Posts Tagged ‘visit



29
Jun
13

Rise and Shine: South Africa

Greeted by South African president Jacob Zuma and First Lady Tobeka Zuma at the Union Buildings in Pretoria

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The Rest of the Day in South Africa:

All times US Eastern

9:30 AM: The First Lady hosts a conversation with youth, organized in conjunction with MTV Base, an African youth and music TV channel, and Google+. The First Lady will be joined by teenagers from across South Africa, as well as students joining virtually in cities around the U.S. via Google+ Hangouts, including in L.A., Kansas City, New York City, and Houston

WH.gov * WH Google+ * Also live on YouTube

9:50 AM: President Obama takes part in a Young African Leaders Initiative Town Hall, University of Johannesburg – Soweto

White House Live * YouTube

11:55 AM: President Obama meets with African Union Chairwoman Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

2:05 PM: The President and First Lady attend an official state dinner with President Zuma, Union Building, Pretoria

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More live streaming links for today:

Reuters * CBS (UStream) * CBS (Widget) * eNCA (South Africa)

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The press conference:

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AP: President Barack Obama on Saturday encouraged leaders in Africa and around the world to follow former South African President Nelson Mandela’s example of country before self, as the U.S. president prepared to pay personal respects to relatives who have been gathered around the critically ill anti-apartheid icon.

“We as leaders occupy these spaces temporarily and we don’t get so deluded that we think the fate of our country doesn’t depend on how long we stay in office,” Obama said.

…. Obama referred to Mandela by his clan name as he praised South Africa’s historic integration from white racist rule as a shining beacon for the world. “The struggle here against apartheid for freedom, Madiba’s moral courage, this country’s historic transition to a free and democratic nation has been a personal inspiration to me, it has been an inspiration to the world,” Obama said.

“The outpouring of love that we’ve seen in recent days shows that the triumph of Nelson Mandela and this nation speaks to something very deep in the human spirit, the yearning for justice and dignity that transcends boundaries of race and class and faith and country,” Obama said. “That’s what Nelson Mandela represents, that’s what South African at its best represents to the world, and that’s what brings me back here.”

Zuma told Obama he and Mandela are “bound by history as the first black presidents of your respective countries.”

More here

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Ari Shapiro (NPR)

President Obama and South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma hold a joint news conference

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This is an incredibly powerful video, the First Lady talks about the First Family’s visit to the ‘House of Slaves':

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First lady Michelle Obama walks with Marieme Faye, wife of Senegal’s President Macky Sall, to Air Force One as the first family departed Dakar, June 28

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A man wears a t-shirt with a portrait of President Obama outside the Pretoria hospital where Nelson Mandela is being treated

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A group of wellwishers sing and pray for the health of Nelson Mandela outside the Pretoria hospital

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A mural showing former South African President Nelson Mandela is pictured near his former house in Alexandra township

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MooooOOOOoooorning everyone – and thank you again to the earliest of early birds, the mighty UT. More in a while.

26
Jun
13

Rise and Shine

@petesouza: POTUS and FLOTUS wave from aboard AF1, en route to Africa

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Today:

EST

8:45 AM: The President and the First Family depart the White House

GMT

8:25PM: Arrive Dakar, Senegal

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Heather Gerken (Slate): Goodbye to the Crown Jewel of the Civil Rights Movement – People died to pass Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, but that didn’t save it at the Supreme Court.

…. To understand why Section 5 was special, you have to know a bit about its history. The brutal attacks on civil rights marchers crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge provided the push needed to pass the Voting Rights Act. When the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, almost no African-Americans were registered to vote in the Deep South due to brutal repression and sickening legal chicanery.

Civil rights litigators and the Department of Justice were doing their best to help. They filed lawsuit after lawsuit to make it possible for blacks to register. But every time a court deemed one discriminatory practice illegal, local officials would switch to another. Literacy tests, poll taxes, burdensome registration requirements – these techniques were all used to prevent African-Americans from voting. Southern voting registrars would even resign from their positions as soon as a lawsuit was on the cusp of succeeding, thereby sending the case back to square one. The Voting Rights Act aimed to change all of this.

Section 5 was the most important and imaginative provision in the law….

More here

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President Barack Obama gives his second State of The Union Address before a joint session of Congress in Washington, DC.

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Sahil Kapur: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg penned the fierce dissent against the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision Tuesday to invalidate a key section of the Voting Rights Act, accusing the conservative justices of displaying “hubris” and a lack of sound reasoning. “[T]he Court’s opinion can hardly be described as an exemplar of restrained and moderate decision making,” wrote the leader of the court’s liberal wing. “Quite the opposite. Hubris is a fit word for today’s demolition of the VRA.”

Joined by the three other liberal-leaning justices, Ginsburg scolded the conservative majority and its rationale for throwing out Section 4 of the law — which contains the formula Congress has used to determine which states and local governments must receive federal pre-approval before changing their voting laws. “Congress approached the 2006 reauthorization of the VRA with great care and seriousness. The same cannot be said of the Court’s opinion today,” she wrote. “The Court makes no genuine attempt to engage with the massive legislative record that Congress assembled. Instead, it relies on increases in voter registration and turnout as if that were the whole story.” “Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet,” Ginsburg wrote.

More here

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Texas Tribune: The nation watched on Tuesday — and into Wednesday — as Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis and hundreds of impassioned reproductive rights advocates stalled proceedings and ultimately defeated controversial abortion legislation in a storm of screams and shouts as the clock struck midnight.

