President Obama Still Planning Trip To Latin America

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says President Barack Obama will keep his plans to travel to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador despite mounting crises demanding his attention.

Obama is scheduled to visit the three Latin American nations starting Saturday and through March 23. The foreign trip is intended mainly to bolster ties with the Latin American countries and boost economic partnerships that could lead to more jobs at home.

Yet it comes as Japan's nuclear crisis deepens, the violent Libyan standoff continues and Congress is nearing another deadline on legislation to avoid a government shutdown.

Obama spokesman Jay Carney said the president is capable of dealing with any issue from abroad. Said Carney: "The trip is on, and the president will be going to Latin America."