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A Brand New Day™: The Dynamic Duo Head To Pennsylvania, Announce $600 Million In Job Grants.


 

By Jueseppi B.

US President Barack Obama holds his first Twitter Town Hall

 

 

From The Associated Press:

 

Striving to show action on jobs, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are hitting the road to trumpet $600 million in new competitive grants to spur creation of targeted training and apprenticeship programs that could help people land well-paying jobs.

They were making the announcement Wednesday at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in the western Pennsylvania borough of Oakdale.

Administration officials say they hear from too many businesses that they cannot find skilled workers for jobs they need to fill. On top of that, officials say many people who are looking for work may be open to learning new skills but need assurance that a job will be waiting for them at the end of a training program.

Obama and others in the administration often say community colleges are among the best sources for job training and say learn-on-the-job apprenticeship programs provide some of the most direct paths to well-paying jobs.

Although the economy is improving, unemployment remains stubbornly high at 6.7 percent and Obama says more must be done to create jobs.

 

 

The programs that Obama and his Pennsylvania-born vice president are announcing do not need approval from Congress because they will be paid for with money that lawmakers have already authorized for spending. In response to stiff resistance to his agenda from Republican lawmakers, Obama has made it a goal this year to take smaller steps on his own, without support from Congress, to benefit the economy, workers and others, and Wednesday’s program fits that script.

The larger of the two grant programs will put nearly $500 million toward a job training competition run by the Labor Department that is designed to encourage community colleges, employers and industry to work together to create training programs that are geared toward the jobs employers need to fill. Applications will be available starting Wednesday.

The training is part of an existing competitive grant program for community colleges that prepare dislocated workers and others for jobs.

A priority will be placed on partnerships that include national entities, such as industry associations, that pledge to help design and institute programs that give job seekers a credential that will be recognized and accepted across a particular industry, signaling to an employer what kind of work the holder can do.

The Labor Department is also making an additional $100 million available for grants to reward partnerships that expand apprenticeship programs.

Apprenticeships are used less widely in the U.S. than in some other countries, said administration officials, who also noted that nearly 9 out of 10 apprentices end up in jobs that pay average starting salaries of above $50,000 a year.

The apprenticeship grant program will begin in the fall and focus, in part, on broad partnerships that create programs in high-growth fields, such as information technology, health care and advanced manufacturing, as well as programs that provide college credit or industry-wide skills certification.

Obama earlier this year put Biden, who is a native of Scranton, Pa., in charge of a “soup-to-nuts” review of federal job-training programs, and set a July 30 deadline for his report.

House Republicans have complained that Biden’s effort is a waste of time because the Government Accountability Office, the auditing arm of Congress, has identified redundancies in a comprehensive review it completed in 2011. They have urged Obama to press his allies in the Democratic-controlled Senate to vote on a House-passed measure that proposes to streamline dozens of duplicative job training programs.

Thank you Associated Press.

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White House Schedule – April 16th, 2014

 

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16th, 2014

 

DAILY GUIDANCE AND SCHEDULE FOR
WEDNESDAY, April 16th, 2014

 

In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

 

In the afternoon, the President will travel to Oakdale, Pennsylvania. There will be in-town travel pool coverage of the President’s departure from White House, and the arrival at Pittsburgh International Airport is open press.

 

While in Oakdale, the President will visit the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center to tour a classroom and deliver remarks on the importance of jobs-driven skills training in a 21st Century economy. The Vice President will also deliver remarks and join the tour. There will be out-of-town travel pool coverage of the tour, and the remarks are open to pre-credentialed media.

 

In the evening, the President will depart Oakdale, Pennsylvania en route Washington, DC.  The departure from Pittsburgh International Airport is open press, and there will be in-town travel pool coverage of the return to the White House.

 

 

Wednesday, April 16th 2014 All Times ET

 

10:00 AM: The President and Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing, Oval Office.

 

 

1:00 PM: The President departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews, South Lawn.

 

 

1:35 PM: The President departs Joint Base Andrews en route Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 

 

2:30 PM: The President arrives Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh International Airport.

 

 

3:10 PM: The President and Vice President tour a classroom, Community College of Allegheny West Hills Center – Oakdale – Pennsylanvia.

 

 

3:45 PM: The President and Vice President deliver remarks, Community College of Allegheny West Hills Center – Oakdale – Pennsylanvia.

 

 

5:45 PM: The President departs Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania en route Joint Base Andrews, Pittsburgh International Airport.

 

 

6:45 PM: The President arrives Joint Base Andrews.

 

 

7:20 PM: The President arrives the White House, South Lawn.

 

 

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On Wednesday, President Obama and Vice President Biden will travel to Leetsdale, Pennsylvania for an event on the economy. Further details on the President and Vice President’s travel to Pennsylvania will be made available in the coming days.

On Thursday, the President will welcome the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House in celebration of the eighth annual Soldier Ride.  A cycling event to help Wounded Warriors restore their physical and emotional well-being, the Soldier Ride also raises awareness of our nation’s Wounded Warriors who battle the physical and psychological damages of war.

On Friday, the President will meet with the National Commander and Executive Director of the American Legion.  Later, he will welcome the United States Naval Academy Football Team to the White House to present them with the 2013 Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.

 

 

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White House LIVE!!! Streaming

 

April 16, 2014 3:45 PM EDT

 

President Obama and Vice President Biden Speak on the Importance of Jobs-Driven Skill Training in the 21st Century Economy

Oakdale, Pennsylvania

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April 2014: Photo of the Day

 

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host a Passover Seder dinner in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House, April 15, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host a Passover Seder dinner in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House, April 15, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)

 

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4/15/14: White House Press Briefing

 

 

 

 

 

2013 Boston Marathon Tribute: Joe Biden

 

Boston, Masschutes, USA, A week before the 118th Boston Marathon, the city of Boston came together to remember the tragic terrorist attack last year. And giving tribute to the heroes and the survivors of that day, Vice-President Joe Biden had these words.

 

 

 

 

President Obama and Vice President Biden Deliver Remarks

 

Scheduled for Apr 16, 2014

The President and Vice President will visit the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center to tour a classroom and deliver remarks on the importance of jobs-driven skills training in a 21st Century economy.

 

 

 

Obama, Biden coming to CCAC

 

Published on Apr 15, 2014

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will visit the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center Wednesday to spotlight what they call “jobs-driven skills training.”

 

 

 

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The White House Blog

 

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Vice President Biden Joins Instagram

 

Today, we’re excited to announce the Office of the Vice President is joining Instagram to give followers a unique look inside the Vice Presidency. This new social media presence continues efforts by the Vice President’s Office to connect with citizens online, adding to his official Twitter handle and the Being Biden audio series.

