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Haitian Ambassador Raymond Joseph Responds To Pat Robertson

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A Brief History Lesson on Haiti and the Louisiana Purchase

On October 1, 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of France, concluded the Treaty of San Ildefonso with Spain, which returned Louisiana to French ownership in exchange for a Spanish kingdom in Italy.

Napoleon’s ambitions in Louisiana involved the creation of a new empire centered on the Caribbean sugar trade. By terms of the Treaty of Ameins of 1800, Great Britain returned ownership of the islands of Martinique and Guadaloupe to the French. Napoleon looked upon Louisiana as a depot for these sugar islands, and as a buffer to U.S. settlement. In October of 1801 he sent a large military force to retake the important island of Santo Domingo, lost in a slave revolt in the 1790s.

Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, was disturbed by Napoleon’s plans to re-establish French colonies in America. With the possession of New Orleans, Napoleon could close the Mississippi to U.S. commerce at any time. Jefferson authorized Robert R. Livingston, U.S. Minister to France, to negotiate for the purchase for up to $2 million of the City of New Orleans, portions of the east bank of the Mississippi, and free navigation of the river for U.S. commerce.

An official transfer of Louisiana to French ownership had not yet taken place, and Napoleon’s deal with the Spanish was a poorly kept secret on the frontier. On October 18, 1802, however, a strange thing happened. Juan Ventura Moralis, Acting Intendant of Louisiana, made public the intention of Spain to revoke the right of deposit at New Orleans for all cargo from the United States. The closure of this vital port to the United States caused anger and consternation, and commerce in the west was virtually blockaded. Historians believe that the revocation of the right of deposit was prompted by abuses of the Americans, particularly smuggling, and not by French intrigues as was believed at the time. President Jefferson ignored public pressure for war with France, and appointed James Monroe special envoy to Napoleon, to assist in obtaining New Orleans for the United States. Jefferson boosted the authorized expenditure of funds to $10 million.

Meanwhile, Napoleon’s plans in the Caribbean were being frustrated by Toussaint L’Ouverture, his army of former slaves, and yellow fever. During ten months of fierce fighting on Santo Domingo, France lost over 40,000 soldiers. Without Santo Domingo Napoleon’s colonial ambitions for a French empire were foiled in North America. Louisiana would be useless as a granary without sugar islanders to feed. Napoleon also considered the temper of the United States, where sentiment was growing against France and stronger ties with Great Britain were being considered. Spain’s refusal to sell Florida was the last straw, and Napoleon turned his attention once more to Europe; the sale of the now-useless Louisiana would supply needed funds to wage war there. Napoleon directed his ministers, Talleyrand and Barbe-Marbois, to offer the entire Louisiana territory to the United States – and quickly.

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If you’d like to see what the country looked like before the Louisiana Purchase, please click on the map below to enlarge.

Click on the map to enlarge

Check out A Tribute to Haitian Soldiers for Heroism in the American Revolution 1797

UPDATE: Haitians react to televangelist Pat Robertson’s ‘devil pact’ remarks

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Help for Haiti~Learn What You Can Do

Complete Haiti Relief Coverage Main PageHaiti Relief Coverage Main Page

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Vice President Biden’s Meets with U.N. Secretary General’s Special Representative for Iraq

posted by: Audiegrl

Vice President Joe Biden meets with U.N Special Representative for Iraq, second from left, Ad Melkert, in the Roosevelt Room, January 5, 2010

The Vice President met with the U.N. Secretary General’s Special Representative for Iraq Ad Melkert, to discuss developments in Iraq. The Vice President offered continued U.S. government support for the indispensable role of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq and thanked Mr. Melkert for his leadership, highlighting his recent support for Iraqi efforts to approve an election law. They discussed preparations for the upcoming national elections and pledged to help the Iraqis resolve outstanding national unity issues.

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It’s In Our Hands: Census Kicks Off 2010 Portrait of America Road Tour

posted by: Audiegrl

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke can be followed on Twitter at @SecLocke

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke can be followed on Twitter at @SecLocke

Secretary Gary Locke~~Yesterday, I started my new year in Rockefeller Center on the Today Show to kick off our huge push to get people to take part in the 2010 Census.

One of my resolutions is to help make this the best, most accurate Census count ever.

The Commerce Department’s Census Bureau spends 10 years planning how to best count everyone living in America and then New Years comes – and the rubber hits the road! Which is literally what’s happening this year.

Today, we’re sending out a small fleet of 13 vehicles – which we’re calling the Portrait of America Road Tour – that will drive across the United States and Puerto Rico to get the word out about the 2010 Census.

We’re doing this for the oldest of reasons – because our Constitution tells us to. Every 10 years, since 1790, we’ve counted ourselves – every single person living in America. This count determines how we divvy up about $400 billion in federal aid to states to help pay for things like schools, roads, hospitals and police and firemen.

For the 2010 Census, we’ve added some high tech twists to the traditional Census process. Everyone is still going to receive a Census questionnaire in the mailbox, so please – FILL IT OUT, and mail it back. The form is very simple, and has only 10 questions that should take about 10 minutes to complete, and the questionnaire comes in numerous languages.

I’m counting on the Road Tour to get the word out and encourage people to participate. Our little armada of vehicles will drive more than 150,000 miles, be seen by an estimated 18 million people and stop at more than 800 community gatherings, celebrations and sporting events.

Anybody who wants to can learn about the Census and how to fill out a Census form. If you want, you can explain why you’re taking part in the Census, and then you can upload your story onto an interactive website. And you can follow the tour and see other people’s stories by tracking the Road Tour on Twitter, Facebook or through the Road Tour blog. Happy New Years and make sure to follow the Portrait of America Road Tour on the web at:

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White House Celebrates the 540th Anniversary of the Birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

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Guru Nanak Dev ji

Guru Nanak Dev ji 1469-1539

Whitehouse.gov—On Friday we hosted a reception commemorating the 540th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first guru in Sikhism. It was the first time that this holiday has ever been celebrated at the White House. Members of the Sikh community from around the country were invited to celebrate the occasion with traditional hymns led by the Sikh Kirtani Chanters from the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. Several administration officials were in attendance, including Dr. John Holdren (Office of Science & Technology Policy), Tina Tchen (Office of Public Engagement), Michael Strautmanis (Chief of Staff to Valerie Jarrett), Adolfo Carrion (Urban Affairs), and Nancy Anne DeParle (Health Reform).

Representatives from the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, United Sikhs, and other grassroots leaders came together to recognize the important contributions of Sikhs to our national life. The first Sikhs arrived as laborers in the western United States around 1899 and gradually moved around the country. They went on to become owners of successful businesses, serve honorably in the U.S. military in both world wars and other conflicts, lawyers, doctors, bankers, and members of many other professions.

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Forbes: The World’s Most Powerful People

The 67 heads of state, criminals, financiers and philanthropists who really run the world.

forbesmostpowerfulForbes— In its inaugural list of the world’s most powerful people, Forbes has the News Corp. chief at No. 7, ahead of such luminaries as the king of Saudi Arabia (No. 9), Pope Benedict XVI (No. 11) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (No. 17),
Topping the list is President Obama, followed by China president Jintao Hu, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, is No. 10. Murdoch is the only pure media mogul to crack the top 10, though Brin and Page certainly dabble in media, as does No. 6 on the list Carlos Slim Helu, the Telmex CEO who recently purchased a 6.4% stake in the New York Times.

Other media bigwigs on the Forbes list of the 67 most powerful people include No. 13 Jeff Immelt, the CEO and chairman of NBC Universal parent GE.

Prime Minister of Italy and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi is No. 12, while New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder of the business news service that bears his name, is No. 20.

oprah-winfrey-

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is No. 45, New York Times editor William Keller is No. 51, Al Jazeera director-general Khanfar Wadah is No. 54, Apple founder and Disney director Steve Jobs is No. 57 and BBC director-general Mark Thompson is No. 65.

Forbes held its list to 67 “based on the conceit that one can reduce the world’s 6.7 billion people to the one in every 100 million that matter.”

Its criteria consisted of: the number of people one influences; one’s ability to project power beyond one’s immediate sphere of influence; control of or access to significant financial resources; and how actively one wields power.

The list even includes a few of the more notorious drug traffickers, terrorists and other assorted outlaws. Osama bin Laden, for example, is No. 37.

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View the entire list @ forbessmalllogo

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First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden at World Series

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obamabidenws

Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, Yogi Berra and Capt. Tony Odierno

There are two additions to the lineup for tonight’s opening game of the World Series at Yankees Stadium: Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden.

