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The President’s Travel To Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic Of Korea: April 22nd Through April 29th.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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4/18/14: White House Press Briefing: Presidents Upcoming Trip To Asia.

 

 

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Travel to Asia in April

 

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The President will travel to Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines in late April as part of his ongoing commitment to increase U.S. diplomatic, economic and security engagement with countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

 

In Japan, the President will meet with Prime Minister Abe to highlight the historic steps the United States and Japan are taking to modernize our 54-year alliance, deepen our economic ties, including through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and expand our cooperation on a range of diplomatic challenges in Asia and globally.

 

The President will then travel to the Republic of Korea, where he will meet with President Park to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to a strong alliance, review recent developments in North Korea and our combined efforts to promote denuclearization, and discuss our ongoing implementation of the Korea-United States FTA.

 

In Malaysia, the President will meet with Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia to showcase the substantial progress made in deepening our diplomatic, economic, and defense ties with such an important partner in Southeast Asia.

 

The President will then travel to the Philippines, the fifth Asian treaty ally he will have visited during his presidency.  He will meet with President Aquino to highlight our economic and security cooperation, including through the modernization of our defense alliance, efforts to expand economic ties and spark economic growth through the Partnership for Growth, and through our deep and enduring people-to-people ties.

 

 

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Schedule for the Week of April 21 – 25, 2014

 

On Tuesday, the President will travel to Oso, Washington, to view the devastation from the recent mudslide and to meet with families affected by this disaster, as well as first responders and recovery workers.  Following his visit to Oso, Washington, the President will travel to Tokyo, Japan.

 

On Wednesday night, the President will arrive in Tokyo, Japan and remain overnight.

 

On Thursday, the President will hold a state call withEmperor and Empress of Japan at the Imperial Palace. Later in the morning, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting and joint press conference with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan at the Akasaka Palace. In the afternoon, the President will visit the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation to tour and deliver remarks at a youth and science event with students. Later in the afternoon, the President will visit the Meiji Shrine and host a roundtable meeting with Select USA business leaders. In the evening the President will attend the Japanese State dinner at the Imperial Palace with the Imperial family. The President will remain overnight in Japan.

 

On Friday morning, the President will meet with employees and family members of the U.S. Embassy to Japan. He will then travel to the Republic of Korea. In the afternoon, the President will participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the National War Memorial to honor fallen soldiers. Following the ceremony, he will tour the Gyeongbok Palace. Later in the afternoon, the President will visit the Blue House to participate in a bilateral meeting and joint press conference with President Park of the Republic of Korea . In the evening the President will join President Park for a working dinner and remain overnight in Seoul, South Korea.

 

On Saturday morning, the President will participate in a roundtable meeting with business leaders to discuss trade policy.  Following the roundtable, the President will travel to Yongsan Garrison.  Here, he will be briefed by U.S.-ROK Combined Forces Command officers and deliver remarks and visit with troops and their families to thank them for their extraordinary service to our nation. In the afternoon, the President will travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  In the evening, he will join King Abdul Halim and Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia for the State dinner at the Istana Negara Palace.   The President will remain overnight in Malaysia.

 

On Sunday, the President will visit the National Mosque of Malaysia.  Following his visit, he will participate in a bilateral meeting and working lunch followed by a joint press conference with Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia at the Prime Minister’s Office. In the afternoon, the President and Prime Minister will take part in an event at the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Center. In the evening, the President will travel to Malaya University to participate in a town hall with participants in the YoungSoutheast Asian Leaders Initiative. The President will remain overnight in Malaysia.

 

On Monday, The President will leave for The Philippines in the morning. The President will have a bilateral meeting and joint press conference with President Benigno Aquino. Later that evening The President will attend a State Dinner hosted by President Benigno Aquino.

 

On Tuesday, The President will view an electric vehicle in The Philippines called “The Comet.” The President will visit Fort Bonifacio, where he will deliver remarks to U.S. and Filipino service members and veterans. The President will lay a wreath at The American Cemetery. Later in the evening The President will return to Washington, D.C.

 

 

 

White House Announces Itinerary For President Obama’s Asia trip

 

President Obama will meet with the leaders of four Asian nations, answer questions at a town hall-style event at a university in Malaysia and address U.S. service members in South Korea during a week-long trip that begins Tuesday, the White House announced.

 

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Administration officials hailed the president’s visit to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines as a chance to underscore the United States’s commitment to the Asia-Pacific, with an emphasis on regional allies. The trip comes after Obama missed a scheduled visit to four Asian countries in the fall, including stops at two regional summits in Southeast Asia, during the partial U.S. government shutdown.

