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From Wired.co.uk: Oju Africa Launches Set Of “Afro – Centric” Emoticons…Ahead Of Apple.


 

By Jueseppi B.

040214-national-african-company-beats-apple-to-release-first-black-emojis

 

From Wired.co.uk:

 

‘Afro’ emoticons combat lack of emoji diversity

 

by OLIVIA SOLON

 

Oju Africa has launched a set of ‘afro’ emoticons, following a debate over the lack of diversity of emojis—those silly little icons that iPhone and Android users add to texts frequently.

 

It started with an article by MTV journalist Joey Parker, who flagged up the fact that there are no (or barely any) non-white emojis in the basic range in most text-message apps used by Apple, Google and Microsoft. Parker contacted Apple’s CEO Tim Cook about the issue and, remarkably, received a reply. It wasn’t from ‘Big Tim’ himself, but from Katie Cotton, VP of worldwide corporate communications for Apple. She told Parker:

 

“Tim forwarded your email to me. We agree with you. Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms. There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard.”

 

You can see the standard Unicode list of 800 emojis here. Only two seem to be non-Caucasian: “man with gua pi mao” and “man with turban”. The list is looked after by the Unicode Consortium to ensure consistency and interoperability between mobile devices and carriers.

 

Since then a petition has been launched on DoSomething.org, to get Apple to update its default emojis in iOS7.

 

 

2

 

It reads:

 

“Of the more than 800 Emojis, the only two resembling people of color are a guy who looks vaguely Asian and another in a turban. There’s a white boy, girl, man, woman, elderly man, elderly woman, blonde boy, blonde girl and, we’re pretty sure, Princess Peach. But when it comes to faces outside of yellow smileys, there’s a staggering lack of minority representation.”

 

Apple is singled out, the petition reads, because it has been “one of the biggest pioneers of emojis, from offering them as full-color images to introducing them to the American market in the first place.” Apple has introduced same-sex couple emojis and should therefore diversify the range to include “people of color.”

 

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Oju Africa, a division of African mobile manufacturer Mi-Fone, has launched its own range of Black emojis: Oju translates as “faces” in Nigeria’s Yoruba language. They have been designed for Android, but will also be released on iOS. Creative director Eserick Fouché says:

 

“We follow global trends but we are differentiated by our authentic African voice. So as a brand we wanted to do something that only Africa could pull off, something that could become so iconic that it would have the world talking. I believe what we have created will ensure that every African on the planet won’t be able to help but love it!”

 

Thank you Wired.co.uk.

 

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First Lady Michelle LaVaughn Obama’s Trip To China: Schedule For Beijing, Xi’an, And Chengdu.


 

By Jueseppi B.

1stladychina

 

 

The First Lady will travel to China from March 19-26, 2014. She will be visiting Beijing from March 20-23, Xi’an on March 24, and Chengdu from March 25-26. And she’s inviting students and classrooms across the U.S. to follow her trip.

 

During her trip to China, as on previous international trips to Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, the First Lady will be focusing on the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in both countries.

 

She will also be visiting important historical and cultural sites in China, and will share with students in the U.S. the stories of the students she meets in China, as well as interesting facts about China’s history and culture — emphasizing the importance of students learning from one another globally.

 

 

Raw: First Lady Arrives in Beijing

 

Published on Mar 20, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama lands in Beijing for a weeklong visit focusing on education. She is traveling with her mother and two daughters, Sasha and Malia. (March 19)

 

 

 

chinatrip

 

Trip Schedule

 

THURSDAY

Beijing, China

  • First Lady Michelle Obama arrives Beijing.

 

 

FRIDAY

Beijing, China

  • First Lady Michelle Obama joins First Lady Peng Liyuan at Beijing Normal School, a school that prepares students to attend Universities abroad.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Forbidden City with First Lady Peng Liyuan.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama meets with First Lady Peng Liyuan and joins First Lady Peng Liyuan for dinner and a performance.

 

 

SATURDAY

Beijing, China

  • First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks to students at the Stanford Center at Peking University. Speaking to an audience of American students studying abroad at Peking University and Chinese students who have studied abroad in the United States, Mrs. Obama will discuss the importance of study abroad and other cultural exchanges as well as the stake our two countries have in one another’s success.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a virtual discussion with American youth. During the conversation, Mrs. Obama will highlight the role of technology in enabling students in the United States to connect and collaborate with students around the world.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Summer Palace.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama meets with staff and families of the United States Embassy in Beijing.

 

 

SUNDAY

Beijing, China

  • First Lady Michelle Obama hosts an education roundtable.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Great Wall of China.

 

 

MONDAY

Xi’an, China

  • First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Terra Cotta Warriors Museum.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Xi’an City Wall.