 

The VP’s Instagram followers will have access to behind-the-scenes photos from the road and around the White House. And today, as the Vice President joins President Obama in Pennsylvania to announce grants that will spur job training and apprenticeship programs, you’re invited to follow along on Instagram.

 

VPOTUSA, Joseph Robinette "Joey B" Biden, Jr., joins instagram

VPOTUSA, Joseph Robinette “Joey B” Biden, Jr., joins instagram.

 

Stay tuned for photos and videos from the Vice President – and don’t forget to check out our other official Instagram accounts, including: The White HouseFirst Lady Michelle ObamaandChief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza.

 

 

A Moment of Silence to Mark the One-Year Anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing

 

Get Your 2013 Federal Taxpayer Receipt

 

President Obama Hosts Annual Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House

 

Connecting Young African Leaders with the U.S. and One Another

 

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Statements and Releases

 

Statement by the President

One year ago, the Senate introduced comprehensive bipartisan legislation to fix our broken immigration system. Both sides worked together to pass that bill with a strong bipartisan vote. The Senate’s commonsense agreement would grow the economy by $1.4 trillion and shrink the deficit by nearly $850 billion over the next two decades, while providing a tough but fair pathway to earned citizenship to bring 11 million undocumented individuals out of the shadows, modernizing our legal immigration system, continuing to strengthen border security, and holding employers accountable.  Simply put, it would boost our economy, strengthen our security, and live up to our most closely-held values as a society.

 

Unfortunately, Republicans in the House of Representatives have repeatedly failed to take action, seemingly preferring the status quo of a broken immigration system over meaningful reform. Instead of advancing commonsense reform and working to fix our immigration system, House Republicans have voted in favor of extreme measures like a punitive amendment to strip protections from “Dreamers”. The majority of Americans are ahead of House Republicans on this crucial issue and there is broad support for reform, including among Democrats and Republicans, labor and business, and faith and law enforcement leaders. We have a chance to strengthen our country while upholding our traditions as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants, and I urge House Republicans to listen to the will of the American people and bring immigration reform to the House floor for a vote.

 

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FACT SHEET – American Job Training Investments: Skills and Jobs to Build a Stronger Middle Class

 

Readout of the President’s Calls with University of Connecticut Basketball Coaches Kevin Ollie and Geno Auriemma

 

President Obama to Award Medal of Honor

 

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Speeches and Remarks

 

Remarks by Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa O. Monaco

 

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Pharrell’s New Song is ‘Here’ From the ‘Spider-Man 2′ Soundtrack

 

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In keeping with the emotional tenor of Pharrell lately, here is his new song “Here” from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 soundtrack. It’s a sweeping ballad full of all the right things that will make the moment when Peter Parker kisses that lucky so-and-so extra emotional. The difference between a delusion and a dream? Explained. Where is Pharrell? Here. Why? He got “new GPS’s.” Is he happy? He’s trying.

 

This is the second Pharrell Williams contribution we’ve heard from the soundtrack, following the release of his song with Alicia Keys and Kendrick Lamar,“It’s On Again.”

 

Williams also co-wrote the score to the film with Hans Zimmer and ex-Smiths guitarists Johnny Marr. The soundtrack will be available April 22, and you can pre-order it now on Amazon

 

Read more and hear the song on Radio.com.

 

 

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Young Men Debunk Negative Racial Stereotypes In “Suit and Tie” Video

 

Suit and Tie in the 217

 

Published on Feb 27, 2014

A Counter-Narrative on Black Male Students: At Central High School’s Black History Month Celebration, the Central and Centennial High School African-American Clubs released a joint video countering the negative images of young African-American males in the media. The students affirmed the following in a video highlighting the successes of young black males within the District:
• We are not gangsters and thugs.
• We are employees and volunteers.
• We are scholars.
• We are athletes.
“The negative stories told daily in the media and in our culture about our young African-American men tend to ignore their successes and don’t tell the full story about how young Black men are becoming leaders within our community schools,” said Central School Social Worker and African-American Club Sponsors Tiffany Gholson and Barbara Cook, who worked with the students on this effort. “In this video, our students reclaim the narrative of who they are and inspire other students to follow in their footsteps.” In our assembly, we addressed the State of the Youth and highlighted what Black students have overcome from a historical perspective. The assembly also highlighted how overcoming those obstacles has helped make America stronger and urged students of all backgrounds to carry the torch for future generations.

 

 

 

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@VP “We will never yield. We will never cower America will never never stand down. We are Boston.” – VP #BostonStrong

@VP “We will never yield. We will never cower America will never never stand down. We are Boston.” – VP #BostonStrong

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TheObamaCrat™ Wake-Up Call For Thursday The 10th Of April, 2014.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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White House Schedule – April 10th, 2014

In the morning, the President and First Lady will depart Houston, Texas en route Austin, Texas.  The departure from George Bush Intercontinental Airport and arrival at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport are open press.

 

In Austin, the President and First Lady will attend a Civil Rights Summit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act. The President will deliver remarks at this event hosted by the LBJ Presidential Library. There will be out-of-town travel pool coverage of the President and First Lady’s tour of an exhibit in the museum, and the President’s remarks will be pooled for TV and open to pre-credentialed stills and correspondents.

 

Following this event, the President and First Lady will depart Austin en route Washington, DC. The departure from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and the arrival on the South Lawn are open press.

 

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Thursday, April 10th 2014 All Times ET

10:50 AM: The President and First Lady depart Houston, Texas. Local Event Time: 9:50 AM. George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
11:30 AM: The President and First Lady arrive in Austin, Texas. Local Event Time: 10:30 AM. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
12:00 PM: The President and First Lady review an exhibit. Local Event Time: 11:00 AM. LBJ Presidential Library – Austin – Texas.
12:50 PM: The President delivers remarks at the Civil Rights Summit. Local Event Time: 11:50 AM. LBJ Auditorium.
2:25 PM: The President and First Lady depart Austin, Texas. Local Event Time: 1:25 PM. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
5:05 PM: The President and First Lady arrive at Joint Base Andrews.
5:20 PM: The President and First Lady arrive at the White House, South Lawn.

 

 

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LBJ Library Civil Rights Summit – Day 1 – Morning Panels (12:30-4:00 pm CDT)

 

Streamed live on Apr 8, 2014

Time: Tuesday April 8, 2014 12:35pm – 1:40pm CST
Panel: Gay Marriage: A Civil Right?

Time: Tuesday April 8, 2014 1:40pm – 2:40pm
Panel: Pathway to the American Dream: Immigration Policy in the 21st Century

Time: Tuesday April 8, 2014 2:40pm – 4:00pm
Panel: Music and Social Consciousness

 

 

 

 

LBJ Library Civil Rights Summit – Day 1 – Evening Panel (6:00-7:30 pm CDT)

 

Streamed live on Apr 8, 2014

Time: Tuesday April 8, 2014 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Panel: Conversation with Former President Jimmy Carter

 

 

 

 

 

LBJ Library Civil Rights Summit – Day 2 – Morning Panels (12:30-4:00 pm CDT)

 

Streamed live on Apr 9, 2014

Time: Wednesday April 9, 2014 12:35pm – 1:40pm
Panel: LBJ and MLK: Fulfilling a Promise, Realizing a Dream

Time: Wednesday April 9, 2014 1:40pm – 2:40pm
Panel: Sports: Leveling the Playing Field

Time: Wednesday April 9, 2014 2:40pm – 4:00pm
Panel: Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement: Views from the Front Line

 

 

 

 

 

LBJ Library Civil Rights Summit – Day 2 – Evening Panel (6:00-7:30 pm CDT)

 

Streamed live on Apr 9, 2014

Time: Wednesday April 9, 2014 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Panel: Address by Former President William Jefferson Clinton

 

 

 

 

Legendary sports figures weigh in at Civil Rights Summit

 

Published on Apr 9, 2014

Two of the greatest athletes of all time who have both been fighting the fight for civil rights since the 60s spoke Wednesday at the Civil Rights Summit at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library.

 

 

 

 

LBJ Civil Rights Summit Google Hangout with President Jimmy Carter

 

Streamed live on Apr 8, 2014

Former U.S. President and humanitarian Jimmy Carter will answer questions about the Civil Rights Summit as well as his new book, A Call To Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power.

The public is encouraged to ask President Carter questions in advance on Google+ via https://plus.google.com/events/cadh8u…, or using #SummitHangout on Twitter or Facebook.

http://www.civilrightssummit.org

 

 

 

 

 

LBJ Civil Rights Summit 

 

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Speeches and Remarks

 

Remarks by the President at Joint DCCC/DSCC Dinner

 

Remarks by the President at Fort Hood Memorial Service

 

 

 

Statements and Releases

 

Readout of the Vice President’s Meetings on Workforce Development and Job-Driven Training

 

 

Statement by the President

Today, Senate Republicans overwhelmingly blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act – preventing it from even receiving an honest debate, let alone a simple yes-or-no vote.  The Paycheck Fairness Act is commonsense legislation that would strengthen the 1963 Equal Pay Act and reinforce our country’s commitment to the principle of equal pay for equal work.  Yesterday, I took two actions that will make it easier for working women to earn fair pay, and my Administration will continue to do everything we can to make sure that every hard-working American earns the respect and wages that they deserve on the job.  But Republicans in Congress continue to oppose serious efforts to create jobs, grow the economy, and level the playing field for working families.  That’s wrong, and it’s harmful for our national efforts to rebuild an economy that gives every American who works hard a fair shot to get ahead.

 

 

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White House LIVE!!! Streaming

 

Next Up…

 

 

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The Vice President and Dr. Biden’s Support for Community Colleges and Apprenticeship Programs

 

 

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the 94th Annual Convention of the American Association of Community Colleges in Washington, D.C., April 7, 2014.

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the 94th Annual Convention of the American Association of Community Colleges. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Earlier this week, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden spoke to 1,500 educational leaders at the American Association of Community Colleges 94th Annual Convention.

 

During the speech, the Vice President recognized that community colleges provide “a trusted pathway to good jobs in the middle class,” and spoke about the importance of matching job openings with skilled workers. The Vice President highlighted the Administration’s work in making higher education more affordable through further investment in Pell Grants and capping federal student loan repayments at 10% of income.

 

Dr. Biden, a lifelong educator and community college teacher, noted that she has visited innovative workforce partnerships at community colleges around the country – and that they are critical to America’s future.

 

Stating that the “very best job training is on-the-job training,” Vice President Biden announced the launch of the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium.

 

Apprenticeships are some of the strongest and most successful forms of job training with 87 percent of apprentices remaining employed after completing their apprenticeship programs. The Consortium will make it easier for apprentices to receive college credits for their rigorous training that can then be applied to a degree.

 

Noting that 6 out of 10 jobs in the next 10 years are going to require a degree or a certificate beyond high school, Vice President Biden talked about the need to build partnerships between community colleges and local businesses.

 

“There are going to be hundreds of thousands of job openings in industries ranging from advanced manufacturing, to health care, to information technology, to energy,” stated the Vice President.

 

“The middle class has its best shot of growing through all of you,” he said in closing. “You really are the heart of expanding opportunity for millions of Americans.”

 

If you missed the Vice President and Dr. Biden’s remarks, check out some of the coverage from the event:

 

The Chronicle of Higher Education: Biden Announces Drive to Award Credit for Apprenticeships

 

Inside Higher Ed: Apprenticeship as Degree Pathway

 

 

Vice President Joe Biden addresses the annual conference of the American Association of Community Colleges Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/04/08/biden-announces-new-consortium-promote-apprenticeships-pathway-college-degree#ixzz2yUjfKqn6  Inside Higher Ed

Vice President Joe Biden addresses the annual conference of the American Association of Community Colleges
Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/04/08/biden-announces-new-consortium-promote-apprenticeships-pathway-college-degree#ixzz2yUjfKqn6
Inside Higher Ed

 

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Eric Holder Snaps at Louie Gohmert ‘Don’t Go There, Buddy!’

 

 

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Barack Hussein Obama: The Beginning.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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We all know the current story of POTUSA Barack Hussein Obama, He stands for Women, the LGBTQA1 community, the Poor, Veterans, Students, Youth, the Disadvantaged, and the Uninsured. Barack is a President Of The United States Of ALL Americans. Whether you like and voted for him or not.

 

Here is how he began.

 

 

FRONTLINE | The Choice 2008 (full episode) | PBS

 

 

 

Barack Hussein Obama II ( born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States, and the first African American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000.

 

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In 2004, Obama received national attention during his campaign to represent Illinois in the United States Senate with his victory in the March Democratic Party primary, his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July, and his election to the Senate in November. He began his presidential campaign in 2007, and in 2008, after a close primary campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won sufficient delegates in the Democratic Party primaries to receive the presidential nomination. He then defeated Republican nominee John McCain in the general election, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. Nine months after his election, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

 

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During his first two years in office, Obama signed into law economic stimulus legislation in response to the Great Recession in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Other major domestic initiatives in his first term include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare”; the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010. In foreign policy, Obama ended U.S. military involvement in the Iraq War, increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.

 

In November 2010, the Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives as the Democratic Party lost a total of 63 seats, and after a lengthy debate over federal spending and whether or not to raise the nation’s debt limit, Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

 

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Obama was re-elected president in November 2012, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and was sworn in for a second term on January 20, 2013. During his second term, Obama has promoted domestic policies related to gun control in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, has called for full equality for LGBT Americans, and his administration filed briefs which urged the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 and California’s Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. In foreign policy, Obama has continued the process of ending U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan.

 

 

C-SPAN: Barack Obama Speech at 2004 DNC Convention

 

Published on Oct 17, 2012

PBS Version of 2004 Obama Speech at DNC Convention

 

 

 

 

 

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Barack Obama’s Speech – 2008 Democratic National Convention

 

 

 

Barack Hussein Obama was born on August 4, 1961, at Kapiʻolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital (now Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children) in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is the first President to have been born in Hawaii. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was born in Wichita, Kansas, and was of mostly English ancestry. His father, Barack Obama, Sr., was a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Kenya. Obama’s parents met in 1960 in a Russian class at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where his father was a foreign student on scholarship.

 

In 1963, Dunham met Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian East–West Center graduate student in geography at the University of Hawaii, and the couple were married on Molokai on March 15, 1965. After two one-year extensions of his J-1 visa, Lolo returned to Indonesia in 1966, followed sixteen months later by his wife and stepson in 1967, with the family initially living in a Menteng Dalam neighborhood in the Tebet sub-district of south Jakarta, then from 1970 in a wealthier neighborhood in the Menteng sub-district of central Jakarta. From ages six to ten, Obama attended local Indonesian-language schools: St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School for two years and Besuki Public School for one and a half years, supplemented by English-language Calvert School homeschooling by his mother.

 

 

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In 1971, Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham, and with the aid of a scholarship attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory school, from fifth grade until his graduation from high school in 1979. Obama lived with his mother and sister in Hawaii for three years from 1972 to 1975 while his mother was a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Hawaii. Obama chose to stay in Hawaii with his grandparents for high school at Punahou when his mother and sister returned to Indonesia in 1975 to begin anthropology field work. His mother spent most of the next two decades in Indonesia, divorcing Lolo in 1980 and earning a PhD in 1992, before dying in 1995 in Hawaii following treatment for ovarian cancer and uterine cancer.

 

Of his early childhood, Obama recalled, “That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind.” He described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage. Reflecting later on his years in Honolulu, Obama wrote: “The opportunity that Hawaii offered—to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect—became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear.” Obama has also written and talked about using alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine during his teenage years to “push questions of who I was out of my mind”. Obama was also a member of the “choom gang”, a self-named group of friends that spent time together and occasionally smoked marijuana.

 

 

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Childhood Years

 

Right-to-left: Barack Obama and Maya Soetoro with their mother Ann and maternal grandfather Stanley Dunham in Hawaii (early 1970s)

Right-to-left: Barack Obama and Maya Soetoro with their mother Ann and maternal grandfather Stanley Dunham in Hawaii (early 1970s)

 

 

Parents’ background and meeting

President Barack Obama’s parents met in September 1960 while attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Obama’s father, Barack Obama, Sr., the university’s first foreign student from an African nation, hailed from Kanyadhiang, Rachuonyo District, Nyanza Province in Kenya. Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, known as Ann, was born in Wichita. They married on the Hawaiian island of Maui on February 2, 1961. Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961 at the old Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital at 1611 Bingham Street (a predecessor of the Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children at 1319 Punahou Street) and named for his father. His birth was announced in The Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

 

Soon after their son’s birth, while Obama’s father continued his education at the University of Hawaii, Ann Dunham took the infant to Seattle, Washington, where she took classes at the University of Washington from September 1961 to June 1962. She and her son lived in an apartment in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. After graduating from the University of Hawaii with a B.A. in economics, Obama, Sr. left the state in June 1962, moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts for graduate study in economics at Harvard University that fall.

 

Ann Dunham returned with her son to Honolulu and, in January 1963, resumed her undergraduate education at the University of Hawaii. In January 1964, Dunham filed for divorce, which was not contested. Barack Obama, Sr. later graduated from Harvard University with an A.M. in economics and in 1965 returned to Kenya.

 

During her first year back at the University of Hawaii, Dunham met Lolo Soetoro. He was one year into his American experience, after two semesters on the Manoa campus and a summer on the mainland at Northwestern and the University of Wisconsin, when he encountered Dunham, then an undergraduate interested in anthropology. A surveyor from Indonesia, he had come to Honolulu in September 1962 on an East-West Center grant to study at the University of Hawaii. He earned a M.A. in geography in June 1964.

 

Dunham and Soetoro married on March 15, 1965, on Molokai. They returned to Honolulu to live with her son as a family. After two one-year extensions of his J-1 visa, Soetoro returned to Indonesia on June 20, 1966. Dunham and her son moved in with her parents at their house. She continued with her studies, earning a B.A. in anthropology in August 1967, while her son attended kindergarten in 1966–1967 at Noelani Elementary School.

 

 

Indonesia

In October 1967, Obama and his mother moved to Jakarta to rejoin his stepfather. The family initially lived in a newly built neighborhood in the Menteng Dalam administrative village of the Tebet subdistrict in South Jakarta for two and a half years, while Soetoro worked on a topographic survey for the Indonesian government. From January 1968 to December 1969, Obama’s mother taught English and was an assistant director of the U.S. government-subsidized Indonesia-America Friendship Institute, while Obama attended the Indonesian-language Santo Fransiskus Asisi (St. Francis of Assisi) Catholic School around the corner from their house for 1st, 2nd, and part of 3rd grade.

 

In 1970, Soetoro took a new job at higher pay in Union Oil Company‘s government relations office. From January 1970 to August 1972, Obama’s mother taught English and was a department head and a director of the Institute of Management Education and Development. Obama attended the Indonesian-language government-run Besuki School, one and half miles east in the exclusive Menteng administrative village, for part of 3rd grade and for 4th grade. By this time, he had picked up on some Indonesian in addition to his native English. He also joined the Cub Scouts.

 

In the summer of 1970, Obama returned to Hawaii for an extended visit with his maternal grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham. His mother had also arranged an interview for possible admission to the Punahou School in Honolulu, one of the top private schools in the city. On August 15, 1970, Dunham and Soetoro celebrated the birth of their daughter, Maya Kassandra Soetoro.