“Unlike many of the president’s overseas trips, particularly to Asia, there are no large summits involved,” National Security Adviser Susan Rice said while briefing reporters on Obama’s itinerary Friday. “So the agenda in each country can focus intensively on energizing our bilateral relationships and advancing the different elements of our Asia strategy.”

On the trip, Obama will meet with each of the leaders of the four countries. Two of the stops — in Japan and the Philippines — will be official state visits, meaning Obama will attend formal dinners with Emperor Akihito in Japan and President Benigno Aquino in the Philippines.

The trip also will include tours of the Meiji shrine in Tokyo and the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, meetings with business leaders in Japan and Korea, and a look at a new electronic vehicle in the Philippines called “the Comet.” Obama will lay a wreath at the national war memorial in Seoul.

The town-hall event at Malaya University will be with young leaders from 10 Southeast Asian nations, and Obama also will meet with civil-rights leaders in Malaysia, as the United States attempts to promote democratic values.

The White House had hoped to be able to announce major progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation Pacific free trade pact that stands at the core of the Obama administration’s bid to ramp up U.S. economic engagement in the region. But U.S. and Japanese negotiators failed to make a breakthough during two days of talks that concluded in Washington, D.C. on Friday.

 

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Obama-Abe summit to aid trade talks, not seal deal: U.S. official

 

By Krista Hughes and Kaori Kaneko

 

WASHINGTON/TOKYO (Reuters) – Next week’s meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is a good opportunity to give impetus to Pacific trade negotiations but will not seal a deal, a senior U.S. administration official said on Friday.

Talks between the United States and Japan seen as vital to a broader regional trade pact had narrowed to a few critical areas and will resume again on Monday, officials of both countries said, as negotiators hustle to prepare for Thursday’s summit.

Breaking a U.S.-Japan deadlock over access to Japan’s farm and auto markets is seen as key to finalising the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-nation trade bloc that would stretch from Asia to Latin America.

The TPP is central to Obama’s policy of expanding America’s presence in Asia and Abe, for his part, has touted the TPP as a main element of his strategy to reform the world’s third-largest economy and generate sustainable growth.

When the leaders meet, they are likely to review progress so far on the trade talks and give some impetus to negotiators to move on to the next stage, the senior official said.

But they would not get into the details of tariffs on sensitive products such as beef, pork, rice and sugar, and would not conclude an agreement, he said, adding the talks were part of an ongoing effort to agree an ambitious, comprehensive deal.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari wound up a 20-hour negotiating session earlier on Friday with major gaps still on display.

“We still have big differences,” Amari told reporters in Washington before he left for Tokyo, according to Kyodo news agency, although he said “the gaps are getting smaller.”

The USTR said in a statement: “We continue to make progress, and we are now faced with a reasonable number of outstanding issues. These issues are important to both sides and considerable differences remain.”

STICKING POINTS

Sticking points from the U.S. perspective revolve in equal measure around access to Japan’s markets for agricultural products as well as peeling away at layers of Japanese regulations that serve to block automotive imports, the official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Discussions will continue in the days and weeks ahead, but there is no particular deadline for concluding the talks, the official added. Momentum behind the talks need not stall because negotiators have not struck a deal ahead of Obama’s visit to Japan, the official said.

Some experts say U.S. negotiators are at a disadvantage because the White House does not have authority to fast track agreements through Congress, given opposition by senior Democrats to a bill laying the groundwork for a yes-or-no vote by lawmakers ahead of elections in November.

TPP negotiators are due to reconvene in Vietnam in mid-May and trade ministers will meet at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation event in China that same month.

The senior U.S. official said that even when a final agreement is reached, it would still take several months of work to translate that into a legal document which could be submitted to lawmakers for approval.

USTR confirmed bilateral talks would resume between U.S. Acting Deputy United States Trade Representative Wendy Cutler and Japanese Deputy Chief Negotiator Hiroshi Oe in Tokyo on Monday. Froman will travel to Tokyo with Obama later in the week.

The United States wants Japan to open its rice, beef and pork, dairy, and sugar markets – politically powerful sectors that Abe has vowed to defend. Japan wants a timetable on U.S. promises to drop tariffs of 2.5 percent on imports of passenger cars and 25 percent on light trucks.