 

 

TUESDAY

Chengdu, China

  • First Lady Michelle Obama visits Chengdu No. 7 High School. During remarks to students, Mrs. Obama will highlight the importance of education in her own life and in the lives of students in both the United States and China.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama meets with staff and families of the United States Consulate in Chengdu.

 

 

WEDNESDAY

Chengdu, China

  • First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Chengdu Panda Base. The Chengdu Panda Base is currently home to approximately 50 pandas, ranging in age from infancy to full-grown adults. Chinese scientists spend their days working to increase the panda population through research, conservation, and breeding.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama departs Chengdu.

 

Participate in the First Lady’s China Trip from Anywhere

First Lady Michelle Obama travels to China for an official visit – and she’s inviting young people across America to join her. During her trip, Mrs. Obama will meet with students at the Stanford Center at Peking University, Beijing Normal School and Chengdu No. 7 High School to discuss the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in both countries. She’ll also visit historical and cultural sites, from the Great Wall to the Terra Cotta Warriors, and will be sharing it all with you!

 

Here’s how people in the U.S. — and around the world — can participate and follow along:

  • The First Lady’s travel journal: Each day, the First Lady will post a daily travel blog, complete with videos and photos (and you can sign up to get the latest entries delivered to your inbox).
  • Podcast series: In an audio series, First Lady Michelle Obama will share some of the interesting facts about Chinese history and culture as she experiences it.
  • Ask the First Lady: In the weeks leading up to the trip, hundreds of young peoplesubmitted questions for the First Lady. During the visit, Mrs. Obama will record video responses and engage directly with young people on social media. Use the hashtag#FLOTUSinChina to discuss the trip and ask questions on Twitter or Instagram.
  • Follow on social media: You can follow along through the First Lady’s Twitter andInstagram accounts.

 

More ways to engage online:

  • “Exchange for a Day” with Discovery Education: From Peking University in Beijing, the First Lady will answer questions submitted by classrooms around the country, as part of Discovery Education and the White House’s “Of the People” webinar series. Jeff Wood, an American student from D.C. who is currently studying abroad in China, will pose questions to the First Lady on behalf of Discovery Education’s online audience. You can ask questions and watch the event on Tuesday, March 25th at 1:00 p.m. ET.
  • PBS Global Learning and Diplomacy Collection: As part of a new collection of resources, students and classrooms around the U.S. can access educational resources and collections about the history and culture of China. Leading up to the visit, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and the First Lady’s Chief of Staff Tina Tchen participated in a special webinar to answer questions from young people about the trip and China’s rich history and culture.
  • CNN iReport Assignment: iReporters in the U.S. and around the world have submitted questions for the First Lady about study abroad. Stay tuned to watch Mrs. Obama answer questions from Beijing.
  • Q&A with Youth in China: The U.S. Embassy has invited their social media followers on Chinese microblogging websites Sina and QQ Weibo to post questions for the First Lady. While in China, Mrs. Obama will answer questions about her visit. The First Lady’s responses will be posted in Mandarin on the Embassy’s social media platforms.

 

 

The Rhodes Ahead: The First Lady’s Trip to China

 

Uploaded on Mar 19, 2014

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and the First Lady’s Chief of Staff Tina Tchen preview First Lady Michelle Obama’s official visit to China. During the trip to China, as on previous international trips to Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, the First Lady will be focusing on the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in China and the United States.

 

 

 

 

The First Lady will be focusing on the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in both countries.

 

First Lady Michelle Obama, her mother Marian Robinson, her daughters Sasha and Malia walk arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport, March 20

First Lady Michelle Obama, her mother Marian Robinson, her daughters Sasha and Malia walk arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport, March 20

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Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #22: Dr. John Hope Franklin, African American Scholar And Historian.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Throughout the month Of February, TheObamaCrat™ will post a daily series called The Black History Moment Series. Each day for 28 days of this historic month you will be given the food of Black History to satisfy your hunger for knowledge. 

 

Celebrating Black History Month: The Black History Moment Series #22 Dr. John Hope Franklin. African American Scholar And Historian.

 

John Hope Franklin

1915–2009, the dean of 20th-century African-American historians, b. Rentiesville, Okla., grad. Fisk Univ. (A.B., 1935), Harvard (M.A., 1936; Ph.D., 1941). Franklin served on the faculties of his alma mater (1936–37), St. Augustine’s College (1939–43), North Carolina College (1943–47), Howard Univ. (1947–56), Brooklyn College (1956–64), and the Univ. of Chicago (1964–82) before assuming (1982) the James B. Duke Professorship of History at Duke. He became professor emeritus in 1985, but taught at Duke’s law school from 1985 to 1992. Franklin was also president of Phi Beta Kappa (1973–76), the American Historical Association (1978–79), and several other scholarly organizations.