 

 

US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is seen with his mother as a child in a family snapshot

 

 

Adult life

 

College years

Following high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles in 1979, where he studied at Occidental College for two years. On February 18, 1981, he made his first public speech, calling for Occidental’s divestment from South Africa. In the summer of 1981, Obama traveled to Jakarta to visit his mother and half-sister Maya, and visited the families of Occidental College friends in Hyderabad (India) and Karachi for three weeks.

 

He then transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations. Obama lived off campus in a modest rented apartment at 142 West 109th St. He graduated with a A.B. from Columbia in 1983, then worked at Business International Corporation and New York Public Interest Research Group.

 

 

Early career in Chicago

After four years living in New York City, Obama moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer. He worked for three years from June 1985 to May 1988 as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland (RoselandWest Pullman, and Riverdale) on Chicago’s far South Side. During his three years as the DCP’s director, its staff grew from 1 to 13 and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000, with accomplishments including helping set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants’ rights organization in Altgeld Gardens. Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute. In the summer of 1988, he traveled for the first time to Europe for three weeks then to Kenya for five weeks where he met many of his paternal relatives for the first time.

 

 

Harvard Law School

Obama entered Harvard Law School in late 1988. In an interview with Ebony in 1990, he stated that he saw a degree in law as a vehicle to facilitate better community organization and activism: “The idea was not only to get people to learn how to hope and dream about different possibilities, but to know how the tax structure affects what kind of housing gets built where.” At the end of his first year he was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review based on his grades and a writing competition. In February 1990, his second year at Harvard, he was elected president of the law review, a full-time volunteer position functioning as editor-in-chief and supervising the law review’s staff of 80 editors. Obama’s election as the first black president of the law review was widely reported and followed by several long, detailed profiles.

 

He got himself elected by convincing a crucial swing bloc of conservatives that he would protect their interests if they supported him. Building up that trust was done with the same kind of long listening sessions he had used in the poor neighborhoods of South Side, Chicago. Richard Epstein, who later taught at the University of Chicago Law School when Obama later taught there, said Obama was elected editor “because people on the other side believed he would give them a fair shake.”

 

While in law school he worked as an associate at the law firms of Sidley & Austin in 1989, where he met his wife, Michelle, and where Newton N. Minow was a managing partner. Minow later would introduce Obama to some of Chicago’s top business leaders. In the summer of 1990 he worked at Hopkins & Sutter. Also during his law school years, Obama spent eight days in Los Angeles taking a national training course on Alinsky methods of organizing. He graduated with a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991 and returned to Chicago.

 

 

Settling down in Chicago

The publicity from his election as the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review led to a contract and advance to write a book about race relations. In an effort to recruit him to their faculty, the University of Chicago Law School provided Obama with a fellowship and an office to work on his book. He originally planned to finish the book in one year, but it took much longer as the book evolved into a personal memoir. In order to work without interruptions, Obama and his wife, Michelle, traveled to Bali where he wrote for several months. The manuscript was finally published as Dreams from My Father in mid-1995.

 

He married Michelle LaVaughn Robinson in 1992 and settled down with her in Hyde Park, a liberal, integrated, middle-class Chicago neighborhood with a history of electing reform-minded politicians independent of the Daley political machine. The couple’s first daughter, Malia Ann, was born in 1998; their second, Natasha (known as Sasha), in 2001.

 

One effect of the marriage was to bring Obama closer to other politically influential Chicagoans. One of Michelle’s best friends was Jesse Jackson‘s daughter, Santita Jackson, later the godmother of the Obamas’ first child. Michelle herself had worked as an aide to Mayor Richard M. Daley. Marty Nesbitt, a young, successful black businessman (who played basketball with Michelle’s brother, Craig Robinson), became Obama’s best friend and introduced him to other African-American business people. Before the marriage, according to Craig, Obama talked about his political ambitions, even saying that he might run for president someday.

 

 

Project Vote

Obama directed Illinois Project Vote from April to October 1992, a voter registration drive, officially nonpartisan, that helped Carol Moseley Braun become the first black woman ever elected to the Senate. He headed up a staff of 10 and 700 volunteers that achieved its goal of 400,000 registered African Americans in the state, leading Crain’s Chicago Business to name Obama to its 1993 list of “40 under Forty” powers to be. Although fundraising was not required for the position when Obama was recruited for the job, he started an active campaign to raise money for the project. According to Sandy Newman, who founded Project Vote, Obama “raised more money than any of our state directors had ever done. He did a great job of enlisting a broad spectrum of organizations and people, including many who did not get along well with one another.”

 

The fundraising brought Obama into contact with the wealthy, liberal elite of Chicago, some of whom became supporters in his future political career. Through one of them he met David Axelrod, who later headed Obama’s campaign for president. The fundraising committee was chaired by John Schmidt, a former chief of staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley, and John W. Rogers Jr., a young black money manager and founder of Ariel Capital Management. Obama also met much of the city’s black political leadership, although he didn’t always get along with the older politicians, with friction sometimes developing over Obama’s reluctance to spend money and his insistence on results. “He really did it, and he let other people take all the credit”, Schmidt later said. “The people standing up at the press conferences were Jesse Jackson and Bobby Rush and I don’t know who else. Barack was off to the side and only the people who were close to it knew he had done all the work.”

 

 

1992–1996

Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years, as a Lecturer for four years (1992–1996), and as a Senior Lecturer for eight years (1996–2004). During this time he taught courses in due process and equal protection, voting rights, and racism and law. He published no legal scholarship, and turned down tenured positions, but served eight years in the Illinois Senate during his twelve years at the university.

 

In 1993 Obama joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a 12-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development, where he was an associate for three years from 1993 to 1996, then of counsel from 1996 to 2004, with his law license becoming inactive in 2007. The firm was well-known among influential Chicago liberals and leaders of the black community, and the firm’s Judson H. Miner, who met with Obama to recruit him before Obama’s 1991 graduation from law school, had been counsel to former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, although the law firm often clashed with the administration of Mayor Richard M. Daley. The 29-year-old law student made it clear in his initial interview with Miner that he was more interested in joining the firm to learn about Chicago politics than to practice law. During the four years Obama worked as a full-time lawyer at the firm, he was involved in 30 cases and accrued 3,723 billable hours.

 

Obama was a founding member of the board of directors of Public Allies in 1992, resigning before his wife, Michelle, became the founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago in early 1993. He served on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund Obama’s DCP, from 1993–2002, and served on the board of directors of The Joyce Foundation from 1994–2002. Membership on the Joyce and Wood foundation boards, which gave out tens of millions of dollars to various local organizations while Obama was a member, helped Obama get to know and be known by influential liberal groups and cultivate a network of community activists that later supported his political career.

 

Obama served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995–2002, as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995–1999. He also served on the board of directors of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the Lugenia Burns Hope Center. In 1995, Obama also announced his candidacy for a seat in the Illinois state Senate and attended Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March in Washington, DC.

 

 

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Family and personal life

In June 1989, Obama met Michelle Robinson when he was employed as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin. Assigned for three months as Obama’s adviser at the firm, Robinson joined him at several group social functions, but declined his initial requests to date. They began dating later that summer, became engaged in 1991, and were married on October 3, 1992.

 

The couple’s first daughter, Malia Ann, was born on July 4, 1998, followed by a second daughter, Natasha (“Sasha”), on June 10, 2001. The Obama daughters attended the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. When they moved to Washington, D.C., in January 2009, the girls started at the private Sidwell Friends School. The Obamas have a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo, a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy.

 

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We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial

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US President Barack Obama Visits The UK - Day One

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@VinylPopArt Thank you @BarackObama I have Health/Dental for the 1st time since I lived w/ my parents 13yrs ago #Obamacare

@VinylPopArt
Thank you @BarackObama I have Health/Dental for the 1st time since I lived w/ my parents 13yrs ago #Obamacare

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First term official portrait of Barack Obama by Souza, January 2009

First term official portrait of Barack Obama by Souza, January 2009

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Where In The World Is Barack™: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The White House Blog Updates AND West Wing Week.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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President’s Schedule – March 28th, 2014

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28th, 2014

 

DAILY GUIDANCE AND SCHEDULE FOR
FRIDAY, MARCH 28th, 2014

 

In the morning, the President will depart Rome, Italy en route Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The President’s departure from the Fiumicino Airport is open press. The President’s arrival at the King Khalid International Airport is pooled press.

 

In the evening, the President arrives to the Rawdat Khuraim and participates in a bilateral meeting with His Majesty Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. There will be travel pool coverage of the President’s arrival and a pool spray at the top of the bilateral meeting.

 

The President will remain overnight in Saudi Arabia.

 

 

Friday, March 28 2014 All Times ET

 

On Friday, the President will travel from Rome, Italy to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. While in Saudi Arabia, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with His Majesty Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  The President will remain overnight in Saudi Arabia.

 

10:10 AM: The President arrives Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Local Event Time: 5:10 PM ASTKing Khalid International Airport – Riyadh – Saudi Arabia.

 

10:55 AM: The President arrives and is greeted by the Saudi delegation. Local Event Time: 5:55 PM AST, Rawdat Khuraim.

 

11:00 AM: The President participates in an expanded bilateral meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah, Local Event Time: 6:00 PM AST, Rawdat Khuraim.

 

 

Raw: Obama Arrives in Saudi Arabia

 

Published on Mar 28, 2014

Subscribe for more Breaking News:http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress
President Barack Obama paid a visit to the desert oasis of wary ally King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, hoping to reassure the aging monarch who is nervously watching Washington’s negotiations with Iran and other U.S. policy in the Middle East. (March 28)

 

 

 

Barack Leaving Italy....

Barack Leaving Italy….

Marine helicopters carry President Barack Obama and his delegation for a meeting with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat al-Khraim (Desert Camp) near Riyadh

Marine helicopters carry President Barack Obama and his delegation for a meeting with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat al-Khraim (Desert Camp) near Riyadh

President Obama is welcomed by Governor of Riyadh Prince Khalid Bandar bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud on arriving in Riyadh

President Obama is welcomed by Governor of Riyadh Prince Khalid Bandar bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud on arriving in Riyadh

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Walking That Barack Swag On "The Red Carpet."

Walking That Barack Swag On “The Red Carpet.”

President Obama meets with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim

President Obama meets with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim

THIS is how Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim does it in the desert.

THIS is how Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim does it in the desert.

 

 

FACT SHEET: United States-Saudi Arabia Bilateral Relationship

 

In his meetings with King Abdullah in Riyadh, President Obama reiterated the significance the United States places on its strong relationship with Saudi Arabia, which has endured for over 80 years.  The United States and Saudi Arabia are working together to address a number of critical bilateral and regional issues, including resolving the crisis in Syria, preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, counterterrorism efforts to combat extremism, and supporting negotiations to achieve Middle East peace.

 

Defense Cooperation:  U.S. and Saudi defense forces enjoy outstanding partnerships and regularly participate in joint exercises to advance shared interests in Gulf security.  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customer, with active and open cases valued at approximately $97 billion, as Saudi forces build capabilities across the full spectrum of regional challenges.  The United States and Saudi Arabia currently are enhancing partnerships on critical infrastructure and border security, including on the Interior Ministry’s multi-billion dollar initiative to enhance land and coastal border defenses.

 

Counterterrorism:  Saudi Arabia has been a strong U.S. counterterrorism (CT) partner, particularly on disrupting Al Qaeda (AQ) elements.  We work closely with Saudi authorities on a range of CT issues, including countering terrorist financing (CTF), and the United States and Saudi Arabia work together to help various nations in the region counter shared terrorist threats.

 

Bilateral Trade and Investment:  U.S. exports to Saudi Arabia exceeded $35 billion in 2013, including direct exports of $19 billion (a 76 percent increase since 2009) and roughly $2 billion in service exports (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction; Design; Financial; and Legal).  Indirect exports and other goods and services were valued at an additional $15 billion.  The bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement provides a forum for the United States and Saudi Arabia to explore ways to advance economic relations.  Among other successes, Saudi Arabia has followed up on its commitment to improve its intellectual property rights regime since being removed from the United States Trade Representative’s Special 301 Watch List in 2010.  Continual improvements in its intellectual property rights regime facilitate the Kingdom’s efforts to develop a diversified knowledge economy and improve the investment climate for U.S. businesses.

 

Energy Cooperation:  As U.S. oil and gas production increases, and as Saudi Arabia works to diversify its energy mix and improve energy efficiency, our longstanding bilateral cooperation on energy issues is getting stronger, not just on conventional energy market issues, but also energy efficiency, renewable and other alternative energy sources, and science and technology research.  For example, Saudi Arabia is working with the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory on measuring its solar energy resources.  The Saudis are also working with the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others on developing energy efficiency for the Kingdom, including automotive fuel economy standards.  The United States and Saudi Arabia hold an annual Bilateral Energy Dialogue to explore broader energy cooperation, including potential cooperation on advanced geothermal research and other issues relating to alternative energies.

 

Educational Programs:  There are more Saudi students in the United States now than ever before, with approximately 80,000 Saudi students in the United States representing Saudi Arabia’s future political, business, and social leadership.  U.S. education and the American experience help to shape Saudi Arabia’s future workplace and national outlook and will encourage new perspectives on diversity, tolerance, and global affairs.

