Obama: Europe must act quickly to stem econ crisis

WASHINGTON - (AP) - With the economy showing signs of weakness at home and abroad, President Barack Obama strongly urged European leaders on Friday to prevent their looming debt crisis from dragging down the rest of the world and asked Congress anew to quickly pass legislation to put construction workers, teachers and others back to work. "There's no excuse for not passing these ideas," the president said, referring to his proposals before Congress.

As for Europe, he said leaders must inject capital into the banking system.

"The solutions to these problems are hard, but there are solutions," Obama said at the White House. The president spoke after several days of difficult turns for his re-election prospects, including last Friday's report that the unemployment rate had risen slightly to 8.2 percent in May as job creation had slowed, and new signs that the European debt crisis was hurting the U.S. economy. In the overtly political realm, Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker turned back a recall movement led by organized labor, while former President Bill Clinton stirred controversy by saying Obama should be ready to sign a short-term extension of all expiring tax cuts - including those that apply to the wealthiest taxpayers that the president has vowed not to renew.

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