 

Franklin’s many publications focused on the history of the American South, on slavery and Reconstruction, and on the African-American contribution to the development of the United States. His best-known book, the pioneering From Slavery to Freedom (1947; 8th ed. 2000), revolutionized the understanding of African-American history and changed the way the subject is taught. Among Franklin’s other works are The Militant South: 1800–1860 (1956), Reconstruction after the Civil War (1961),The Emancipation Proclamation (1963), Color and Race (1968), Racial Equality in America (1976), Race and History(1989), The Color Line (1993), and In Search of the Promised Land (with L. Schweninger, 2005). He also edited a number of books, including the autobiography (1997) of his father, an Oklahoma lawyer.

 

Active in the civil-rights movement, Franklin provided historical information vital to the brief for the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans. case, marched with Martin Luther King, and testified repeatedly at congressional hearings regarding racial issues. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995 and was appointed President Clinton’s adviser on race two years later. His papers form the nucleus of Duke’s John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African-American Documentation.

 

John Hope Franklin

 

 

Early life and education

Franklin was born in Rentiesville, Oklahoma to attorney, Buck (Charles) Colbert Franklin and his wife Mollie Parker Franklin and named after John Hope. He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He graduated from Fisk University in 1935 and gained a doctorate in history in 1941 from Harvard University.

 

 

Career

“My challenge,” Franklin said, “was to weave into the fabric of American history enough of the presence of blacks so that the story of the United States could be told adequately and fairly.”

 

In his autobiography, Franklin described a series of formative incidents where he confronted racism while seeking to volunteer his services at the beginning of the Second World War. He attempted to respond to the Navy’s search for qualified clerical workers, but after he presented his extensive qualifications, the Navy recruiter told him that he was the wrong color for the position. He was similarly unsuccessful in finding a position with a War Department historical project. When he went to have a blood test as required for the draft, the doctor initially refused to allow him into his office. Afterward, Franklin took steps to avoid the draft, on the basis that the country did not respect him or have an interest in his well-being, because of his color.

 

In the early 1950s, Franklin served on the NAACP Legal Defense Fund team led by Thurgood Marshall, which helped develop the sociological case for Brown v. Board of Education. This led to the 1954 United States Supreme Court decision ending the legal segregation of black and white children in public schools.

 

 

Professor and researcher

Franklin’s teaching career began at Fisk University. During WWII, he taught at St. Augustine’s College and North Carolina College.

 

From 1947 to 1956, he taught at Howard University. In 1956, Franklin was selected to chair the history department at Brooklyn College, the first person of color to head a major history department. Franklin served there until 1964, when he was recruited by the University of Chicago. He spent 1962 as a visiting professor at the University of Cambridge, holding the Professorship of American History and Institutions.

 

David Levering Lewis, who has won the Pulitzer Prize for history, said that while he was deciding to become a historian, news came that Franklin, his mentor, had been named departmental chairman at Brooklyn College.

 

“Now that certainly is a distinction. It had never happened before that a person of color had chaired a major history department. That meant a lot to me. If I had doubt about (the) viability of a career in history, that example certainly helped put to rest such concerns.”

 

In researching his prize-winning biography of W. E. B. Du Bois, Lewis said he became aware of Franklin’s

 

“courage during that period in the 1950s when Du Bois became an un-person, when many progressives were tarred and feathered with the brush of subversion. John Hope Franklin was a rock; he was loyal to his friends. In the case of W. E. B. Du Bois, Franklin spoke out in his defense, not (about) Du Bois’s communism, but of the right of an intellectual to express ideas that were not popular. I find that admirable. It was a high risk to take and we may be heading again into a period when the free concourse of ideas in the academy will have a price put upon it. In the final years of an active teaching career, I will have John Hope Franklin’s example of high scholarship, great courage and civic activism.”

 

From 1964 through 1968, Franklin was a professor of history at the University of Chicago, and chair of the department from 1967 to 1970. He was named to the endowed position of John Matthews Manly Distinguished Service Professor, which he held from 1969 to 1982. He was appointed to the Fulbright Board of Foreign Scholarships, 1962–69, and was its chair from 1966 to 1969.

 

In 1976, the National Endowment for the Humanities selected Franklin for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government’s highest honor for achievement in the humanities. Franklin’s three-part lecture became the basis for his book Racial Equality in America.

 

Franklin was appointed to the U.S. Delegation to the UNESCO General Conference, Belgrade (1980).

 

In 1983, Franklin was appointed the James B. Duke Professor of History at Duke University. In 1985, he took emeritus status from this position. During this same year he helped to establish the Durham Literacy Center and served on its Board until his death in 2009.

 

Franklin was also Professor of Legal History at the Duke University Law School from 1985 to 1992.