The first wives will participate in ceremonies honoring Welcome Back Veterans, accompanied by Yankees legend Yogi Berra, and West Point graduate and Iraq War veteran Tony Odierno.

Odierno, who lost his left arm in the Iraq War, is an operations employee at Yankees Stadium. Berra served in the Navy during World War II.

world-series-live-stream-schedule2009We are looking forward to welcoming the First Lady and Dr. Biden to Yankee Stadium and Game One of the 2009 World Series,” said Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, “We hope their presence at both the game and the hospital visit will be an inspiration to the veterans, who proudly served our country.”

Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden, along with several members of the Yankees, will visit patients at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx.

Long before their husbands became President and Vice President, the two women have made veterans and military families a central priority. Mrs. Obama has visited Fort Bragg to talk to military families twice since the President took office. Dr. Biden is a Blue Star Mom – the Vice President’s son Beau Biden recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq.

Tonight’s game in New York highlighted the work of welcomebackveterans.org, an organization that has awarded $5.8 million in grants to non-profit agencies across the country targeting veterans’ greatest needs, including mental health and job training/placement.

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Michelle Obama and Jill Biden Support Our Veterans

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden express their support for our returning heroes, and ask all Americans to get involved.

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First Lady Michelle Obama Named Honorary National President of Girl Scouts

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GIRL-SCOUTS-largeNew York, N.Y. – Girl Scouts of the USA is pleased to announce that First Lady Michelle Obama has agreed to serve as its Honorary National President.

It is my great pleasure to serve as Honorary National President of Girl Scouts,” said Mrs. Obama. “With their innovative new programming, ground-breaking research, and emphasis on service and leadership, Girl Scouts is preparing the women of tomorrow to be a positive force for change – in their own lives, their communities, and across the globe.”

In accepting the position, Mrs. Obama takes her place in a tradition stretching back to 1917, when First Lady Edith B. Wilson became the first Honorary National President of the Girl Scout movement. Since then, each successive First Lady has served in this post.

Girl Scouts plan to work with the First Lady on areas of mutual concern, such as healthy living, public service and leadership.

Connie L. Lindsey, Michelle Obama, Kathy Cloninger

Connie L. Lindsey, Michelle Obama, Kathy Cloninger

From bullying to obesity to concern over the economy, our nation’s girls are facing significant challenges,” said Kathy Cloninger, Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts of the USA. “Girl Scouts is excited to work with the First Lady’s office to ensure that all girls can overcome the challenges they face, and that they have the skills, resources and opportunities they need to become strong, independent young leaders.”

Girl Scouts can help girls from every background develop their self-confidence and leadership ability, and encourage them to make a difference in the world,” said Connie L. Lindsey, Girl Scouts of the USA National Board Chair. “The First Lady is a passionate, brilliant and inspirational woman – a fantastic role model for girls across the country. We look forward to an active and mutually rewarding partnership on issues important to girls’ lives.”

About Girl Scouts

180px-GirlScoutsLogoFounded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.6 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls’ healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girls Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts, call (800) GSUSA 4 U (800-478-7248) or visit www.girlscouts.org.

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Indicted California Man Threatened To Kill President And Scrawl “Fed …” On His Chest

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AP—A Northern California man remained in federal custody without bail Friday after being charged with sending racist, profanity-laced e-mail threatening to kill President Barack Obama and his family.

John Gimbel, 59, of Crescent City was arrested Oct. 6 by U.S. Secret Service officers and indicted two days before the president’s Thursday appearances at a pair of Democratic fundraisers in the city.

He is accused of sending the message to Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, a Louisville newspaper and about 70 other people on Sept. 28.

Gimbel is scheduled to be arraigned Monday. Randall Davis, a defense lawyer assigned to serve as Gimbel’s co-counsel because Gimbel wants to represent himself, said he expects him to plead not guilty.

”He contends he didn’t violate the law” and only was exercising his free speech rights,” Davis said.
More @ Associated Press

**44 Update by GeoT**
From The Eureka Times-Standard
After allegedly e-mailing an editor with NBC Universal twice in May 2007 about killing former President George W. Bush, the Secret Service located Gimbel, who told the service he was harmless and had no interest in assassinations. The Secret Service then contacted two of his sisters, one of whom said the siblings were estranged, but thought Gimbel had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and believed he was troubled after his military discharge.

