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SAINT PETERSBURG (AFP) – President Barack Obama has decided to cancel his California trip early next week to prepare a resolution on military action against Syria which is to be put to Congress, the White House said Thursday.

“The President’s trip to California has been cancelled. He will remain in Washington to work on the Syrian resolution before Congress,” the White House said.

Obama, who is in Russia for the G20 summit, was initially scheduled to make a speech in Los Angeles at the powerful AFL-CIO labour union coalition and meet with fundraisers, according to the media.

Earlier Thursday an aide of Obama indicated that the U.S. leader will be phoning congressmen from Russia to convince them to approve military action against the Syrian regime for having allegedly carried out an chemical weapons attack on August 21.

Despite support from Republican leaders in the House of Representatives, many lawmakers are still wary of a military operation, and some of the minority democrats have failed to support him.

Even the Senate, which is dominated by Obama’s allies, still seems far from decided, though a committee on Wednesday gave the proposed strikes its approval.

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How can somebody like me possibly live in darkest Arkansas, well-meaning correspondents sometimes want to know. And when the state legislature is in session, I do sometimes wonder. All I can say is that I'm glad Arkansas is a state, not a country. Because I'm stuck on the place, mostly for personal reasons having nothing to do with politics.

"Thank God for Mississippi," people here used to say, on the grounds that our neighbor to the east had an even more embarrassing history.

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