 

 

Racial Equality in America

Racial Equality in America is the published lecture series that Franklin presented in 1976 for the Jefferson Lecture sponsored by the National Endowment for Humanities. The book divides into three lectures, given in 3 different cities, chronicling the history of race in the United States from revolutionary times to 1976. These lectures explore the differences between some of the beliefs related to race with the reality documented in various historical and government texts as well as data gathered from census, property, and literary sources. The first lecture is titled “The Dream Deferred” and discusses the period from the revolution to 1820. The second lecture is titled “The Old Order Changeth Not” and discusses the rest of the 19th century. The third lecture is titled “Equality Indivisible” and discusses the 20th century.

 

 

Later life and death

In 2005, at the age of 90, Franklin published and lectured  on his new autobiography, Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin. In 2006, he received the John W. Kluge Prize and as the recipient lectured on the successes and failures of race relations in America inWhere do We Go from Here? In 2008, Franklin endorsed presidential candidate Barack Obama.

 

Franklin died at Duke University Medical Center on the morning of March 25, 2009.

 

 

John Hope Franklin

John Hope Franklin

John Hope Franklin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Born January 2, 1915
RentiesvilleOklahoma, U.S.
Died March 25, 2009 (aged 94)
Duke University Medical Center
DurhamNorth Carolina, U.S.
Alma mater Fisk University (B.A., 1935);
Harvard University (M.A., 1936;

Ph.D., 1941)

Occupation Scholar, historian, author, professor
Spouse(s) Aurelia Whittington Franklin

(m. 1940; d. 1999)

Honors

 

Honors

 

John-Hope-Franklin2 (1)

 

 

In 1991, Franklin’s students honored him with a festschrift The Facts of Reconstruction: Essays in Honor of John Hope Franklin (edited by Eric Anderson & Alfred A. Moss, Jr. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c1991).

 

Franklin served as president of the American Historical Association (1979), the American Studies Association(1967), the Southern Historical Association (1970), and the Organization of American Historians (1975). He was a member of the board of trustees at Fisk University, the Chicago Public Library, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association.

 

Frankin was elected as a foundation member of Fisk’s new chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in 1953, when Fisk became the first historically black college to have a chapter of the honor society. In 1973-76, he served as President of the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa.

 

Additionally, Franklin was appointed to serve on national commissions, including the National Council on the Humanities, the President’s Advisory Commission on Ambassadorial Appointments, and One America: The President’s Initiative on Race.

 

Franklin was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He was an early beneficiary of the fraternity’s Foundation Publishers, which provides financial support and fellowship for writers addressing African-American issues.

 

In 1962 honored as an outstanding historian, Franklin became the first black member of the exclusive Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C.

 

The John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture resides at the Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library and contains his personal and professional papers. The archive is one of three academic units named after Franklin at Duke. The others are the John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies, which opened in February 2001 and the Franklin Humanities Institute. Franklin had previously rejected Duke’s offer to name a center for African-American Studies after him, saying that he was a historian of America and the world, too.

 

In 1978, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

 

In 1994, the Society of American Historians (founded by Allan Nevins and other historians to encourage literary distinction in the writing of history) awarded Franklin its Bruce Catton Prize for Lifetime Achievement.

 

In 1995, he was awarded the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP.

 

In 1995, Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

 

In 1995, he received the Chicago History Museum “Making History Award” for Distinction in Historical Scholarship.

 

In 1997, Franklin was selected to receive the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, a career literary award given annually by the Tulsa Library Trust. Franklin was the first (and so far only) native Oklahoman to receive the award. During his visit to Tulsa to accept the award, Franklin made several appearances to speak about his childhood experiences with racial segregation, as well as his father’s experiences as a lawyer in the aftermath of the 1921 Tulsa race riot.

 

In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante included Franklin on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.

 

Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry presented the Governor’s Arts Award to Dr. Franklin in 2004.

 

On May 20, 2006, Franklin was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters at Lafayette College‘s 171st Commencement Exercises.

 

On November 15, 2006, John Hope Franklin was announced as the third recipient of the John W. Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the study of humanity. He shared the prize with Yu Ying-shih.

 

 

Personal life

According to a DNA analysis, Franklin was descended mainly from people of Sierra Leone.

 

Marriage and family

Franklin met and courted Aurelia Whittington at Fisk. They married on June 11, 1940 at her parents’ home in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Their only child, John Whittington Franklin, was born August 24, 1952. Aurelia was a librarian. Their marriage lasted 59 years, until January 27, 1999, when she succumbed to a long illness.

