First Family visits iconic Rio landmark
March 20th, 2011
10:26 PM ET

First Family visits iconic Rio landmark

(CNN) – Following a day of soccer and samba in a favela, and with their time in Brazil running short, the First Family made a visit to the iconic ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue in Rio de Janiero Sunday evening.

Originally scheduled for Sunday morning, the visit was moved back because of an expected heavy fog in the morning, as well as an added secure phone call for the President and his national security team to discuss the latest information regarding military operations underway in Libya.

Chit chatting, and holding hands along the way, the family walked up to the base of the statue for a few moments to take it in, and then ventured a few steps over to look at the vast valley of flickering lights and houses below that make up Rio. They were joined by Mrs. Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, and Valerie Jarrett, President Obama's senior advisor.
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Topics: Brazil • President Obama • The Family
Obama works to shore up Arab support for Libya mission
March 20th, 2011
06:38 PM ET

Obama works to shore up Arab support for Libya mission

RIO de JANEIRO, Brazil – President Obama and his national security team worked behind the scenes Sunday to try and shore up support within the Arab world for the military mission in Libya.  Top White House aides reached out to officials of the Arab League to insist the bombing does not exceed the scope of the United Nations mandate, according to senior administration officials.

The senior officials described the Obama team's phone calls as making clear to the Arab League that bombing Moammar Gadhafi's air defenses falls within the U.N. Security Council resolution's scope of imposing a no-fly zone and taking "all necessary measures" to stop the dictator from attacking civilians in his own country.

"We don't believe this goes beyond the resolution," said one senior administration official in describing the White House's message to the Arab League.

The lobbying came after Arab League officials complained earlier Sunday that the bombing by the U.S. military and other allies inside Libya exceeded the scope of merely instituting a no-fly zone.

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Topics: Brazil • Libya • The News
Obama Rio re-bound for 2016 olympics
March 20th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

Obama Rio re-bound for 2016 olympics

RIO de JANEIRO, Brazil (CNN) – It looks like President Obama plans to return to Rio.

During his address to the people of Brazil, Obama made this comment: "Now you may be aware that this city was not my first choice for the Summer Olympics.  But if the Games could not be held in Chicago, there's no place I'd rather see them than right here in Rio.  And I intend to come back in 2016 to watch what happens."

Chicago was one of four finalists to host the 2016 summer games.  The president and first lady traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark in October 2009 to support the bid, but their hometown lost to Rio de Janeiro.

The real question is will he fly commercial or will he still be riding aboard Air Force One?


Topics: Brazil • Olympics • The Buzz
Obama barely mentions Libya as Boehner demands details
March 20th, 2011
03:58 PM ET

Obama barely mentions Libya as Boehner demands details

RIO de JANEIRO, Brazil (CNN) - As the massive bombardment of Libya continued for a second day over 5,000 miles away from here, President Obama delivered a speech that did not mention any specifics about the U.S. role in the military action despite Republican demands for him to better define the mission.

"We’ve seen the people of Libya take a courageous stand against a regime determined to brutalize its own citizens," Obama said in a 25-minute address that only briefly mentioned Libya.

"Across the region, we have seen young people rise up – a new generation demanding the right to determine their own future," added Obama. "From the beginning, we have made clear that the change they seek must be driven by their own people."

The speech came as Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) released a sharply-worded statement in Washington pressing Obama to more clearly define the military mission for the American people.

"Before any further military commitments are made, the administration must do a better job of communicating to the American people and to Congress about our mission in Libya and how it will be achieved," Boehner said in the prepared statement.
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Topics: Brazil • John Boehner • Libya • President Obama • The News
Obama briefed on Libya in Brazil
White House Photo /Pete Souza
March 20th, 2011
02:39 PM ET

Obama briefed on Libya in Brazil

WASHINGTON (CNN) - This morning in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, President Obama was briefed by secure conference call on the military operations going on in Libya.  National Security Advisor Tom Donilon (on right) and Chief of Staff Bill Daley (on left)  were with him in Brazil.

A read-out of the call provided by the White House after the jump.

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Topics: Brazil • Libya • The News
Obama scores with Brazilian youth
March 20th, 2011
01:18 PM ET

Obama scores with Brazilian youth

RIO de JANEIRO, Brazil (CNN) - He may not be ready for World Cup 2014 in Brazil but President Obama showed kids in Rio de Janeiro he can do more than just dribble a basketball.

The president and his family watched kids playing soccer, known to the world as football or futebol in Portuguese, on a cement playground while visiting the "City of God" (Cidade de Deus) Favela.

A group of pre-teen boys formed a half circle around Obama and took turns passing the ball with him.

First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha, who are on Easter break from school, managed to kick the ball around a few times in their ballet flats.  FULL POST


Topics: Brazil • President Obama