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President Barack Obama’s State Of The Union Address 2014

One year into his second term, President Barack Obama has delivered the annual State of the Union Address to the a joint session of the United States Congress.

Obama

It was Obama’s fifth State of the Union since assuming office on January 20, 2009. [Read more…]


Obama Steers A Middle Course On Intelligence Activities

President Barack Obama will require intelligence agencies to obtain permission from a secret court before accessing telephone data.

Obama

In a speech to officials at the Justice Department in Washington DC, Obama announced that he is winding back the government’s surveillance at home and abroad. He announced a series of oversight measures that will govern the collection of signals intelligence.

There will be stricter rules on the privacy of foreigners, particularly heads of state, with a public advocate to represent privacy concerns at a secret intelligence court. [Read more…]


Eulogy For The Ages: Obama’s Soaring Rhetoric At Mandela’s Memorial Service

In Johannesburg today, President Barack Obama has received a tumultuous reception and delivered a stunningly powerful eulogy in honour of Nelson Mandela.

Obama

Obama told a large crowd at a packed stadium in Johannesburg that it was “a singular honour” to be with them “to celebrate a life like no other”.

“The world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us,” Obama told the South African people. “His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph. Your dignity and your democracy is his cherished legacy.”

Invoking the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Obama described Mandela as the “last great liberator of the twentieth century”. He said Mandela, like Lincoln, held his nation together when it might have broken apart. [Read more…]


The Long Walk To Freedom Ends With Global Tributes To The Life Of Nelson Mandela

Australian political figures are amongst world leaders who have paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, the revolutionary anti-apartheid campaigner, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and first black President of South Africa, who has died at the age of 95.

Mandela

The most celebrated and respected politician of our times, Mandela’s death marks the passing of a global leader noted for his courage, humanity, humility and grace.

Imprisoned by the white South African apartheid regime in 1962, Mandela spent most of the next 27 years in the Robben Island prison. He was released in February 1990 in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall at the instigation of then President F.W. de Klerk.

At free and democratic elections in 1994, Mandela was elected the first black President of South Africa. His administration dismantled the apartheid system but he saw his principal task as promoting national reconciliation.

Mandela retired in 1999 but soon “retired from retirement” and devoted his final years to speaking out on a wide range of issues.

In a moving tribute, Barack Obama, the first black President of the United States, said of Mandela: “For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived — a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.”

“He no longer belongs to us – he belongs to the ages,” Obama said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott described Mandela as a “truly great man”. He said Mandela was one of the great figures of the last century, the father of modern South Africa who built a “multicultural, pluralist democracy”.

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, who visited Mandela in prison and worked to dismantle apartheid, described Mandela as the greatest person he had ever met. [Read more…]


Obama: Confronting The Growing Threat Of Climate Change

President Barack Obama has used his weekly television address to promote the Climate Action Plan he unveiled earlier in the week.

Obama’s office said: “President Obama told the American people about a plan he unveiled a few days ago that confronts the growing threat of climate change, which will cut carbon pollution, protect our country from the impacts of climate change, and lead the world in a coordinated assault on a changing climate. The President’s plan recognizes that there is no contradiction between a sound environment and a strong economy, and he calls on all Americans to speak up about climate change in their communities and remind their elected officials that we must take action to protect our future generations from the ravages of climate change now.” [Read more…]


April Fools’ Day At Google And The White House

I admit I didn’t instantly realise it was an April Fools’ Day joke.

Google can score it as a win.

I thought the number of visitors to AustralianPolitics.com from the International Space Station Control Room was unusual when I checked the traffic figures on Google Analytics this morning.

The real-time Location Map of visitors to the site said there was 41 of them.

They were in the United States. Later, they had moved to Australia:

Google

By this evening they seemed to be somewhere over the Pacific Ocean:

Google

The White House’s video titled “A Statement From the Briefing Room” was a little easier to pick.

 


Senator Marco Rubio Gives Republican Party Response To State Of The Union

This is the text and audio of Senator Marco Rubio’s response on behalf of the Republican Party to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address.

Rubio [Read more…]