 

john-hope-franklin2

 

Keeping Hope Alive: A Conversation With Dr. John Hope Franklin (5/30/2007)

 

Published on Jun 2, 2013

Keeping Hope Alive: A Conversation With Dr. John Hope Franklin (5/30/2007)

“My Challenge Was To Weave Into The Fabric Of American History Enough Of The Presence Of Blacks So That The Story Of The United States Could Be Told Adequately And Fairly.”
~Dr. John Hope Franklin

 

Dr. John Hope Franklin Passed Away March 25, 2009 at the age of 94 after living a truly purpose driven life… Hopefully and finally he has reunited with his beloved wife, Aurelia…

 

 

 

Mirror to America by John Hope Franklin–Audiobook Excerpt

 

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Published on Apr 12, 2012

Listen to this audiobook excerpt and hear John Hope Franklin read from his book Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin–ninety years of American history as lived by the nation’s preeminent African American historian and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 

 

 

Dr. John Hope Franklin Tribute | PBS

 

Uploaded on Mar 25, 2009

In a special tribute to Dr. John Hope Franklin, a conversation with the dean of African American historians about the racism he encountered.

 

 

 

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Black History Month 2014 Presents: Celebrating Black History Month; The Black History Moment Series, #1 thru #21….

 

In Case You Missed This Series….Black History Month 2014 Presents: Celebrating Black History Month; The Black History Moment Series.

 

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Statements And Releases From The President Of The United States, Barack Hussein Obama


 

By Jueseppi B.

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FACT SHEET: President Obama to Sign Executive Order on Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses

 

In his State of the Union address, President Obama set an ambitious agenda to make 2014 a year of action: using his pen and his phone to take steps that expand opportunity for America’s middle class – including helping small American businesses compete in a global economy.  Today, aboard Air Force One, the President will sign a new Executive Order on Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses.

 

Specifically, the Executive Order cuts processing and approval times from days to minutes for small businesses that export American-made goods and services by completing the International Trade Data System (ITDS) by December 2016.  Today, businesses must submit information to dozens of government agencies, often on paper forms, sometimes waiting on process for days to move goods across the border.  The ITDS will allow businesses to electronically transmit, through a “single-window,” the data required by the U.S. Government to import or export cargo.  This new electronic system will speed up the shipment of American-made goods overseas, eliminate often duplicative and burdensome paperwork, and make our government more efficient.

 

This Executive Order is especially important to small and medium companies that depend on global trade.  Once fully implemented, the ITDS will dramatically reduce the time and expense for businesses to move the more than 50 million containers and $3.8 trillion worth of goods that cross our borders each year.

 

Development of a “Single-Window

The Executive Order mandates the completion of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) by December 2016.  The ITDS creates capabilities that will allow businesses to transmit, through an electronic “single-window,” the data required by the U.S. Government to import or export cargo.

 

At present, businesses must submit data to multiple agencies through various channels, often in paper form.  The ITDS will save businesses time and money, and dramatically reduce the number of forms a business has to fill out to import or export.

 

The ITDS will allow more efficient government decision-making associated with goods arriving at the border, reducing the time for clearing goods from many days to, in some cases, seconds.  This will dramatically speed the flow of legitimate commerce across our borders.

 

Coordinated and automated messaging about these decisions will increase predictability for the private sector and allow them to plan supply chain movements with greater confidence and less cost.

 

Though the development of the ITDS has been underway for some time, the Order establishes a deadline for completion, requires relevant agencies to transition from paper-based to electronic data collection, and calls for enhanced transparency by requiring public posting of implementation plans and schedules.

 

Creation of More Efficient Business Processes through Partnership

The new Executive Order also charges the government to partner with non-government stakeholders to build more efficient business processes and improve border management policies.

 

A newly expanded group, the Border Interagency Executive Council (BIEC) will be responsible for improving coordination among the dozens of agencies with import and export requirements and with outside stakeholders.  The BIEC is charged with cutting red tape and reducing supply chain inefficiencies, while managing the risks presented by goods flowing in and out of the United States.

 

The ITDS Board of Directors will continue to oversee the development of the ITDS automated capabilities.

 

 

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Statement from the President on the Retirement of Congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod

Gloria Negrete McLeod has been a strong advocate for hardworking families and farmers in California’s 35th district and across the country.  She has been a key partner in promoting access to affordable health care and bringing quality employment and higher education opportunities to all Americans.  Gloria has consistently supported working women and their families and has championed programs to help our nation’s veterans find jobs and enroll in college. Michelle and I thank Congresswoman Negrete McLeod for her service and send her, her husband Gilbert, and their family our warmest regards.

 

 

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Statement from the President on the Retirement of Congressman Rush Holt

Over his 15 years in Congress, Rush Holt combined a relentless focus on building a brighter future with an unwavering commitment to improving the everyday lives of the New Jerseyans he represents, especially the veterans he works tirelessly to support.   Just the second research physicist elected to Congress, no one has worked harder to keep America on the cutting edge of innovation than Rush.  Time and time again, he has led efforts to fund science education and basic research.  His legacy will live on in our labs, our universities, and our classrooms, where countless math and science teachers have been able to afford college thanks in part to the TEACH grants he helped create.  Michelle and I thank Congressman Holt for his leadership and service, and we wish him, his wife Margaret, and their children and grandchildren the very best in the future.

