OBAMA STOPS IN ITALY

POSTED: Friday, July 10, 2009 - 12:03pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:24pm

President Obama talks to reporters in Italy...

In Italy today, global problems, Africa and the Pope all figure into President Obama's day.

He leaves L'Aquila calling the three-day summit highly productive.

"We've agreed to take significant measures to address some of the most pressing threats facing our environment, our global economy and our international security," the President said at a news conference.

Obama's final stop before leaving Italy is at the Vatican.

"The President has been looking for an opportunity to visit the Holy See and to meet in person with the Holy Father," said Denis McDonough, Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications.

Experts say Pope Benedict the Sixteenth is setting aside rifts over birth control, abortion, and stem cell research, instead seeing a chance to team up with barack obama on problems like climate change.

The president brokered a broad summit agreement to slash climate-warming emissions. He could not get developing nations to go along.

"Obama's strategy, curb global warming first in America and China will follow. China's not following us anyplace," says economist Peter Morici of the University of Maryland.

The president hinted at his own headwinds on the issue at home.

"We each have our national priorities and politics to contend with," he said today.

Critics of U.S. emissions caps aren't backing down.

"What we need to do is to start here in Congress by stopping job killing legislation like Speaker Pelosi's national energy tax," said Rep. John Boehner, the House Republican leader.

Later today the president heads to Ghana, his choice.

"It's such an admirable example of strong democratic governance, vibrant civil society," says Michelle Gavin, White House Senior Director for African Affairs.

Aides say the president will highlight an African success story.

Fans eagerly await.

"He is what the ancestors have sent to us, you see," says Ghana resident Seestah Imakus.

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