seized at bin Laden's compound, which is enough information to fill the library of a small college, officials say. Among the mysteries they are hoping to uncover is what the Pakistani government knew and did not know. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio