The Obama family traveled to Belfast, Ireland, for the G8 Summit this week, but it's just one of many stops around the world that Air Force One has made with the first family since President Obama took office in 2009. Often, Barack has wife Michelle at his side, and over the past few years, Sasha and Malia have joined in on international trips. It's not all about work, though, since Michelle and the girls often have time to take in the sights when Michelle and Barack aren't mingling with the world's VIPs. Take a look at some of the most memorable moments from the Obamas' many travels during their time in the White House.
Happy (almost) Father's Day! We still have a while until our current presidential dad, Barack Obama, walks each of his daughters down the aisle, but past commanders in chief have played the role of father of the bride. In 2008, Jenna Bush married Henry Hager at the Bush ranch in Crawford, TX. Unlike Lyndon Johnson's daughters or Tricia Nixon, Jenna decided against a White House wedding. Later, in 2010, America was buzzing over Chelsea Clinton's marriage to Marc Mezvinsky, offering the most recent example of first-daughter wedding mania. After all, these events are the closest thing we have to royal weddings. To celebrate Father's Day, take a look at past US presidents who have walked their daughters down the aisle!
Today, Bill and Chelsea Clinton attended a fundraiser in New York City, where the former president was named Father of the Year by the National Father's Day Council. During the event, Chelsea presented her dad with the award, saying, "Every day he's my dad, and I don't need an award to tell me he's the best that I ever could have hoped for." Between his Hollywood connections and his saxophone skills, Clinton has definitely earned his share of cool-dad points over the years — not to mention the inspiring charity efforts he's spearheaded through the Clinton Foundation. In honor of Father's Day, take a look at 10 reasons Chelsea is a lucky daughter, plus a bonus reason why it may sometimes be tough to call the 42nd president "Dad."
This weekend, 29-year-old Edward Snowden outed himself as the whistle-blower who exposed the NSA's top-secret PRISM program. In a video recorded at his Hong Kong hotel room, where he is hiding out from authorities, the intelligence worker explained his motivation. He said: "I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under." Here are nine facts that will help you get to know the man responsible for this historic leak. Just keep reading for that insight and to watch Snowden's confessional video.
Today, President Obama commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act at the White House with the help of impressive women including female lawmakers, top advisers, and other community leaders. Signed into law by John F. Kennedy in 1963, the act made it illegal for an employer to discriminate against employees based on sex, specifically calling for equal wages among men and women. There's still a disparity between the sexes, though, with women earning about 77 cents for every dollar men earn, and today, Obama said, "It's the 21st century. It's time to close that gap."
It's been an important issue for Obama — the first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which lets the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit reset with each affected paycheck. Speaking to today's mostly female audience, he made his stance clear: "When more women are bringing home the bacon, they shouldn't just be getting a little bit of bacon."
If you logged on Twitter today, you may have noticed that #NSA is the top trending topic. Over the past couple of days, the Internet has reacted to news that the National Security Agency is accessing millions of phone records each day from Verizon customers and data from companies many use every day, including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Skype, AOL, and Paltalk. This week, the Washington Post and the Guardian both reported on a top-secret program, known as PRISM, which involves accessing the servers of tech giants, who denied granting access to the government.
In a press conference on Friday, President Obama defended the intelligence activities, which his administration claims only apply to people outside the US, and said: "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls." He continued, "You can't have 100 percent security and then also have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. You know, we're going to have to make some choices as a society." So we want to know: how do you feel about this choice?
Yesterday President Obama nominated Samantha Power to replace Susan Rice as the next UN ambassador for the United States. As a leading human rights expert and former White House adviser, Power has been known to spark a bit of controversy — in 2008, she had to resign from Obama's campaign after she called Hillary Clinton a monster. This nomination marks a major opportunity for Power, as the position is currently considered a cabinet-level role, and in the past, it's been held by influential people like Madeleine Albright and George H.W. Bush. If the Senate approves Power's nomination, then she will be a key player in international affairs, so consider this your cheat sheet to learn more about the potential UN ambassador:
"Listen to me or you can take the mic, but I'm leaving," Michele Obama reportedly told a heckler last night at a Democratic fundraiser. A woman interrupted the first lady to ask her why the president had not done more to stop federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT Americans. Apparently the heckler, lesbian activist Ellen Sturtz, had planned the confrontation on behalf of the group GetEQUAL. In a statement, Sturtz said: "I had planned to speak tonight with DNC officials but, as the First Lady was talking about our children's future and ensuring that they have everything they need to live happy and productive lives, I simply couldn't stay silent any longer. I'm looking ahead at a generation of young people who could live full, honest, and open lives with the stroke of the President's pen, and I was hoping that the First Lady would share my concern for all of our young people."
Despite Sturtz's intentions, neither the first lady nor the crowd, who came to her defense, were impressed. The first lady's supporters cheered when Sturtz was escorted out. This comes after President Obama was heckled late last month during a press conference on national security. The president took a different approach, waiting with an abundance of patience and telling the heckler, "We're addressing that ma'am" and saying "the voice of that woman is worth paying attention to" while admitting he didn't agree with much of what she said.
Listen to yesterday's exchange between the first lady and the LGBT activist now and just keep reading to see CNN's video of the encounter.
Last night, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cracked up the crowd at the CFDA Awards when she jokingly pitched her own reality show to Bravo's Andy Cohen, suggesting the title Project Pantsuit. Along with last night's quip, Hillary has had more than a few memorable quotes since coming on the national scene in 1992 as the successful and outspoken wife of then presidential candidate Bill Clinton. She has had her ups — like her husband's two election wins, serving in the Senate herself, and now enjoying national and international popularity as the country's top diplomat — and downs, which include a failed attempt to champion universal health care as first lady, the humiliating Monica Lewinsky affair, and her unsuccessful run for president. Thanks to both the highs and lows, she is a resilient national figure, and it's hard not to respect her, even if you don't agree with her politics. Let's look at the advice she's given on topics like marriage, accepting criticism, facing failure, and standing up for what you believe in.
Bradley Cooper paid a visit to Washington DC today for the White House Mental Health Conference. Bradley sported a fresh haircut in the East Room, where he listened to President Obama deliver his opening remarks. In them, the president said, "We all know somebody — a family member, a friend, a neighbor — who has struggled or will struggle with mental health issues at some point in their lives," and he explained that the conference would focus on reducing the stigma associated with mental illness and encouraging more people to reach out for assistance.
As the star of last year's Silver Linings Playbook, Bradley helped increase awareness about bipolar disorder. Today, he and mental-health advocate Glenn Close brought some star power to the conference that featured experts and psychologists. The DC trip comes after Bradley's world travels to promote The Hangover Part III, which included a chance to let loose on the beach in Rio. But today Bradley traded his bathing suit for a dapper gray suit. See photos of Bradley at today's conference now.