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Obama to give press conference at 1900 GMT: official

US President Barack Obama speaks at the National Building Museum in Washington on December 15, 2013
US President Barack Obama speaks at the National Building Museum in Washington on December 15, 2013

US President Barack Obama will cap a challenging political year by giving a news conference at 2:00 pm (1900 GMT), the White House said Friday.

The president has seen his second term agenda stall in 2013, a year spent in furious political and fiscal showdowns with Republicans, and is also facing fierce foreign policy challenges, including over Iran, Syria and an increasingly belligerent foreign policy by China.

He will face a grilling over the disastrous rollout of his signature health care law, and his plans to reform the US intelligence community following explosive revelations on snooping by fugitive intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.

The president has also seen his approval ratings tumble to new lows and is fighting to stave off the lame duck status that afflicts second term presidents, ahead of a mid-term election year in 2014.

Following his news conference, Obama will leave for his end-of-year annual vacation with his family in his native Hawaii.

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