“I am overwhelmed, honestly,” Davis said after standing for nearly 13 hours to filibuster Senate Bill 5, the abortion legislation. The outpouring of support from protesters at the Capitol and across the nation, she said, “shows the determination and spirit of Texas women and people who care about Texas women.”

…. Republican senators made a last-ditch effort to approve SB 5, voting 19-10, but by then the clock had ticked past midnight. Under the terms of the state Constitution, the special session had ended, and the bill could not be signed, enrolled or sent to the governor.

… Conservative lawmakers tried every tool in the Senate rulebook to derail the filibuster. A “three strikes, you’re out” precedent in the Senate grants lawmakers two warnings about staying germane to the bill topic … Davis received the three strikes: two were on the germaneness of the discussion and one was related to Davis receiving assistance from another senator to put on a back brace….

More here

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17
Jun
13

A Message Of Hope

President Obama, the First Lady and their daughters Sasha and Malia are greeted by Joan Christie, the Queen’s official representative in Northern Ireland, upon their arrival at Belfast International Airport

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President Obama and his wife Michelle, pictured with First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

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Snippets of Pres. Obama’s speech:

“Hello, Belfast. Hello, Northern Ireland. Well, now you know why it’s so difficult to speak after Michelle. She’s better than me.”

“I want to thank two men I’ve hosted at the White House on many a St Patrick’s Day for their warm welcome – First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.”

“I spend the whole year trying to unite Washington around something, and they come visit on St Patrick’s Day and do it in a single afternoon,” Mr Obama says.

Mr Obama said he only found out a few years ago that his great-great-great-grandfather was born in Ireland. “When I was first running for office in Chicago, I didn’t know this. I wish I had,” he said.

“But in Chicago, it worked out okay – they’d look at my last name and say, ‘oh, look, there’s an O’Bama from the homeland running on the South Side – but what kind of name is Barack?”

The president says that while in Moneygall, County Offaly, he met his eighth cousin, Henry, known affectionately as Henry the Eighth.

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16
Jun
13

PBO in N. Ireland for the G8

Barack Obama will urge Northern Ireland’s politicians to quicken the pace of progress in the peace process when he arrives in Belfast on Monday.  He will use his visit to Northern Ireland for the G8 summit to urge locals to devote more effort to charting a course for a shared future for unionists and nationalists.  Tomorrow morning he will address a large audience of young people in Belfast before travelling to Fermanagh for the G8.  He is also to meet First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.  He is expected to praise them and other political figures for their achievement in maintaining a cross-community administration. But he is also to urge them to consolidate gains by working harder on community relations.

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15
Jun
13

Ireland, The Sequel

…. for old time’s sake

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Sunday/Monday:

The President, the First Lady and their daughters depart for Belfast, Northern Ireland tomorrow (Sunday) at 9:20 PM.

They arrive in Belfast on Monday morning.

The First Lady will introduce the President at an event at the Waterfront Convention Centre in Belfast where he will deliver remarks.

While the President then travels to Lough Erne for the G8 Summit, the First Lady and her daughters will leave for Dublin in the Republic of Ireland.

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Handy map:

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The President’s Northern Ireland schedule:

Monday: Arrives Belfast. Delivers remarks at the Waterfront Convention Centre in the city when he will address his support for the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Meets Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of the G8 Summit. Later, he attends the G-8 Summit at Lough Erne.

On Monday evening, the President will hold a bilateral meeting with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Tuesday: In the evening, following the G-8, the President and the First Family will travel to Berlin, Germany.

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The First Lady and her daughters will visit Trinity College shortly after their arrival in Dublin Monday, lunchtime (local time)…..

(…. remember one of our fave pics from the President’s speech in Dublin? That’s Trinity College behind the very very excited young women)…..

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23
May
13

Rise and Shine

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President Barack Obama greets a little girl following his remarks during the Irish celebration at College Green in Dublin, Ireland, May 23, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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BusinessWeek: Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), labeled a “loser” by Mitt Romney during the U.S. election, is giving President Barack Obama’s green-energy strategy its biggest win after almost two years of failures pounced upon by Republicans.

The maker of the electric Model S car as early as today will become the first recipient of a U.S. Energy Department vehicle loan to pay off its debt. The Palo Alto, California-based company will do so nine years ahead of schedule, with taxpayers making at least $12 million on the $465 million lent.

More here

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People cheer as President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are introduced during an Irish celebration at College Green in Dublin, Ireland, May 23, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama’s 1979 Prom Photos

TIME Magazine: Tucked away in someone else’s shoe box of adolescent artifacts, there might be a picture of you in garish clothes and with an outdated ‘do, your arm around a high school squeeze. The President of the United States is no different. These previously unpublished photos, obtained exclusively by TIME from Obama’s schoolmate Kelli Allman (née McCormack), show a 17-year-old Barack Obama on the night of his senior prom.

More here (including pictures)

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Tom Kludt: President Barack Obama on Thursday will outline his administration’s counterterrorism policy in a major speech to be given at National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Obama will use the speech to announce new restrictions on unmanned drones.

According to the New York Times, the policy changes signed by Obama include a reduction of the “instances when unmanned aircraft can be used to attack in places that are not overt war zones, countries like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.” The new rules will also establish “the same standard for strikes on foreign enemies now used only for American citizens deemed to be terrorists,” the Times reported.

More here

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet Henry Healy, the President’s distant cousin, after arriving in Moneygall, Ireland, May 23, 2011. The President and First Lady were also welcomed by Counselor Danny Owens, Chair Offaly County, and Counselor John Kennedy, Chair Tipperary County, center. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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