 

Citizen Exchanges:  The United States and Saudi Arabia have a decades-long history of citizen exchanges.  International Visitor Leadership Programs (IVLP) focus on interfaith dialogue, volunteerism, women’s empowerment, entrepreneurship, and public health issues.  A number of American Fulbright scholars are working with Saudi higher education institutions to develop and strengthen their graduate curricula and offer new academic majors.  Several thousand Saudis have participated in citizen exchange programs over the past several decades.

 

Science and Technology Cooperation:  In keeping with its interest in developing knowledge-based industries, Saudi Arabia has significantly expanded its scientific research and technological development.  Under the U.S.-Saudi Science and Technology Agreement, signed in 2008, the King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST) is currently working with NASA on several projects including the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) and space geodesy and geodynamics research.  KACST also collaborates with numerous U.S. universities and is exploring collaborative programs with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of Energy on projects important to both of our countries, including dust storm monitoring, seismic imaging of the Earth’s crust, and solar energy.

 

Environmental Programs:  Saudi Arabia joined the Global Methane Initiative in January 2014, providing a vehicle for enhanced cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce emissions of a powerful greenhouse gas.  The Department of Energy, through an MOU signed in 2010, and the EPA are also working to enhance cooperation with the Kingdom on research and application of carbon capture, use, and storage.

 

Health Cooperation Programs:  The United States and Saudi Arabia have been close partners in health cooperation for over three decades.  Currently, a number of U.S. scientists have collaborative National Institutes of Health grants with Saudi partners.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a long history with the Saudi Ministry of Health and Saudi Arabian National Guard Health Affairs; both have hosted CDC experts for one to two year stints and work with the CDC on infectious disease surveillance during the yearly Hajj pilgrimage.  CDC also works closely with Saudi Arabia on a range of issues including smoking cessation, breast cancer awareness, control and prevention of diabetes and heart disease, and epidemiology and surveillance of infectious diseases.

 

 

FRIDAY

  • President Obama participates in a bilateral meeting with King Abdullah of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

 

SATURDAY

  • President Obama meets with employees and family members of the U.S. embassy

 

 

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West Wing Week 03/28/14 or, “The 2014 European Edition”

 

Published on Mar 28, 2014

Welcome to a special, travel edition of the West Wing Week. The President spent this whirlwind week working in Europe, where he attended the third, biennial Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, traveled to Brussels for an EU-US Summit, and then on to Rome, where he met with His High Holiness Pope Francis.

 

 

 

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Statements and Releases - March 28, 2014/March 27, 2014

 

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Selection of former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as the Next NATO Secretary General

 

We welcome the selection of former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as NATO’s next Secretary General, beginning October 1, 2014.  Mr. Stoltenberg is a proven leader with a demonstrated commitment to the transatlantic Alliance.  As Prime Minister, he built Norway’s military capabilities and actively contributed to NATO operations and political dialogue.  We are confident he is the best person to ensure the continued strength and unity of the NATO Alliance.

 

We also are grateful for the service of current NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and will rely on his expertise to bring the Alliance through the NATO Summit in September.  Secretary General Rasmussen has been an exceptional leader at an extraordinary time.  His vision and dedication have strengthened the Alliance’s strategic direction and focus on ways to bolster defense capabilities while reinforcing the commitments and values underpinning it.  From preparing for NATO’s transition in Afghanistan, to seeing us through the intervention in Libya, and – now – to providing strong leadership in the face of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, Secretary General Rasmussen has been a steadfast partner and a trusted friend of the United States throughout his tenure.  We know that Mr. Stoltenberg will prove the same.

 

 

FACT SHEET: Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions

 

A Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions

 

 

In June 2013, President Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University where he laid out both the case for action on climate change and the steps his Administration will take to address it. The Climate Action Plan that the President announced includes steps to cut carbon pollution, help prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change that are already on the way, and continue American leadership in international efforts to combat global climate change.

 

In his Climate Action Plan, President Obama directed the Administration to develop a comprehensive, interagency strategy to cut methane emissions. Today, the White House released the Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions. Learn more about the strategy in the fact sheet below, and check out the full Strategy here.

 

 

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Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on UN Human Rights Council Vote on Sri Lanka

 

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

 

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

 

 

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Supreme Court Decision in U.S. v. Castleman Will Save Women’s Lives

 

 

This week, the Supreme Court decided a case that will save women’s lives.

 

Back in 1996, Congress made it a crime for anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence to possess a gun. As Vice President Biden has often noted, there is a direct connection between gun violence and domestic violence: when a domestic abuser has a gun, a victim is 12 times more likely to die than when he doesn’t.

 

Some courts, however, have set a high bar for what counts as a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” – which has meant that many domestic abusers have been allowed to keep their guns.

 

But in United States v. Castleman (written by Justice Sotomayor), the Court changed all that. It recognized that domestic violence is a unique kind of crime that doesn’t always fit everyone’s idea of what’s “violent”: often, it can involve pushing, grabbing, shoving, scratching, or hair pulling – and which, over time, can “subject one intimate partner to the other’s control.” The Court also recognized that, in a number of states, these acts are prosecuted as crimes of “offensive touching” – which, before this week, meant some courts didn’t consider them to be domestic violence. But now, according to the Court, that’s enough to subject a convicted domestic abuser to the federal gun ban.

 

This is a landmark opinion. As so many abused women know, what happens to them is a far cry from “offensive touching.” It is terrifying and debilitating, and can rob her of all manner of trust, security, and hope. It can make her – as the Vice President has also said – a prisoner in her own home. But at least now, the law recognizes that those who are convicted of these crimes have no business having a gun.

 

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President Obama: We need “Russia to move back those troops”

 

Published on Mar 28, 2014

In an interview with “CBS Evening News” anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley, President Obama spoke about the steps Russia must take to reduce tensions over Ukraine.

 

 

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on Ukraine

The United States welcomes the preliminary agreement between the Government of Ukraine and International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff on a loan program of $14-18 billion.  This represents a powerful sign of support from the international community for the Ukrainian government, as we help them stabilize and grow their economy, and move their democracy forward.  The agreement is expected to unlock roughly $27 billion in total support from the international community for Ukraine’s people over the next two years, as the country implements historic reforms to address long-standing problems that have undermined Ukraine’s economic strength and prosperity.  It is important now for both the Government of Ukraine and the IMF to move expeditiously and complete the steps necessary to gain approval from the IMF Executive Board.