Japanese media have reported that the United States, which has been pushing Japan to scrap its tariffs, is willing to let Japan keep import levies on rice, wheat and sugar while it will create a mechanism to boost its imports of U.S. rice.

Gaps remain over the size of cuts in tariffs on beef and over pork as well, the media said.

Japanese officials have been hoping that a two-way trade deal with Australia clinched this month, which allowed it to keep reduced tariffs on beef, would pressure the United States to make similar concessions.

(Aditional reporting and writing by Mark Felsenthal in Washington and Linda Sieg in Tokyo; Editing by Dominic Lau, Robert Birsel, Marguerita Choy, Jonathan Oatis and Eric Walsh)

 

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It’s A Good Friday Celebration: Commander-in-Chief Trophy Presented To The U.S. Naval Academy.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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President Obama Presents Navy with the Commander-in-Chief‘s Trophy

 

Published on Apr 18, 2014

President Obama welcomes the U.S. Naval Academy‘s football team to the White House to receive the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the ninth time in 11 seasons.

 

 

 

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Remarks by the President at Presentation of the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the U.S. Naval Academy

Rose Garden

2:02 P.M. EDT

 

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THE PRESIDENT:  Everybody, have a seat, have a seat.  Welcome to the White House.  Congratulations to the Navy Midshipmen.  (Applause.)  Does this get old?

 

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Never.

 

THE PRESIDENT:  No?  Okay.  (Laughter.)  It’s good to see Coach Ken again.  And I want to recognize Vice Admiral Mike Miller for his service to the Academy and to our country.

 

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This is the second time these seniors have come here to claim the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.  If you guys have your punch cards with you, the next one is free.  (Laughter.)  I’m pretty sure Coach Ken would agree that this was one of the best teams yet.

 

First of all, you had incredible talent.  Senior captain Cody Peterson and D.J. Sargenti led the defense.  I hear that they’re known in the locker room as “the meatheads.”  (Laughter.) On a football team, though, that’s high praise.

 

This year, quarterback Keenan Reynolds had one of the best seasons in school history.  His 31 rushing touchdowns weren’t just an Academy record — they were a Division I record for a quarterback.  (Applause.)  He is one of only a handful of players in Division I history to rush for 30 or more touchdowns in a single season.  I think it’s fair to say that if you’re on a list with Barry Sanders you’re doing pretty good.

 

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So this team had the leadership, it had the tools.  But this is a team that also had a knack for getting the job done under some pretty tough circumstances.  When the government was forced to shut down, you didn’t even know if the game against Air Force was going to happen.  Luckily, the Secretary of Defense stepped in, gave the green light — which tells you how important it was, because Secretary Hagel has a few things on his plate, but he personally intervened on this one.

 

A few weeks later, you beat San Jose State in triple overtime — with Keenan scoring seven rushing touchdowns, the most ever by a Division I quarterback in a single game.  And you kept on rolling through the games that really mattered.  In the snow, you beat Army for the 12th time in a row — they’re starting to feel bad about this — locking up the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the 9th time in 11 years.  You went on to beat Middle Tennessee State to win your first bowl game since 2009.

 

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So, overall, this was a pretty good year on the gridiron.  What’s more impressive is the fact that for these outstanding young men, football isn’t even the main thing.  When these guys sign up, when you sign up to play at Annapolis, you know you’re in for a different experience.  A typical day starts at 6:00 a.m. in the training room.  Breakfast is at 7:00 a.m.  After that, it’s class, lunch and football meetings.  Then more class, football practice, dinner.  Free time starts at 8:00 p.m., which most players use to study until midnight.  And when students at other colleges are enjoying summer vacation, these guys are busy with military training and summer school and offseason workouts.

 

So, yes, it’s about learning to be a good football player, but more importantly, it’s about learning how to be a good leader and to be a good man.  And that’s what these outstanding Americans are and will continue to be.

 

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Next month, 14 of these guys are going to be commissioned as ensigns in the Navy.  Another eight will become 2nd lieutenants in the Marine Corps.  Senior captain Matt Aiken will serve on a ship down in Norfolk.  And Wave Ryder — by the way, if your name is Wave Ryder, then you’ve got to be in the Navy — (laughter) — will suit up as a Naval aviator.

 

That’s their commitment to service.  That’s the commitment to country and to each other that sets this team apart.

 

Today, that commitment is as strong as ever.  Last month, I know that all of us were mourning the loss of Will McKamey.  Two busloads of classmates and teammates made the eight-hour trip to Knoxville to attend his funeral, as did Coach Ken.  I understand your motto for this season is “I Will” in memory of him.  And that’s what camaraderie is all about:  Honor.  Courage.  Commitment.  That’s what makes the Midshipmen so strong.  And that’s why I’m so proud to serve as your Commander-in-Chief — not only — in fact, not primarily because of what you’ve done on the football field, but because of your dedication to each other and your service to America.

 

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So today it is my privilege to present you with a trophy that weighs about as much as I do.  (Laughter.)  Congratulations, guys, once again.  (Applause.)

 

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2:10 P.M. EDT

 

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Navy Midshipmen Receive the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the Ninth Time in 11 Seasons

 

This afternoon, the President welcomed the U.S. Naval Academy’s football team to the White House to receive the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy once again.

 

Since 1972, the trophy has been awarded each season to the winner of a triangular series between the Army Black Knights, the Navy Midshipmen, and the Air Force Falcons. Today marked Navy’s ninth time receiving the trophy in the past 11 years.

 

Talk about a hot streak.

 

“This was a pretty good year on the gridiron,” said the President. “What’s more impressive is the fact that for these outstanding young men, football isn’t even the main thing.”

 

When you sign up to play at Annapolis, you know you’re in for a different experience. A typical day starts at 6 a.m. in the training room. Breakfast is at 7. After that, it’s class, lunch, and football meetings. Then more class, football practice, and dinner. Free time starts at 8, which most players use to study until midnight. And when students at other colleges are enjoying summer vacation, these guys are busy with military training, and summer school, and offseason workouts.

So, yes, it’s about learning to be a good football player. But more importantly, it’s about learning how to be a good leader, and to be a good man. And that’s what these outstanding Americans are and will continue to be.

 

 

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The Ukraine Situation: Updates.


 

By Jueseppi B.

The POTUSA Has A Response To New Deal Between Russia & Ukraine.

The POTUSA Has A Response To New Deal Between Russia & Ukraine.

From The BBC:

 

BBC: President Obama Cautious Over Deal To Ease Ukraine Crisis

 

US President Barack Obama has cautiously welcomed a deal to calm tensions in Ukraine, reached at multi-party talks in Geneva. He said the US and its allies were ready to impose new sanctions on Russia if the situation failed to improve. At the Geneva talks, the sides agreed that illegal military groups in Ukraine must be dissolved, and that those occupying buildings must be disarmed and leave them. The foreign ministers also agreed that there would be an amnesty for all anti-government protesters. But speaking in Washington just hours later, President Obama expressed scepticism as to whether Russia would keep its side of the bargain. “My hope is that we actually do see follow-through over the next several days, but I don’t think, given past performance, that we can count on that,” he said.

“We have to be prepared that we can actually respond to what continue to be efforts of interference by the Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine,” he added. In a telephone call with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the two leaders agreed that the United States and Europe are prepared to take further measures to impose a new round of sanctions if Russia failed to help restore order. “We have put in place additional consequences that we can impose on the Russians if we do not see actual improvement of the situation on the ground,” Mr Obama said. The UK is to provide an additional £1m to support the expansion of the OSCE special monitoring mission in Ukraine. Washington and the EU have already imposed sanctions on key Russian and Ukrainian political and business officials.

US President Barack Obama has cautiously welcomed a deal to calm tensions in Ukraine, reached at multi-party talks in Geneva.

He said the US and its allies were ready to impose new sanctions on Russia if the situation failed to improve.

 

Pro-Russian separatists occupying official buildings in eastern Ukraine show no signs of giving up any ground, a BBC correspondent reports.

 

There are reports of some shooting in Serhiyivka, in Donetsk region.

 

Ukrainian paratroopers opened fire to remove a protesters’ roadblock in Serhiyivka, Interfax-Ukraine reported, quoting local sources. The details have not been confirmed.

 

On Thursday the Russian, Ukrainian, EU and US foreign ministers agreed that illegal military groups in Ukraine should leave places they have been occupying.

 

Russia denies fomenting separatism in eastern and southern Ukraine.

 

One protest leader in Donetsk said the separatists would not leave unless pro-European demonstrators in Kiev’s Maidan Square packed up their camp first, the BBC’s James Reynolds reports.

 

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Media spotlight on Putin

Russian newspapers devoted their front pages on Friday to President Vladimir Putin‘s four-hour televised phone-in, rather than the Geneva talks.

 

“Vladimir Putin: You don’t need to worry about a thing” said the front-page headline in Rossiskaya Gazeta, while Kommersant bore the headline: “Putin charts a stubborn line”.

