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Barack Obama says goodbye, rally spirits of Democrats

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Washington, Jan 11, 2017: Outgoing President Barack Obama on Tuesday said goodbye to the US citizens in a dramatic reinterpretation of a presidential farewell address.

Obama asked them to reaffirm their faith in their own ability to “bring about the change”, ending with his signature: “Yes we can”.

The 44th US President gave the farewell speech in Chicago, reflecting on his time in office.

“By almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place” than it was eight years ago,” he said.

He implored Americans of all backgrounds to consider things from each others point of view, saying: “We have to pay attention and listen”.

He said if the citizen were tired of how things were then, “lace up your shoes and do some organising”.

If they were unhappy with the way the officials functioned, then “get a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for the office”.

Returning to Chicago, where he first declared victory in 2008, Obama was delivering the parting message to Americans after a divisive and vicious election campaign which led to Trump’s victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

He said: “Presuming goodness in others could be a risk”, but asked the 20,000 strong crowd gathered there to “dive in and stay at it” whenever change should be brought.

Referring to his own experience, Obama said: “More often than not your faith in America and Americans will be confirmed.”

He cited examples of young graduates and officers whom he met in the past eight years. He also recalled the bereaved families he mourned with and “found grace” in the Charleston Church.

He especially drew inspiration from the youngest. Obama recalled the young boy who offered his house and brotherhood to another child, a refuge from Syria.

The country’s first black president, now 55, was first elected in 2008 on a message of hope and change.

His successor, President-elect Donald Trump, has vowed to undo some of his signature policies.

Trump would be sworn into office on January 20.

Striking an upbeat tone, Obama said that the peaceful transfer of power between presidents was a “hallmark” of American democracy, the BBC reported.

However, he added, “our democracy won’t work without a sense that everyone has economic opportunity”.

Back to where it all started he said: “I first came to Chicago when I was in my early twenties, still trying to figure out who I was; still searching for a purpose to my life,” CNN quoted Obama as saying.

His address was at McCormick Place, the largest convention centre in North America and the venue for Obama’s speech after he defeated Mitt Romney in the 2012 election.

The tickets were given out free, but were selling online for more than $1,000 each hours ahead of the speech.

First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden are all in attendance.

Obama rallied the spirits of beleaguered Democrats, still reeling from Hillary Clinton’s election loss in November.

IANS

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Germany wants to strengthen multilateralism with China: Merkel

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said her country wants to strengthen multilateralism with China and she is looking forward to her visit to China next week.

Merkel will visit China next Thursday and Friday at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. It will be her first trip to China after re-election and the 11th as the German chancellor, Xinhua news agency reported.

Merkel said in a podcast published on Saturday that as Germany and China have agreed on regular political dialogue and intergovernmental consultations, she went to China to conduct these talks on average once a year.

Germany and China have carried out very close cooperation within G20, Merkel said, adding that during her upcoming visit the two sides will talk about bilateral relations, rule of law, China’s development, economy and other international affairs.

“We want to strengthen multilateralism. And that will play a role in our discussion,” said Merkel.

Merkel will also visit Shenzhen, an economic hub in China’s southern Guangdong Province.

“I am glad that I’m going to Shenzhen this time as well. I have regularly visited provinces in China, not just the capital. I am again and again aware of the dynamics and the extent to which China is developing,” Merkel said.

The German Chancellor said she was very interested in visiting Shenzhen where China’s economic opening-up began and where there are many German companies.

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Royal Wedding: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle marry at Windsor Castle

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New Delhi, May 19: It’s the most anticipated wedding of the year: Prince Harry married US actress Meghan Markle in a ceremony at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle here on Saturday (May 19).

prince harry Meghan Markle

Meghan became the first royal bride to walk herself up the aisle at a royal wedding. She was met halfway by Prince Charles, the Duke of Cornwall, who walked her down the aisle of the Quire of the chapel. Her father Thomas Markle was unable to attend due to health issues.

The marriage between Harry, who is sixth in line to the throne, and Meghan, an American actor who lived for years in Toronto, has drawn intense interest worldwide.

Among the 600 celebrity guests invited to the St. George Chapel were internationally acclaimed Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney, David and Victoria Beckham, Elton John, Tom Hardy, James Corden, James Blunt and Carey Mulligan among others.

Tennis star Serena Williams and rugby star Jonny Wilkinson were also present.

The ceremony took place in presence of Queen Elizabeth II, her husband Prince Philip, Prince William, his wife Catherine, Prince Harry’s uncle, Earl Spencer; the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson; and Catherine’s sister Pippa Middleton.

Watch all the Live Updates of Royal Wedding here: 

Here comes the beautiful royal bride:

Handsome groom:

Harry and Markle becomeDuke and Duchess of Sussex on their Wedding Day: Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the dukedom on her grandson in the morning, with his wife-to-be automatically becoming a duchess. Prince Harry’s titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.

“The Queen has today been pleased to confer a Dukedom on Prince Henry of Wales. His titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel,” according to the royal statement.

“Prince Harry thus becomes His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex,” it said.

The couple will wed at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

People flocking the streets to welcome the bride and groom.

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Trump nominates Harris as US ambassador to South Korea

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Washington, May 19: US President Donald Trump picked Admiral Harry Harris as the next US ambassador to the South Korea, the White House said on Friday.

Harris, 61, currently serves as the commander of US Pacific Command. He was previously nominated as the US ambassador to Australia, Xinhua news agency reported.

The post of the US ambassador to South Korea has remained unfilled since Trump took office in 2017.

It has been reported that the White House withdrew its nomination of Victor Cha, a veteran Korea expert, in January for the post because of Cha’s opposition to military options against North Korea.

Harris still needs the Senate confirmation to assume the post.

IANS

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