Obama Calls For Ceasefire In Ukraine; Says US Will Increase Pressure On Russia

United States President Barack Obama has called for a global investigation of the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.

Obama

Obama said the deaths of 298 passengers and crew was a “global tragedy”. He described the attack as “an outrage of unspeakable proportions” that required a credible international investigation.

Speaking at the White House, Obama said Russia, pro-Russian forces and Ukraine must agree to a ceasefire. “The eyes of the world are on Eastern Ukraine and we are going to make sure the truth comes out,” Obama said. “It’s time for peace and security to be restored in Ukraine.” [Read more...]


Tony Abbott Meets With Barack Obama At White House

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has met with US President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington DC.

Obama

Obama and Abbott each made brief comments about the Australia-US alliance and foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region.

Obama took one question from Washington journalists on the unfolding and emergency situation in Iraq. David Speers from Australian Sky News asked Obama another question about Iraq. [Read more...]


June 6, 2014: President Barack Obama Speaks At Normandy On The 70th Anniversary Of D-Day

President Barack Obama and other world leaders have gathered at Normandy in France to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Like the 75th anniversary of Gallipoli in 1990, this is likely to be the last time that survivors of the largest sea-borne invasion in history will gather to remember the historic turning point that led to the defeat of Hitler and the end of the war in Europe.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is attending the commemoration.

United States President Barack Obama addressed the morning ceremony: “By daybreak, blood soaked the water, and bombs broke the sky. Thousands of paratroopers had dropped into the wrong landing sites; thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand. Entire companies’ worth of men fell in minutes. … By the end of that longest day, this beach had been fought, lost, refought and won — a piece of Europe once again liberated and free. …”

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Front page of The Age, June 7, 1944.

Age

Transcript of President Barack Obama’s speech at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

President Hollande; to the people of France; friends; the family; our veterans:

If prayer were made of sound, the skies over England that night would have deafened the world.

Captains paced their decks. Pilots tapped their gauges. Commanders pored over maps, fully aware that for all the months of meticulous planning, everything could go wrong — the winds, the tides, the element of surprise — and above all, the audacious bet that what waited on the other side of the Channel would compel men not to shrink away, but to charge ahead. [Read more...]


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.

In the speech, Obama made it clear that he would use executive orders to implement his policy agenda.

The emotional highlight of the speech came at the end when the chamber gave a sustained standing ovation to Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who was badly wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

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Prepared transcript of President Obama’s State of the Union Address.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans:

Today in America, a teacher spent extra time with a student who needed it, and did her part to lift America’s graduation rate to its highest level in more than three decades.

An entrepreneur flipped on the lights in her tech startup, and did her part to add to the more than eight million new jobs our businesses have created over the past four years.

An autoworker fine-tuned some of the best, most fuel-efficient cars in the world, and did his part to help America wean itself off foreign oil.

A farmer prepared for the spring after the strongest five-year stretch of farm exports in our history. A rural doctor gave a young child the first prescription to treat asthma that his mother could afford. A man took the bus home from the graveyard shift, bone-tired but dreaming big dreams for his son. And in tight-knit communities across America, fathers and mothers will tuck in their kids, put an arm around their spouse, remember fallen comrades, and give thanks for being home from a war that, after twelve long years, is finally coming to an end.

Tonight, this chamber speaks with one voice to the people we represent: it is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong. [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...]


President Obama’s 2013 State Of The Union Address

President Barack Obama has delivered an assertive State of the Union Address to a joint sitting of the US Congress today.

Obama set out an activist program for his second term, calling for an increase in the minimum wage and laying out a diverse program of initiatives in education, energy and public works. Obama called on Congress to act on the budget and immigration. He also called for action on climate change and gun violence. He said he would establish a bipartisan commission to reform US voting procedures.

Obama

The President announced that 34,000 troops would be brought home from Afghanistan by next year.

On climate change, Obama endorsed the cap-and-trade legislation once supported by his 2008 election opponent, Senator John McCain. Cap-and-trade is similar to the emissions trading scheme legislated by the Gillard government in Australia.

Obama told the Congress: “It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country. The idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love. It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few,” he continued. “That it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation of ours.”

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Text of President Obama’s State of the Union Address.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, fellow citizens:

Fifty-one years ago, John F. Kennedy declared to this Chamber that “the Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress…It is my task,” he said, “to report the State of the Union – to improve it is the task of us all.”

Tonight, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, there is much progress to report. After a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home. After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs. We buy more American cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in twenty. Our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before.

Together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger.

But we gather here knowing that there are millions of Americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded. Our economy is adding jobs – but too many people still can’t find full-time employment. Corporate profits have rocketed to all-time highs – but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged.

It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class.

It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.

It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation. [Read more...]


‘One Today’ – Richard Blanco’s Inaugural Poem

This is the text of Richard Blanco’s inaugural poem, recited by the author at the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

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