National Christmas tree toppled
The national Christmas tree after it was toppled on Saturday
February 19th, 2011
01:41 PM ET

National Christmas tree toppled

By CNN's Mary Grace Lucas

WASHINGTON (CNN) –The nation's most energy-efficient National Christmas Tree doesn't appear to be the nation's most energy-resistant one. The 42-foot tall Colorado blue spruce snapped at its base during high winds Saturday morning in Washington.

Sustained winds at 25 miles per hour and wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour swept through the area and snapped the tree 4 feet above the ground, the National Park Service said in a statement.

By 5:30 p.m., less than seven hours later, the tree was reduced to mulch by work crews.

The tree was trimmed over the holidays with green-hued LED lights and snowflake ornaments in an area called "The Ellipse" directly between the south lawn of the White House and the Washington Monument.
FULL POST


Topics: The Visuals
February 19th, 2011
12:23 PM ET

President Obama moonlights as basketball coach

By CNN's Mary Grace Lucas

WASHINGTON (CNN) - For the first time, President Obama stepped up his game by helping coach daughter Sasha’s basketball team Saturday morning. No word on whether he was the sole coach or had help during the game. And despite a bit of a ribbing from the press, a White House staffer said he didn’t know if the team won.

It is notable, however, that daughter Sasha wasn’t on the court with her teammates Saturday. According to the White House, she is in Colorado with sister Malia and First Lady Michelle Obama for a ski trip. Mrs. Obama is chaperoning the kids along with several close family friends.


Topics: President Obama • The Family
February 19th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

Why Wisconsin matters

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Budget battles in Wisconsin between the new governor, and teachers unions are reverberating all the way back to the White House.

Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry takes a look at how the protests in Wisconsin also carry national implications.


Topics: Education
Education meets budget in Obama and GOP weekly addresses
February 19th, 2011
11:51 AM ET

Education meets budget in Obama and GOP weekly addresses

(CNN)–President Obama turned his attention to education during his weekly address as he discussed another aspect of how he believes the nation can "win the future." Obama acknowledged that "Over the next ten years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education beyond high school."

He delivered the address from outside Portland, Oregon, while visiting Intel, a company that he said models how "instead of just being a nation that buys what's made overseas, we can make things in America and sell them around the globe.

Check out the full story on the political ticker.


Topics: Education • Uncategorized • Weekly Address