Saturday 16 December 2017

Bullet hits window at White House as President Obama begins visit down under

THE US Secret Service said a bullet has hit an exterior window of the White House and was stopped by ballistic glass.

The incident occurred as President Obama began a 24-hour visit to Australia – he had cancelled two previous trips due to crises at home over the healthcare bill and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

An additional round of ammunition was also found on the exterior of the White House. The bullets were found on Tuesday.

The discovery follows reports of gunfire near the White House on Friday. Witnesses heard shots and saw two speeding vehicles in the area. An AK-47 rifle was also recovered.

The Secret Service said it has not conclusively connected Friday's incident with the bullets found on the White House grounds.

US Park Police have an arrest warrant out for Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, who is believed to be connected to the earlier incident.

Mr Obama arrived in Australia today following the Asia-Pacific economic summit he hosted in Hawaii last week.

A central part of the summit was an agreement for a transpacific trade bloc which includes eight countries in addition to the United States and sets standard rules for commerce.

Mr Obama said that, while the US is not intentionally excluding China from the agreement, joining the pact would require Beijing "to rethink some of its approaches to trade".

The US has accused China of undervaluing its currency to Chinese exports cheaper and US exports to China more expensive. China had a $273 billion US dollars trade surplus with the US last year and American politicians say the imbalance damages US manufacturers while taking away American jobs.

US officials have also pressed China to end unfair discrimination against the US and other foreign countries and to end to measures that undercut its intellectual property.

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