 

Mr Putin was repeatedly applauded by Russians during the live event, in which he demanded firm security guarantees and equal rights for Russian speakers in Ukraine.

 

Government buildings in several towns and cities have been seized by pro-Russian separatists opposed to new Western-leaning interim authorities in the capital Kiev.

 

At the Geneva talks, the sides agreed that illegal military groups in Ukraine must be dissolved, and that those occupying buildings must be disarmed and leave them.

 

The foreign ministers also agreed that there would be an amnesty for all anti-government protesters.

 

 

US-UK resolve

But speaking in Washington just hours later, President Obama expressed scepticism as to whether Russia would keep its side of the bargain.

 

These pro-unity protesters took to the streets in Donetsk

These pro-unity protesters took to the streets in Donetsk

 

“My hope is that we actually do see follow-through over the next several days, but I don’t think, given past performance, that we can count on that,” he said.

 

“We have to be prepared that we can actually respond to what continue to be efforts of interference by the Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine,” he added.

 

In a telephone call with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the two leaders agreed that the United States and Europe are prepared to take further measures to impose a new round of sanctions if Russia failed to help restore order.

 

“We have put in place additional consequences that we can impose on the Russians if we do not see actual improvement of the situation on the ground,” Mr Obama said.

 

The UK is to provide an additional £1m to support the expansion of the OSCE special monitoring mission in Ukraine.

 

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia took part in the Geneva talks.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia took part in the Geneva talks.

Washington and the EU have already imposed sanctions on key Russian and Ukrainian political and business officials.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said he was encouraged by the outcome of the talks and that he expected all sides to “show their serious intention” to implement the agreement.

Earlier on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hoped he would not have to use his “right” to send Russian forces into Ukraine.

 

 

Clashes

Moscow is believed to have thousands of troops massed along the border with its neighbour.

 

“I very much hope that I am not obliged to use this right and that through political and diplomatic means we can solve all the acute problems in Ukraine,” he said.

 

He was speaking after Wednesday night’s clash in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, in which three separatists were reportedly killed by Ukrainian security forces after hundreds of pro-Russians attacked a military base.

 

Ukraine has been in crisis since pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych was toppled in February.

 

Russia then annexed the Crimean peninsula – part of Ukraine but with a Russian-speaking majority – in a move that provoked international outrage.

 

This was followed by the seizing of government buildings in eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian separatists opposed to the new order in Kiev.

 

 

More on This Story:

Mariupol violence

James Reynolds reports from eastern Ukraine, the focus of the most dangerous argument between the West and Russia since the Cold War.

Thank you BBC.

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Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia

Vice President Biden spoke today with Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico.  The Vice President and Prime Minister discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine.  The Vice President underscored the United States’ support for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, contingent on Russia’s disavowal and cessation of destabilizing actions within Ukraine.  The two leaders agreed that if Russia further escalated the situation in Ukraine, it would face mounting consequences for its actions.   The Vice President thanked the Prime Minister for Slovakia’s commitment to bolstering energy security within Europe, including by supporting the reverse flow of natural gas to Ukraine.

Readout of the Vice President’s Call with President Rosen Plevneliev of Bulgaria

Vice President Biden spoke today with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev. The Vice President assured President Plevneliev of the United States’ ironclad commitment to the collective defense of its NATO Allies and thanked him for Bulgaria’s contributions to the Euro-Atlantic partnership. The two leaders discussed the alarming situation in eastern Ukraine, and pledged their full support for Ukraine’s development as an independent, unitary, and democratic state. The Vice President and President Plevneliev stressed that Russia needs to take immediate, concrete actions to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine. The leaders also discussed the importance of efforts to combat corruption, promote democratic accountability, and support independent media in Bulgaria and throughout Europe.

Readout of the President’s Call with Prime Minister Cameron of United Kingdom

The President and Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom spoke today regarding their deep concern about the situation in eastern Ukraine.  The President commended the government of Ukraine’s approach to today’s discussions in Geneva, where it put forward constructive proposals to expand local governance and ensure the rights of all Ukrainians are protected.  The leaders stressed that Russia needs to take immediate, concrete actions to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine, including by using its influence over the irregular forces in eastern Ukraine to get them to lay down their arms and leave the buildings they have seized.  As the President has said, we will look for the Russians to quickly follow through on their commitments in Geneva in this regard.  The President and the Prime Minister agreed that the United States and Europe are prepared to take further measures to impose costs on Russia if this de-escalation does not occur in short order.

