Obama to hold pre-vacation news conference

Conference scheduled for noon (PDT)

WASHINGTON - Caught between domestic gridlock and foreign policy crises, President Barack Obama will hold a news conference Friday before jetting off on his August vacation.

The afternoon question-and-answer session with reporters will likely mark Obama's first comments on his decision to cancel a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in retribution for Moscow's decision to grant asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. The president may also face questions about the terror threat that has led to an extraordinary global travel warning for Americans, as well as the political chaos in Egypt.

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Obama has found his domestic agenda stymied by Republican opposition. That's left the second-term president without a significant legislative achievement this year.

A sweeping immigration bill has cleared the Senate but faces an uncertain future in the Republican-led House. GOP lawmakers continue to hold largely symbolic votes to repeal the president's health care overhaul. And looming this fall are potential clashes with Congress over budget talks to keep the government running and a deadline to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

Congress is in the midst of a monthlong recess, with lawmakers due to return to Washington in early September. The president will take a one-week break beginning Saturday, when he and his family are scheduled to arrive on Martha's Vineyard, the tony Massachusetts island that has become a regular summer retreat for the first family.

The president has no public events scheduled during his vacation.

Obama held his last full White House news conference in April, though he has answered occasional questions from reporters in other settings and in interviews.

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