 

 

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On-the-Record Call by Jason Furman and Betsey Stevenson on the CBO Report on Minimum Wage

 

 

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Readout of Vice President Biden’s Call with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych

Vice President Biden called Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych today to express grave concern regarding the crisis on the streets of Kyiv.  He called on President Yanukovych to pull back government forces and to exercise maximum restraint. The Vice President made clear that the United States condemns violence by any side, but that the government bears special responsibility to de-escalate the situation. The Vice President further underscored the urgency of immediate dialogue with opposition leaders to address protesters’ legitimate grievances and to put forward serious proposals for political reform.  The United States is committed to supporting efforts to promote a peaceful resolution to the crisis that reflects the will and aspirations of the Ukrainian people.

 

 

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FACT SHEET: Opportunity For All: Improving the Fuel Efficiency of American Trucks – Bolstering Energy Security, Cutting Carbon Pollution, Saving Money and Supporting Manufacturing Innovation

 

 

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North American Leaders’ Summit

 

The North American Leaders’ Summit is the official name of the trilateral annual summit between the prime minister of Canada, and the presidents of Mexico and the United States. It started as the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, a continent-level dialogue, founded on 23 March 2005. The summit is often referred to as the Three Amigos Summit in the popular press. This year, February 19, 2014, the summit is held in  TolucaMexico State, Mexico.

 

 

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White House Schedule – Wednesday February 19th, 2014

 

 

On Wednesday, the President will travel to Toluca, Mexico, to participate in the North American Leaders Summit. At the Summit, the President will discuss a wide range of issues including economic competitiveness and citizen security with Mexican President Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Harper. The President will return to The White House around 2 AM EST.

 

In the morning, the President will depart Washington, DC for Toluca, Mexico to participate in the North American Leaders Summit. The departure from the South Lawn is open press.

 

In the afternoon, the President will arrive in Toluca, Mexico. Upon arrival, the President will participate in an official arrival ceremony at the Licenciado Adolfo López Mateos International Airport. The official arrival ceremony will be open press.

 

After the official arrival ceremony, the President will visit Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Mexico and be welcomed by President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico. There will be pre-set pool coverage of the President’s arrival at Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Mexico. Following his arrival, the President will hold a restricted bilateral meeting followed by an expanded bilateral meeting with President Nieto. There will be a pool spray at the top of the restricted bilateral meeting and the expanded bilateral meeting will be closed press.

 

Later in the afternoon, the President will participate in a leader photo before having a working lunch with President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper of Canada. There will be a pool spray of the leader photo while the working lunch is closed press.

 

Following the working lunch, the President will then take part in a walk and talk with Prime Minister Harper, before delivering remarks to North American business, civil society and education leaders with President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper. There will be a pool spray during the walk and talk, while the President remarks are pooled press.

 

In the evening, the President will participate in the Trilateral North American Leaders Summit meeting and a joint press conference . There will be a pool spray at the top of this meeting, while the press conference is open to pre-credentialed media.

 

Later in the evening, the President will depart Toluca, Mexico for Washington, DC. The departure from the Licenciado Adolfo López Mateos International Airport and the arrival on the South Lawn are open press.

 

 

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 All Times ET

 

1:00 PM: The Vice President delivers remarks highlighting the need for continued investment in infrastructure to create jobs and grow our economy, Local Event Time: 12:00 PM, Granite City, Illinois.

 

 

1:35 PM: The President greets President Nieto, Local Event Time: 12:35 PM, Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Mexico – Toluca – Mexico.

 

 

1:55 PM: The President holds a restricted bilateral meeting with President Nieto, Local Event Time: 12:55 PM, Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Mexico – Toluca – Mexico.

 

 

2:10 PM: The President holds an expanded bilateral meeting with President Nieto Local Event Time: 1:10 PM, Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Mexico – Toluca – Mexico.

 

 

3:40 PM: The President accompanies North American leaders for a family photo, Local Event Time: 2:40 PM, Cosmovitral – Toluca – Mexico.

 

 

3:45 PM: The President attends a working lunch, Local Event Time: 2:45 PM, Cosmovitral – Toluca – Mexico.

 

 

5:20 PM: The President participates in a walk and talk with Prime Minister Harper of Canada, Local Event Time: 4:20 PM, Cosmovitral – Toluca – Mexico.

 

 

5:50 PM: The President delivers remarks with President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper, Local Event Time: 4:50 PM, Salon del Pueblo – Palacio de Gobierno – Toluca – Mexico.