Readout of the President’s Call with Chancellor Merkel of Germany

The President and Chancellor Merkel of Germany spoke today regarding their deep concern about the situation in eastern Ukraine.  The President commended the government of Ukraine’s approach to today’s discussions in Geneva, where it put forward constructive proposals to expand local governance and ensure the rights of all Ukrainians are protected.  The leaders stressed that Russia needs to take immediate, concrete actions to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine, including by using its influence over the irregular forces in eastern Ukraine to get them to lay down their arms and leave the buildings they have seized.  The President and the Chancellor agreed that the United States and Europe are prepared to take further measures if this de-escalation does not occur in short order.  The leaders also stressed their support for Ukraine’s May 25 presidential elections.

 

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TheObamaCrat™ Wake-Up Call For Good Friday The 18th Of April. The American Legion. The Commander-in-Chief Trophy.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Breaking Ukraine News: President Obama Cautious Over Deal To Ease Ukraine Crisis

 

US President Barack Obama has cautiously welcomed a deal to calm tensions in Ukraine, reached at multi-party talks in Geneva. He said the US and its allies were ready to impose new sanctions on Russia if the situation failed to improve. At the Geneva talks, the sides agreed that illegal military groups in Ukraine must be dissolved, and that those occupying buildings must be disarmed and leave them. The foreign ministers also agreed that there would be an amnesty for all anti-government protesters. But speaking in Washington just hours later, President Obama expressed scepticism as to whether Russia would keep its side of the bargain. “My hope is that we actually do see follow-through over the next several days, but I don’t think, given past performance, that we can count on that,” he said.

“We have to be prepared that we can actually respond to what continue to be efforts of interference by the Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine,” he added. In a telephone call with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the two leaders agreed that the United States and Europe are prepared to take further measures to impose a new round of sanctions if Russia failed to help restore order. “We have put in place additional consequences that we can impose on the Russians if we do not see actual improvement of the situation on the ground,” Mr Obama said. The UK is to provide an additional £1m to support the expansion of the OSCE special monitoring mission in Ukraine. Washington and the EU have already imposed sanctions on key Russian and Ukrainian political and business officials.

More here

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White House Schedule – April 18th, 2014

 

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.

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18th, 2014

 

DAILY GUIDANCE AND SCHEDULE FOR
Good FRIDAY, April 18th, 2014

 

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

 

Later in the morning, the President will meet with Secretary of the Treasury Lew in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

 

Following this, the President will meet with the National Commander and Executive Director of the American Legion. This meeting is closed press.

 

In the afternoon, the President will present the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the United States Naval Academy football team. This event in the Rose Garden is open press.

 

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Friday, April 18th 2014 All Times ET

 

10:00 AM: The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing, Oval Office.

 

 

10:45 AM: The President meets with Secretary of the Treasury Lew, Oval Office.

 

 

11:35 AM: The President meets with the National Commander and Executive Director of the American Legion, Oval Office.

 

 

1:00 PM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, The Brady Press Briefing Room.

 

 

2:00 PM: The President presents the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the United States Naval Academy football team, The Rose Garden.

 

 

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White House LIVE!!! Streaming Schedule

 

 

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April 2014: Photo of the Day

 

One of the riders taking part in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride, with a President Obama bobblehead in his jersey, waits in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, April 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

One of the riders taking part in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride, with a President Obama bobblehead in his jersey, waits in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, April 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

A Wounded Warrior exits the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House to participate in the Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

A Wounded Warrior exits the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House to participate in the Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki cheer on participants in the Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki cheer on participants in the Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Participants in the seventh annual Soldier Ride make their way around the South Lawn of the White House, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Participants in the seventh annual Soldier Ride make their way around the South Lawn of the White House, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki welcome the Soldier Ride to the White House, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki welcome the Soldier Ride to the White House, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

First lady Michelle Obama and Bow Wow, co-host of the television show “106 & Park,” along with high school students from Chicago, tour the Howard University dorms. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

First lady Michelle Obama and Bow Wow, co-host of the television show “106 & Park,” along with high school students from Chicago, tour the Howard University dorms. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

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First Lady Michelle Obama smiles at rapper Bow Wow at Howard University. The First Lady joined juniors and seniors from Chicago public high schools on the first day of their four-day visit to Howard University, as part of a program to immerse talented high school students in a college campus environment.