Together with our allies and partners, President Obama will continue to build international support for the Ukrainian people at this critical time.  The IMF program will be a central component of a package of assistance to support Ukraine as it implements reforms and conducts free and fair elections that will allow all the Ukrainian people to determine the future of their country.  We are working alongside international partners, including the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), to disburse rapid additional assistance to complement the IMF program and ease Ukraine’s economic transition, particularly for the most vulnerable.  As part of this international effort, we are working with Congress to quickly provide a $1 billion loan guarantee and are offering technical and financial assistance to help Ukraine meet its most pressing needs.  We also remain committed to providing the IMF with the resources it needs – in partnership with Congress – to provide strong support to countries like Ukraine as well as reinforcing the Fund’s governance to reflect the global economy.

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The Pope Meets The President. Photos Taken From Every Angle Imaginable.


 

By Jueseppi B.

These two icons & mavericks will meet for the first time, scheduled for this Thursday.

These two icons & mavericks met for the very first time today.

 

There are so many photos floating around of Barack Hussein Obama and Jorge Mario Bergoglio. These are my favorites…in no particular order whatsoever….cause that makes it just that more fun.

 

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Readout of the President’s Audience with His Holiness Pope Francis

 

Excerpts of the President’s remarks on his meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis are below, from a press conference:

 

Q   Mr. President, in your meeting with His Holiness, Pope Francis, did he register any objections with you about the contraception coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act or your efforts to advance the rights of gays and lesbians in the United States that worry so many Catholics?  And what were his concerns?

 

And on Russia, with reports of troops building on the Ukrainian border, by taking the military option off the table are you sending a signal to Vladimir Putin that other parts of Ukraine are his for the taking?  And why not send multinational peacekeepers to the Ukrainian border as a deterrent?

 

And to you, Mr. Prime Minister, the President said yesterday that the U.S. would defend any NATO ally.  Are you making that same commitment when it comes to Russia?

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  In terms of the meeting with His Holiness, Pope Francis, we had a wide-ranging discussion.  I would say that the largest bulk of the time was discussing two central concerns of his.  One is the issues of the poor, the marginalized, those without opportunity, and growing inequality.

 

And those of us as politicians have the task of trying to come up with policies to address issues, but His Holiness has the capacity to open people’s eyes and make sure they’re seeing that this is an issue.  And he’s discussed in the past I think the dangers of indifference or cynicism when it comes to our ability to reach out to those less fortunate or those locked out of opportunity.

 

And then we spent a lot of time talking about the challenges of conflict and how illusive peace is around the world.  There was some specific focus on the Middle East where His Holiness has a deep interest in the Israeli-Palestinian issue, but also what’s happening in Syria, what’s happening in Lebanon, and the potential persecution of Christians.  And I reaffirmed that it is central to U.S. foreign policy that we protect the interests of religious minorities around the world.  But we also touched on regions like Latin America, where there’s been tremendous progress in many countries, but there’s been less progress in others.

 

I think the theme that stitched our conversation together was a belief that in politics and in life the quality of empathy, the ability to stand in somebody else’s shoes and to care for someone even if they don’t look like you or talk like you or share your philosophy — that that’s critical.  It’s the lack of empathy that makes it very easy for us to plunge into wars.  It’s the lack of empathy that allows us to ignore the homeless on the streets.  And obviously central to my Christian faith is a belief in treating others as I’d have them treat me.  And what’s I think created so much love and excitement for His Holiness has been that he seems to live this, and shows that joy continuously.

 

In terms of domestic issues, the two issues that we touched on — other than the fact that I invited and urged him to come to the United States, telling him that people would be overjoyed to see him — was immigration reform.  And as someone who came from Latin America, I think he is very mindful of the plight of so many immigrants who are wonderful people, working hard, making contribution, many of their children are U.S. citizens, and yet they still live in the shadows, in many cases have been deported and are separated from families.  I described to him how I felt that there was still an opportunity for us to make this right and get a law passed.

 

And he actually did not touch in detail on the Affordable Care Act.  In my meeting with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin, we discussed briefly the issue of making sure that conscience and religious freedom was observed in the context of applying the law.  And I explained to him that most religious organizations are entirely exempt.  Religiously affiliated hospitals or universities or NGOs simply have to attest that they have a religious objection, in which case they are not required to provide contraception although that employees of theirs who choose are able to obtain it through the insurance company.

 

And I pledged to continue to dialogue with the U.S. Conference of Bishops to make sure that we can strike the right balance, making sure that not only everybody has health care but families, and women in particular, are able to enjoy the kind of health care coverage that the AC offers, but that religious freedom is still observed.

Q    Mr. President, I just want to follow up on Jim’s question on your meeting with the Pope today.  Do you think some of the schisms that he referenced on social issues would stand in the way of you and Pope Francis collaborating or forming a strategic alliance to tackle income inequality?

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  First of all, I just want to make clear — maybe it wasn’t clear from my answer to Jim — that we actually didn’t talk a whole lot about social schisms in my conversations with His Holiness.  In fact, that really was not a topic of conversation.  I think His Holiness and the Vatican have been clear about their position on a range of issues, some of them I differ with, most I heartily agree with.  And I don’t think that His Holiness envisions entering into a partnership or a coalition with any political figure on any issue.  His job is a little more elevated.  We’re down on the ground dealing with the often profane, and he’s dealing with higher powers.

 

I do think that there is a potential convergence between what policymakers need to be thinking about and what he’s talking about.  I think he is shining a spotlight on an area that’s going to be of increasing concern, and that is reduced opportunities for more and more people, particularly young people — who, by the way, have more and more access to seeing what’s out there and what’s possible because they have access to the Internet or they have access to other media, and they see the inequality and they see themselves being locked out in ways that weren’t true before. And that’s true internationally, not just within countries.

 

And so, for him to say that we need to think about this, we need to focus on this, we need to come up with policies that provide a good education for every child and good nutrition for every child, and decent shelter and opportunity and jobs — he is not going to get into details of it, but he reminds us of what our moral and ethical obligations are.  It happens also to be good economics and good national security policy.  Countries are more stable, they’re going to grow faster when everybody has a chance, not just when a few have a chance.

 

So he’s, hopefully, creating an environment in which those of us who care about this are able to talk about it more effectively.  And we are in many ways following not just his lead but the teachings of Jesus Christ and other religions that care deeply about the least of these.

 

 

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And just for the heck of it…..here’s a video of the meeting…..

 

Vatican – President Obama meet Pope Francis for first time (March 27 2014)

 

Published on Mar 27, 2014

President Barack Obama and Pope Francis met for the first time Thursday at Vatican City.

 

 

 

Thought we were done did you?

 

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OK, we’re done now.

 

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