According to the Veterans Service Office and Humboldt County Records Office, Gimbel was born in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1949. While he was a resident of Arcata, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in Oakland in 1971. The private first class was honorably discharged for a physical disability at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco in 1973 after six months of foreign or sea service.

On Sept. 7, the Secret Service interviewed Gimbel at his home on Brevus Street in Crescent City, according to an affidavit in U.S. District Court. During the interview, Gimbel was reportedly verbally abusive to Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office deputies. He claimed he had a right to free speech when informed that his alleged threats were illegal, and said he’d defend his rights and his home, and if he “had to kill 18 deputies who tried to enter his home, then so be it.”

In the affidavit, Secret Service Special Agent Russell Miller asked the court to approve a “no-knock” arrest warrant, which would allow agents to enter Gimbel’s residence without warning. There was reason to believe Gimbel had firearms in the house, Miller wrote, and Gimbel had allegedly made threats against law enforcement. He also requested the complaint and associated documents be filed under seal so Gimbel would not discover them.

Gimbel was arrested in his home on Oct. 6 and taken into custody in the Humboldt County jail, a facility approved for holding federal prisoners. He is being held without bail on suspicion of threatening the president of the United States, threatening the president’s immediate family and making threats transmitted through interstate communication. The three charges, brought by a grand jury earlier this week, each carry maximum penalties of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.
Read more from Northern California: (click here:)
Eureka Times-Standard

TPM has received a copy of the indictment in United States of America vs. John Gimbel

The subject line of the email read:

Operation kill big-[epithet]-rig: kill the ‘president’ [epithet], then write ‘fed shit’ on his chest with a felt tip.

As TPM also notes:

That last clause appears to be a reference to the recent death of a Census Bureau worker, who was found in rural Kentucky with a rope around his neck and the word “Fed” scrawled on his chest, in what many have suggested was an act of anti-government violence.

In the body of the e-mail, as reproduced in the indictment, Gimbel, used a string of crude and racist epithets in additionally calling for the murders of Michelle Obama and the couple’s two children “in front of” the president.

You can read the rest of his sick rant here, if you can stomach it.

Gimbel’s Previous Legal History

According to reporting by the San Francisco Chronicle, this case, which was investigated by the Secret Service, is not the first time Gimbel has come under scrutiny for e-mail messages.

In April 2004, Gimbel was accused of complaining about a $5 parking ticket in an e-mail and threatening to deputize others to carry out his plans. His email is below:

Just got a $5 parking ticket. The Crescent City piggy-wiggly that gave it to me left a little over-zealous. That’s a drag. I am hereby deputizing all the citizens of Crescent City to fix up some of the f*ck up piggos. Grab those hi-powered deer rifles, each and every, and get in groups of 50 and more and go breeze away to dust the skull of the policy chief.

Make an example of that scum. That should do it for awhile. However, if any other piggos down at the station give you crap on this or get in the way, then blow their skulls off, too.
.”

On April 8, 2004, the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Department arrested Gimbel and removed two computers and two handguns from his location. Gimbel was convicted of making the threats, but the conviction was overturned on appeal, court records show.

On January 8, 2007, Gimbel filed a lawsuit John Gimbel vs. State of California, et al. alleging federal claims for relief against Defendant for violation of his rights under the First, Second, and Fourth Amendments of the United States Constitution. The court dismissed the claim dismissed with prejudice”.

In another case, Gimbel allegedly harassed a Del Norte County sheriff’s deputy who cited him for having faulty brake lights and no proof of insurance.

Gimbel repeatedly left vulgar messages on the deputy’s voice mail, prompting the deputy to obtain a restraining order against him in 2006, authorities said.

In Gimbel vs. State of California et al, Gimbel attempted to sue for a Civil Rights violation, and asking for damages in the amount of $7000. On June 22, 2007, the Court granted a Motion to Dismiss. The Court’s Order included a detailed discussion of the pleadings and applicable law, and specifically allowed Gimbel 30 days to file an Amended Complaint properly alleging claims.

On July 12, 2007, Gimbel filed a 6-page document entitled “Amended Complaint.” The court documents explain why the case was dismissed with prejudice:

The Court need not look past the first sentence of Gimbel’s “Amended Complaint” to see that it is nothing more than profanity-ridden drivel, replete with racial epithets directed at specific members of this Court, and should be dismissed with prejudice. Even if the “Amended Complaint” actually alleged a cognizable claim (which a cursory review of the document demonstrates that it does not), the Court is under no obligation to consider the merits of Gimbel’s calumnious screed, which is a stream-of- consciousness diatribe directed primarily at insulting the Court.