First Lady Michelle Obama smiles at rapper Bow Wow at Howard University. The First Lady joined juniors and seniors from Chicago public high schools on the first day of their four-day visit to Howard University, as part of a program to immerse talented high school students in a college campus environment.

President Obama makes a face as Nancy Loubin takes a photo of him at Wounded Warriors event at White House today

President Obama makes a face as Nancy Loubin takes a photo of him at Wounded Warriors event at White House today

The Phoro Of The Year: President Obama Watches As The Riders Speed By.

The Photo Of The Year: President Obama Watches As The Riders Speed By.

 

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Statements and Releases

 

Press Conference by the President, 4/17/14

 

Remarks by the First Lady at Discussion with High School and College Students

 

Statement by the President on the Passing of Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Marquez

 

FACT SHEET: Affordable Care Act by the Numbers

 

President Obama Signs Montana Disaster Declaration

 

Statement by the President on the Tragic Ferry Sinking Off the Coast of the Republic of Korea

 

First Lady Michelle Obama to Address 2014 Graduating Seniors

 

FACT SHEET: Building on Progress – Supporting Solar Deployment and Jobs

 

 

 

Statements and Releases

 

Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia

 

Readout of the Vice President’s Call with President Rosen Plevneliev of Bulgaria

 

Readout of the President’s Call with Prime Minister Cameron of United Kingdom

 

Readout of the President’s Call with Chancellor Merkel of Germany

 

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West Wing Week: 4/18/14 or, “Pull Together, Fight Back, and Win”

 

This week, the President nominated Sylvia Burwell as Secretary of Health and Human Services, hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast and a Passover Seder, discussed immigration reform with Faith leaders, welcomed the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride, announced a major milestone in the continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and hit the road to New York City and Oakdale, Pennsylvania.

 

 

 

Friday, April 11th

  • The President announced the nomination of Sylvia Mathews Burwell to succeed Kathleen Sebelius as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services.
  • Later, the President traveled to New York City and gave the keynote address at the 16th annual National Action Network convention.

 

Monday, April 14th

  • The President hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast.
  • Later, the President welcomed recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
  • The First Lady visited Fisher House at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

 

Tuesday, April 15th

  • The President discussed immigration reform with faith leaders in the Oval Office.
  • Later, the President marked the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing with a moment of silence.
  • That evening, the President hosted a Passover seder in the Old Family Dining Room.

 

Wednesday, April 16th

 

Thursday, April 17th

  • The President and Vice President welcomed the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride to the South Lawn of the White House.
  • Later, the President made an announcement relative to healthcare enrollment.
  • The First Lady traveled to Howard University for a roundtable discussion with students highlighting the Presidents North Star Goal.

 

 

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The Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride at the White House

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

President Obama welcomes Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House in celebration of the seventh 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.

 

 

 

 

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President Obama Speaks to the Press

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

Before taking questions from the press in the White House Press Briefing Room, President Obama announces that 8 million people signed up for private health coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace. April 17, 2014.

 

 

 

 

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Letters to the President: Stories of Health Reform

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

While in Austin, the President recently met with several Americans who wrote letters about the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

 

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@BarackObama The Affordable Care Act is working—for millions of Americans.

@BarackObama
The Affordable Care Act is working—for millions of Americans.

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BlYKeYVCUAAsrRB

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 Read All About The 8 Million:

8 Million People Have Signed Up For Private Health Coverage Thanks To The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (ObamaCARES).

 

According to @FoxNews ObamaCARES enrollment is through the chart roof.

According to @FoxNews ObamaCARES enrollment is through the chart roof.

See What Health Reform Means to Six Families

See What Health Reform Means to Six Families

While in Austin, Texas, the President met with several Americans who wrote letters about how the Affordable Care Act has helped them. Here's what they had to say.

While in Austin, Texas, the President met with several Americans who wrote letters about how the Affordable Care Act has helped them. Here’s what they had to say.

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8 Million People Have Signed Up For Private Health Coverage Thanks To The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (ObamaCARES).


 

By Jueseppi B.

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President Obama: 8 Million People Have Signed Up for Private Health Coverage

 

Speaking from the White House Briefing Room this afternoon, President Obama announced that 8 million Americans have signed up for private health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks to the Press

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

Before taking questions from the press in the White House Press Briefing Room, President Obama announces that 8 million people signed up for private health coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace. April 17, 2014.

 

 

 

 

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He noted that 35 percent of those people are under 35 years old.