 

 

6:30 PM: The President participates in the Trilateral North American Leaders Summit Meeting, Local Event Time: 5:30 PM, Courtyard, Palacio de Justicia -Toluca – Mexico.

 

 

7:00 PM: The Vice President attends an event for the Democratic National Committee, Local Event Time: 6:00 PM, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

 

 

8:15 PM: The President, President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper hold a press conference, Local Event Time: 7:15 PM, Palacio de Gobierno – Toluca – Mexico, Patio Cental.

 

 

9:50 PM: The President departs Mexico en route Washington, DC, Local Event Time: 8:50 PM, Licenciado Adolfo López Mateos International Airport – Toluca, Mexico.

 

 

1:50 AM EST: THE PRESIDENT arrives Joint Base Andrews.

 

2:05 AM EST: THE PRESIDENT arrives the White House, South Lawn. South Lawn.

 

Briefing Schedule

Press Secretary Jay Carney will gaggle aboard Air Force One

 

 

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Next Up…

February 19, 2014 5:50 PM EST

President Obama Speaks with President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper

Toluca, Mexico, White House LIVE!!! Streaming Schedule.

 

 

 

February 19, 2014 8:15 PM EST

President Obama, President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper Hold a Press Conference

Toluca, Mexico, White House LIVE!!! Streaming Schedule.

 

 

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Barack heads from His House to Marine On for trip to North American Leaders' Summit in Toluca, Mexico

Barack heads from His House to Marine On for trip to North American Leaders’ Summit in Toluca, Mexico

Wheels Up For The Trip To Toluca, Mexico

Wheels Up For The Trip To Toluca, Mexico

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TheObamaCrat™ Wake-Up Call For HuMpDaY The 19th Of February, 2014. North American Leaders Summit In Toluca, Mexico.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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White House Schedule – Wednesday February 19th, 2014

 

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19th, 2014

 

DAILY GUIDANCE AND SCHEDULE FOR
FRIDAY, JANUARY 19th, 2014

 

On Wednesday, the President will travel to Toluca, Mexico, to participate in the North American Leaders Summit. At the Summit, the President will discuss a wide range of issues including economic competitiveness and citizen security with Mexican President Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Harper. The President will return to The White House around 2 AM EST.

 

 

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 All Times ET

 

8:15 am:  The POTUS departs White House.
12:10 pm CT: The POTUS Arrives Toluca, Mexico.

 

12:35 pm CT: The POTUS Greets Mexican President Nieto and begins bilateral meetings; Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Mexico.

 

2:45 pm CT: The POTUS Attends a working lunch; Cosmovitral, Botanical Gardens, Toluca, Mexico.

 
4:20 pm CT: The POTUS Participates in a walk and talk with Prime Minister Harper of Canada.

 
4:50 pm CT: The POTUS Delivers remarks with President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper.

 
5:30 pm CT: The POTUS Participates in the Trilateral North American Leaders Summit Meeting Courtyard, Palacio de Justicia, Toluca, Mexico.

 
7:15 pm CT: The POTUS Holds a press conference with President Nieto and Prime Minister Harper; Patio Cental, Palacio de Gobierno, Toluca, Mexico.

 
8:50 pm CT: The POTUS Departs Mexico, for the United States.

 
2:05 am: The POTUS Arrives White House.

 

 

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North American Leaders’ Summit

 

U.S. President Barack Obama at the North American Leaders' Summit

U.S. President Barack Obama at the North American Leaders’ Summit

 

The North American Leaders’ Summit is the official name of the trilateral annual summit between the prime minister of Canada, and the presidents of Mexico and the United States. It started as the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, a continent-level dialogue, founded on 23 March 2005. The summit is often referred to as the Three Amigos Summit in the popular press. This year, February 19, 2014, the summit is held in  TolucaMexico State, Mexico.

 

 

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Pres. Obama Joint News Conference w/ Mexican/Canadian Leaders

President Obama will hold a joint news conference in Toluca, Mexico with his North American counterparts, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

 

 

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Readout of the President’s Call to President Peña Nieto of Mexico

This morning President Obama spoke by phone with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to discuss progress on the bilateral agenda the two leaders set when they met in May 2013.  The President congratulated President Peña Nieto on the important reforms he has undertaken in his first year in office.

 

The President noted he is looking forward to traveling to Toluca, Mexico on February 19, 2014, to participate in the North American Leaders Summit.  At the Summit, the President looks forward to discussing with Mexican President Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Harper a range of issues important to the daily lives of all of North America’s people, including economic competitiveness, entrepreneurship, trade and investment, and citizen security

 

 

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President Obama to visit Mexico in February for leaders summit

 

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama will visit Mexico in February to attend a North American leaders’ summit, the White House said on Monday.

