■ Health care: The president said requiring people to get health insurance and fining them if they don’t would not amount to a backhanded tax increase. “I absolutely reject that notion,’’ he said.
■ Afghanistan: He has made no decision on increasing troop levels. He also has set no deadline for withdrawing US forces but pledged there would not be an indefinite American occupation.
■ Russia: He dismissed criticism that Russian opposition influenced his decision to scrap a European missile defense system. He said it will be a bonus if Russia’s leaders end up “a little less paranoid’’ about the United States.
■ CIA interrogations: He does not plan to ask the Justice Department to end its criminal investigation into the harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists during the Bush administration. Seven former CIA directors have asked him to do just that.
■ ACORN: He said he favors an investigation into the hidden-camera video involving two employees of the activist group ACORN and a couple posing as a prostitute and her pimp. He did not say who should investigate.