President Barack Obama Takes Oath Of Office And Begins His Second Term

In a brief ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House, Barack Obama has taken the oath of office and begun his second term as the 44th President of the United States.

Obama

The oath was administered by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, at 11.55am.

The ceremony took one minute. Obama’s wife, Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, were the only other people present, apart from a handful of journalists and a camera crew.

The 20th Amendment to the US Constitution stipulates that a presidential term ends at noon on January 20. Since this is a Sunday, Obama will take the oath again tomorrow as part of the official public ceremonies. He will also give his inaugural address tomorrow.

Vice-President Joe Biden took the oath of office earlier this morning.

Obama won re-election last November. He is constitutionally prevented from running again in 2016. He now has less time left as president than he has already served.

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  • Watch Obama take the oath of office (1m)

Roberts

Obama sworn

 


Joe Biden Takes Oath Of Office For Second Term As Vice-President

Vice-President Joe Biden has taken the oath of office for his second term.

The oath was administered by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor shortly after 8am. The brief ceremony was preceded by a prayer from the Reverend Kevin O’Brien of Georgetown University.

President Barack Obama will be sworn in at midday.

The Constitution mandates that the President and Vice-President be sworn on January 20. Because that date is a Sunday this year, the official ceremonies will be held tomorrow when Obama and Biden will take the oath again.

Obama also took the oath twice in 2009, following a verbal mangling of the oath by Chief Justice John Roberts.



British Foreign Secretary William Hague’s Howard Lecture

This is the audio of UK Foreign Secretary William Hague’s Howard Lecture at the Menzies Resource Centre in Sydney.

Hague

Hague was introduced by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. He also answered questions. Former Prime Minister John Howard gave the thank you speech.

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  • Listen to Hague take questions (14m)

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Howard Lecture: Tony Abbott Introduces William Hague

This is the text and audio of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s speech to the Menzies Research Centre, in Sydney.

Abbott

Abbott introduced UK Foreign Secretary William Hague who gave the John Howard Lecture.

After Hague’s speech, Abbott spoke to the media.

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Speech by Tony Abbott, introducing UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.

It is terrific to see in this room just about every Australian who is not actually at the beach at this time. I particularly want to acknowledge the presence of my Shadow Cabinet colleagues, George Brandis, Andrew Robb, Malcolm Turnbull, Sophie Mirabella and Philip Ruddock.

I wish to acknowledge the presence of my other parliamentary colleagues, Senator Sinodinos, Senator Ryan, Kelly O’Dwyer, Senator Eggleston, Senator Fawcett, Jamie Briggs, Josh Frydenberg, Jane Prentice, Wyatt Roy, Senator Mason and John Alexander. Thank you for being here. We could just about have a Shadow Cabinet meeting after this event but they are here for our former Prime Minister and to hear William Hague deliver the fourth John Howard address. [Read more...]


Unemployment Rate Increases 0.1% To 5.4%

Australia’s unemployment rate increased by 0.1% to 5.4% in December.

There was a small fall in full-time employment, offset by increased part-time employment. The participation rate was steady at 65.1%.

Employment Participation Minister Kate Ellis and Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey both commented on the figures.

Ellis

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Hockey

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Text of media release from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Australia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 5.4 per cent in December, as announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today. [Read more...]