When it comes to radiation- trust, but verify
This DigitalGlobe image shows the damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on following the March 11th earthquake.
March 15th, 2011
06:07 PM ET

When it comes to radiation- trust, but verify

WASHINGTON (CNN) –  Fearful of the threat of radiation from Japan's damaged nuclear plants, several countries are urging their citizens to leave Japan but – so far – the United States is not.

Asked Tuesday whether Americans in Japan should pack their bags, Carney told reporters he was not aware of any recommendation for U.S. citizens to leave but urged them to check State Department advisories.

The State Department has been issuing regular updates for Americans citizens but, so far, it is not urging them to leave Japan.

Its March 13 Travel Alert urges U.S. citizens to "avoid tourism and non-essential travel to Japan at this time." It also requests "non-essential" U.S. government personnel, including embassy families, to put off travel. FULL POST


Topics: Japan • The News
Obama and Biden pay their respects
March 15th, 2011
03:44 PM ET

Obama and Biden pay their respects

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama and Vice President Biden took a surprise trip to Arlington National Cemetery to pay their respects to the family of Army Corporal Frank Woodruff Buckles, the last surviving American soldier from World War I.  

The president and vice president spent about seven minutes with Buckles's family members, including his daughter Susannah Buckles Flanagan, before a service to lay him to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. Buckles laid in honor at the cemetery's chapel Tuesday morning for the public and congressional leaders to pay their respects.

He was interred at the bottom of the hill where Gen. John J. Pershing, his former leader and one of the Army's most famous generals, was buried in 1948. He died last month at the age of 110.


Topics: President Obama • The News
First Lady warns of obesity's economic challenge
March 15th, 2011
01:19 PM ET

First Lady warns of obesity's economic challenge

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In an era of tightening budgets, First Lady Michelle Obama told city officials from across the country Tuesday that they must not lose sight of the economic impact the childhood obesity epidemic has on their communities.

“The last thing you need during times like these is a new issue on your plates,” Obama acknowledged to local officials from across the country Tuesday at the National League of Cities Conference in Washington, D.C. But the obesity epidemic is one of the many culprits responsible for pressuring local budgets and stifling economic growth – “50 million dollars per 100 thousand residents,” in the cities with the 10 highest obesity rates Obama said.

“Childhood obesity is affecting your workforces too – obese children are less healthy and miss more school on average,” leading to more parental tardiness and absenteeism at businesses in their communities, she said. “When we talk about childhood obesity we are talking about the workforce you are trying to build, businesses you are trying to attract, budgets you are trying to balance everyday,” Obama said warning that businesses may be reluctant to invest and build in communities with an unhealthy future workforce.
FULL POST


Topics: Michelle Obama
Did you know....?
March 15th, 2011
12:23 PM ET

Did you know....?

President Obama is headed to Latin America at the end of this week to visit Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador. But did you know that the 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt (1901-09), made the first international trip when he visited Panama in 1906? He was also the first president to ride in an automobile.

His distant cousin, the 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt ( 1933-45) was the first president to ride in an airplane.

Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov

FULL STORY

Topics: Did you know...? • The Buzz
Obama approval rating drops to 50%
March 15th, 2011
12:02 PM ET

Obama approval rating drops to 50%

From CNN's Political Unit:

WASHINGTON (CNN) –  A loss of support among low-income men and among independent voters appears to be behind the drop in President Barack Obama's approval rating, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that 50 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama's doing in the White House, down five points from late January. Forty-seven percent of those questioned say they disapprove of how the president is handling his duties.

For the full stories, click here.


Topics: Uncategorized
Flags at half staff to honor last WWI vet
March 15th, 2011
08:17 AM ET

Flags at half staff to honor last WWI vet

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Flags are being flown at half staff at the White House and throughout the country Tuesday in memory of Army Corporal Frank Woodruff Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War I.

Buckles, who died last month at age 110, will be interred with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery today (watch on cnn.com/live).

President Obama issued a proclamation ordering on the day of his interment that flags be flown at half staff at the White House and "upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions" until sunset.

The order also applies to all United States embassies and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.


Topics: The Visuals
POTUS schedule March 15, 2011
March 15th, 2011
07:33 AM ET

POTUS schedule March 15, 2011

Schedule provided by the White House:

10:00AM        THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing (Oval Office – Closed Press)

11:25AM        THE PRESIDENT is interviewed by KOAT Albuquerque, KDKA Pittsburgh and WVEC Hampton Roads on the importance of education reform and the need to fix No Child Left Behind (Map Room – Closed Press)

12:30PM         THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet for lunch (Private Dining Room – Closed Press)

FULL POST