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President breaks off holiday for crisis talks

By Julie Pace

President Barack Obama interrupted his holidays to return to Washington last night for unspecified meetings with Vice President Joe Biden and other advisers.

The White House has been cagey about why the president needs to be back in Washington for those discussions.

But part of the decision appears to be aimed at countering the criticism that Mr Obama is spending two weeks on a resort island in the midst of so many crises.

He made statements on both US military action in Iraq and the clashes in Missouri. He also called foreign leaders to discuss the tensions between Ukraine and Russia, as well as Israel and Hamas.

"I think it's fair to say there are, of course, ongoing complicated situations in the world, and that's why you've seen the president stay engaged," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

Mr Obama is scheduled to return to Martha's Vineyard tomorrow and stay through next weekend.

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