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President Barack Obama returned to Washington just after midnight Monday for a two-day break from a summer vacation, during which airstrikes in Iraq and violent clashes in a St. Louis suburb intruded on his golf and beach plans.
The exact reason for Obama’s return remained unclear, though it appeared aimed in part at countering criticism that Obama was spending two weeks on the Massachusetts resort island of Martha’s Vineyard in the midst of multiple crises. His return to Washington was planned even before the U.S. military began striking targets in Iraq and before the standoff between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.