Obama agenda: Off to South Africa

The AP: "President Barack Obama will pay tribute this week to Nelson Mandela, making the long trip from Washington to South Africa Monday to attend a national memorial service for the anti-apartheid icon. Tuesday's memorial service will also serve as a rare reunion of nearly all the living American presidents. George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, will accompany Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on Air Force One, while former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter will travel separately to South Africa."

Politico: "Presidential travel overseas is usually months in the making — but President Barack Obama’s trip to South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s Tuesday memorial service will be the end result of a process measured in mere hours." 

Now that Israel is fully clued-in on the Iran deal, its leaders are toning down the rhetoric. Prime Minister Netanyahu said at the Saban Forum that he’s willing to give diplomacy a chance, as long as it is “coupled with powerful sanctions and a credible military threat.” That’s something President Obama has said all along. The Hill: “Netanyahu’s comments indicate Israel is toning down its rhetoric over the threat of Iran. Israeli President Shimon Peres, whose post is ceremonial, said Sunday in Tel Aviv that he’s even willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.”

The Hill: “President Obama is sending two of his top diplomats to Capitol Hill next week in a final bid to stop new sanctions on Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry and his lead Iran negotiator, Under Secretary Wendy Sherman, will testify in public before House and Senate panels about the preliminary deal reached last month in Geneva.”

USA Today: "Torched by disclosures the National Security Agency tapped into its data and spied on people and businesses, some of tech's biggest names have banded together to form what is essentially an anti-NSA coalition. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo lead the Reform Government Surveillance coalition, announced late tonight, to rein in the vast tentacles of the NSA and — perhaps — salve the worries of privacy-conscious consumers." 

National Journal: “Officials in the Obama administration had already decided they needed to delay new health insurance options for small businesses even as officials were testifying before Congress that the program would be ready, according to newly released internal emails. The emails, released by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, show that officials within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services decided in August that they needed to delay part of a new insurance marketplace for small businesses.”