John Vrieze, a Eureka attorney who represented Del Norte County in both cases, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “The guy has some type of obsessive disorder. … He’s become very fixated on his First Amendment rights, thinking that transcends all bounds and that you can say anything you want and that it’s protected speech. He probably could stand to benefit from some therapy.”

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44-D’s True Crime: UK Wife ‘lured husband to woods for drug-fueled sex… then slit his throat so she could meet internet lover for first time’

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Joanne Hale

Joanne Hale

UK Daily Mail Online/Luke Salkeld—A poet lured her husband into woodland for a drug-fueled sex session and then slit his throat, a court was told yesterday.

Joanne Hale, 39, left him for dead so she could see a man she had met on the internet, a jury heard.

Peter Hale

Peter Hale

Hale gave her 43-year-old husband Peter a dose of a natural aphrodisiac called ‘horny goat weed‘ before she blindfolded him and led him into local woods to act out her fantasy, it was alleged.

The couple kissed and ‘rolled about on the leaves‘ as part of a ‘playful game‘.

Then Hale sat astride her husband as he lay face- down on the ground and slit his throat with a knife, before plunging it into his neck and chest several times, a jury was told.

The woods near the M32 in Bristol

The woods near the M32 in Bristol

It is alleged that she abandoned his bleeding body when she was disturbed by a passer-by, and drove to a nearby railway station for her first meeting with a man she had befriended on the internet. But police arrested her when she returned home.

She denies attempted murder and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Hale publishes her poetry on the internet and, according to her website, likes to write verse about ‘people, animals, love and everything that people care about‘.

She worked part-time as a sales assistant for a DIY firm. Bristol Crown Court heard how the bizarre events unfolded last Christmas.

Horny Goat Weed

Horny Goat Weed

The couple, who married in February 2000, were watching television on December 27 when Mrs Hale suggested her husband take ‘horny goat weed‘.

Made using extracts from a leafy wild plant, the herbal drug is legal and is widely available to buy in capsule form.

It is used to treat erectile dysfunction and increase sexual desire.

Legend has it that its qualities were first noticed by a Chinese shepherd who observed an increase in promiscuous behaviour among his goats after they ate the plant.

It is said to have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

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The Peace Prize‘ an Editorial by the New York Times

NYTimesbuildingfrontNew York Times—President Obama responded to the news of his Nobel Peace Prize the right way. He said he was humbled, acknowledged that the efforts for which he was honored are only beginning and pledged to see them through, not on his own but in concert with other nations.

There cannot have been unbridled joy in the White House early Friday. Mr. Obama’s aides had to expect a barrage of churlish reaction, and they got it. The left denounced the Nobel committee for giving the prize to a wartime president. The right proclaimed that Mr. Obama sold out the United States by engaging in diplomacy. Members of the dwindling band of George W. Bush loyalists also sneered — with absolutely no recognition of their own culpability — that Mr. Obama has not yet ended the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq.

Certainly, the prize is a (barely) implicit condemnation of Mr. Bush’s presidency. But countering the ill will Mr. Bush created around the world is one of Mr. Obama’s great achievements in less than nine months in office. Mr. Obama’s willingness to respect and work with other nations is another.

Mr. Obama has bolstered this country’s global standing by renouncing torture, this time with credibility; by pledging to close the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba; by rejoining the effort to combat climate change and to rid the world of nuclear weapons; by recommitting himself to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and by offering to engage Iran while also insisting that it abandon its nuclear ambitions.

Mr. Obama did not seek the prize. It is a reminder of the extraordinarily high expectations for any American president — and does bring into sharp focus all that he has left to do to make the world, and this country, safer.

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More @ New York Times

Archbishop Desmond Tutu — Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 1984

archbishopDesmond tutu 200What wonderful recognition of someone who has already made such an impact on our planet with regards to the Muslim world, nuclear disarmament, climate change and, to some extent, the Middle East. He has reached out to the Arab world, including Iran, and North Korea.

In a way, it’s an award — coming near the beginning of the first term of office of a relatively young President — that anticipates an even greater contribution towards making our world a safer place for all. It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama’s message of hope.”~~Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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