Obama meets with G-8 leaders in Italy

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Obama is greeted by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

President Obama arrived in Rome and met with Italy’s president before the summit’s open.

President Barack Obama said, “The Italian government I think has been such a great friend to the United States on a whole range of issues.”

The host town of L’Aquila is under tight security. The roads into it shut down.

G-8 leaders will take up a range of issues: trade, Iran’s nuclear goals and climate change.

President Obama will say proposed emissions caps now before the senate show US resolve. Europe wants more.

On the global economy, leaders will compare progress on stimulus measures.

There’s talk of needing a second US economic jolt.

Democrat Steny Hoyer said lawmakers should be open to it, while the Republicans howled.

Senator Mitch McConnell said, “I think a second stimulus is an even worse idea than the first stimulus, which has been demonstrably proven to have failed.”

With unemployment edging toward ten percent, President Obama defended his read on the economy early on.

“What we always knew was that…even when the economy pulls out of recession that you are going to see jobs emerging only at the end of that process rather than the beginning,” said Obama.

Bound to limit G-8 progress: China’s president withdrew from the summit to deal with worsening ethnic clashes at home.