 

What’s more, costs associated with expanding coverage under the Affordable Care Act are lower than expected:

 

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And health care costs are growing at the slowest level on record. That slower growth in spending is reflected across Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance:

 

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Take a look at a few more important numbers, from a fact sheet released today:

 

  • 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace. For states that have Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces, 35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old, and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old, virtually the same youth percentage that signed up in Massachusetts in its first year of health reform.

 

  • 3 million young adults gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act by being able to stay on their parents’ plan.

 

  • 3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of February, compared to before the Marketplaces opened. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment continues year-round.

 

  • 5 million people are enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards outside the Marketplace, according to a CBO estimate. When insurers set premiums for next year, they are required to look at everyone who enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards, both inside and outside the Marketplace.

 

  • 5.7 million people will be uninsured in 2016 because 24 states have chosen not to expand Medicaid — even though this expansion would be of no cost to states, as the President pointed out in today’s briefing.

 

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The bottom line, as the President said: “This thing is working.

 

#8Million#8Million#8Million#8Million#8Million#8Million#8Million#8Million

 

FACT SHEET: Affordable Care Act by the Numbers

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The Affordable Care Act is working.  It is giving millions of middle class Americans the health care security they deserve, it is slowing the growth of health care costs and it has brought transparency and competition to the Health Insurance Marketplace.

HEALTH CARE BY THE NUMBERS

  • 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace. For states that have Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces, 35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old, virtually the same youth percentage that signed up in Massachusetts in their first year of health reform.

 

  • 3 million young adults gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act by being able to stay on their parents plan.

 

  • 3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of February, compared to before the Marketplaces opened. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment continues year-round.

 

  • 5 million people are enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards outside the Marketplace, according to a CBO estimate. When insurers set premiums for next year, they are required to look at everyone who enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards, both on and off the Marketplace.

 

  • 5.7 million people will be uninsured in 2016 because 24 States have not expanded Medicaid.

 

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HEALTH CARE COST GROWTH IS LOWEST IN DECADES

  • Health care costs are growing at the slowest level on record:Since the law passed, real per capita health care spending is estimated to have grown at the lowest rate on record for any three-year period and less than one-third the long-term historical average stretching back to 1960. This slower growth in spending is reflected in Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance.

 

  • CBO projects the deficit will shrink more and premiums will be lower than expected: CBO previously estimated that the ACA will reduce the deficit by $1.7 trillion over two decades, and, just this week, CBO concluded that lower-than-expected Marketplace premiums and other recent developments will cut $104 billion from our deficit over the next ten years. The CBO report also projects that lower-than-expected premiums will help to save $5 billion this year, and that lower premiums will persist in the years ahead, remaining 15 percent below projections by 2016 (the only year in which CBO provides a precise estimate).

 

  • Medicare spending growth is down: Medicare per capita spending is growing at historically low rates.  This week, for the fifth straight year, the CBO reduced its projections for Medicare spending over the next 10 years – this time by $106 billion.  CBO projects that Medicare and Medicaid costs in 2020 will be $180 billion below its 2010 estimates.  Recent economic research suggests that the ACA’s reforms to Medicare may have “spillover effects” that reduce costs and improve quality across the health care system, not just in Medicare.

 

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THE SECURITY OF HEALTH INSURANCE FOR MILLIONS OF MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES

  • Up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions – including up to 17 million children – no longer have to worry about being denied health coverage or charged higher premiums because of their health status.

 

  • 71 million Americans with private insurance have gained coverage for at least one free preventive health care service such as mammograms, birth control, or immunizations in 2011 and 2012.

 

  • In 2013, 37 million people with Medicare received at least one preventive service at no out of pocket cost.

 

  • Approximately 60 million Americans have gained expanded mental health and substance use disorder benefits and/or federal parity protections.

 

  • Since the health care law was enacted, almost 8 million seniors havesaved nearly $10 billion on prescription drugs as the health care law closes Medicare’s “donut hole.”

 

  • 105 million Americans no longer have to worry about having their health benefits cut off after they reach a lifetime limit.

 

@BarackObama The Affordable Care Act is working—for millions of Americans.

@BarackObama
The Affordable Care Act is working—for millions of Americans.

 

Eight Million Joey B.

Eight Million Joey B.

Can Ya'll Haters Please Kiss My Entire Black Ass?

Can Ya’ll Haters Please Kiss My Entire Black Ass?

Eight Million.....And Counting.

Eight Million…..And Counting.

#8Million #8Million #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million #8Million

#8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million

Lets give a hand for eight million.

Lets give a hand for eight million.

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