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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. [Read more…]


Lem Johns, LBJ Bodyguard, Dies; Witness To JFK Assassination, Spattered With Paint In Australia

Lem Johns, the United States Secret Service agent who was spattered with paint during President Lyndon Johnson’s visit to Australia in 1966, has died, at the age of 88.

Johns, with his right hand raised, can be seen in the picture below on the right hand side of Johnson’s limousine. The incident occurred during a demonstration in Melbourne.

LBJ

Johnson’s visit in October 1966 came just one month before the federal election of November 26. The election was conducted amidst vigorous public debate about Australia’s commitment of conscripted troops to the war in Vietnam. [Read more…]


G20 Finance Ministers Commit To 2% GDP Growth Target

The G20 Finance Ministers have committed to a collective growth rate of 2% above the current trajectory over the next five years.

Hockey

Speaking after the meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Sydney, Treasurer Joe Hockey said: “Realistically, these policies could mean an extra US$2 trillion in global economic activity and tens of millions of additional jobs.” [Read more…]


State Of The Union Address: Republican Response From Cathy McMorris Rodgers

The response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address has been delivered by Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the top-ranking Republican woman in the House of Representatives.

McMorris Rodgers, 44, is the member for the 5th district in Washington state. [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. [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…]


This Day, 50 Years Ago: The Assassination Of President John F. Kennedy

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated on this day 50 years ago.

Like today, November 22 in 1963 was also a Friday. The murder of the 35th US President took place at 3.30am Saturday, AEST. Most Australians heard the news when they awoke on Saturday morning.

JFK

I was a young boy in Grade 2, living in rural Australia. Television had not yet arrived in country areas and I’m sure this is the main reason I have next to no memory of the assassination. I do recall seeing newspaper reports of Kennedy’s death and a sense of confusion when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. My child’s mind could barely make sense of the names and the events. I have an indistinct recollection of talking about it with my mother. I have no memory of the event being discussed at school. [Read more…]