 

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama would travel to Toluca, Mexico, on February 19.

 

Obama will attend the annual North American leaders summit along with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

 

The U.S. president visited Mexico last May and held talks with Pena Nieto and the two leaders emphasized economic issues in a relationship that has long been dominated by security concerns.

 

Carney said the leaders will discuss a range of issues such as economic competitiveness, trade and investment and citizen security.

 

Obama called Pena Nieto on Monday to congratulate him on “the important reforms” the Mexican leader has undertaken in his first year in office, the White House said in a statement.

 

Pena Nieto last month signed into law a radical reform of the country’s energy market, ending a 75-year oil and gas monopoly in hopes of attracting investments to boost production.

 

Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s raised its credit rating for Mexico by a notch on the energy reform, calling it a watershed moment that boosts the country’s long-term growth prospects.

 

The energy sector overhaul is a centerpiece of a broad range of reforms pushed by the Mexican leader as part of an effort to boost growth in Latin America’s second-largest economy.

 

Pena Nieto has overseen passage of a major education overhaul, shaken up oversight of the telecommunications market, and pushed through reforms of the tax system and banking rules.

 

 

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White House Week Ahead Schedule – February 20th &21st, 2014

 

 

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On Thursday, the President will return from Toluca, Mexico and attend the Democratic Governors Association dinner.

 

On Friday, the President will meet with the Democratic governors in town for the annual National Governors Association Winter Meeting to discuss his Opportunity for All agenda and the Year of Action.

 

 

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Biden to visit Granite City, Ill. on Wednesday.

 

WASHINGTON–Vice President Joe Biden travels to Granite City, Illinois on Wednesday to visit America’s Central Port, a rail, river road shipping complex on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River.

 

From the White House: “The Vice President’s visit will mark the fifth anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and highlight the need for continued investment in infrastructure to create jobs and grow our economy. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will also attend.”

 

 

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The White House Blog

 

New Funding to Increase Access to Mental Health Services and New Protections Under the Health Care Law

 

Stefanie Feldman
February 18, 2014
07:22 PM EST

 

So far this year, the Administration has taken three key steps as part of our ongoing effort to increase access to mental health services.

 

First, the President signed an omnibus appropriations bill, securing $115 million for new mental health initiatives that the President and Vice President proposed in January 2013 as part of their comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence. This funding will have a real impact in communities across the country, where it will be used to train more mental health professionals and help educators and other adults who work with youth recognize the early signs of mental health problems and refer young people to appropriate help when needed.  The funds will also be used for a new initiative which will support innovative state-based approaches to making sure young people ages 16 to 25 who are at high risk for mental illness don’t fall through the cracks of our mental health system when they leave school or home.

 

Second, on January 31, with funding from the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made $50 million available to help Community Health Centers across the country establish or expand mental and behavioral health services for people living with mental illness or addiction. Using these funds, Health Centers can hire new mental health professionals and add mental health and substance use disorder services. This new funding was first announced by Vice President Biden last December. At that time, the Vice President also announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has set a new goal of financing $50 million for the construction, expansion, or improvement of mental health facilities in rural areas over the next three years.

 

And finally, on January 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act went into full effect. For the first time ever, Americans across the country can no longer be denied health insurance or charged more based on a pre-existing mental illness. Health plans offered through the new Health Insurance Marketplace are now required to cover ten categories of essential health benefits, including mental health and substance use disorder services.

 

The Administration will continue to look for steps we can take to help prevent mental health problems and make sure people experiencing mental health problems get the help they need. As the Vice President said in December, “The fact that less than half of children and adults with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need is unacceptable. The President and I have made it a priority to do everything we can to make it easier to access mental health services.”

 

A Look At What They’re Saying About myRA Across the Country

 

Kicking Vehicle Efficiency into High Gear

 

Congressional Budget Office Report Finds Minimum Wage Lifts Wages for 16.5 Million Workers

 

We the People Response: Reaffirming the White House’s Commitment to Net Neutrality

 

The Fifth Anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

 

Administration-Wide Response to the Drought

 

 

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President Obama Speaks on Improving Fuel Efficiency for American Trucks

 

Press Briefing

 

President Obama Responds to the California Drought

 

President Obama Participates in a Roundtable Discussion on the California Drought

 

 

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President Obama holds a meeting with African American civil rights leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, February 18. Flanking the President are Attorney General Eric Holder and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett with Rev. Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network, also attending.

President Obama holds a meeting with African American civil rights leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, February 18. Flanking the President are Attorney General Eric Holder and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett with Rev. Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network, also attending.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on improving the fuel efficiency of American trucks, at the Safeway Distribution Center in Upper Marlboro, Md., Feb. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on improving the fuel efficiency of American trucks, at the Safeway Distribution Center in Upper Marlboro, Md., Feb. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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