Obama says goodbye in emotional farewell address
President Barack Obama bid farewell to the nation Tuesday in an emotional speech that sought to comfort a country on edge over rapid economic changes, persistent security threats and the election of Donald Trump.
Forceful at times and tearful at others, Obama's valedictory speech in his hometown of Chicago was a public meditation on the many trials the U.S. faces as Obama takes his exit. For the challenges that are new, Obama offered his vision for how to surmount them, and for the persistent problems he was unable to overcome, he offered optimism that others, eventually, will.
"Yes, our progress has been uneven," Obama told a crowd of some 18,000. "The work of democracy has always been hard, contentious and sometimes bloody. For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back."
Yet Obama argued his faith in America had only been strengthened by what he's witnessed the past eight years, and he declared: "The future should be ours."
Brushing away tears with a handkerchief, Obama paid tribute to the sacrifices made by his wife - and by his daughters, who were young girls when they entered the big white home on Pennsylvania Avenue and leave as young women. He praised first lady Michelle Obama for taking on her role "with grace and grit and style and good humor" and for making the White House "a place that belongs to everybody."
Soon Obama and his family will exit the national stage, to be replaced by Trump, a man Obama had stridently argued poses a dire threat to the nation's future. His near-apocalyptic warnings throughout the campaign have cast a continuing shadow over his post-election efforts to reassure Americans anxious about the future.
Indeed, much of what Obama accomplished during his two terms - from health care overhaul and environmental regulations to his nuclear deal with Iran - could potentially be upended by Trump. So even as Obama seeks to define what his presidency meant for America, his legacy remains in question.
Even as Obama said farewell - in a televised speech of just under an hour - the anxiety felt by many Americans about the future was palpable, and not only in the Chicago convention center where he stood in front of a giant presidential seal. The political world was reeling from new revelations about an unsubstantiated report that Russia had compromising personal and financial information about Trump.
Obama made only passing reference to the next president. When he noted he would soon be replaced by the Republican, his crowd began to boo.
"No, no, no, no, no," Obama said. One of the nation's great strengths, he said, "is the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next."
Earlier, as the crowd of thousands chanted, "Four more years," he simply smiled and said, "I can't do that."
Still, Obama offered what seemed like a point-by-point rebuttal of Trump's vision for America.
He pushed back on the isolationist sentiments inherent in Trump's trade policies. He decried discrimination against Muslim Americans and lamented politicians who question climate change. And he warned about the pernicious threat to U.S. democracy posed by purposely deceptive fake "news" and a growing tendency of Americans to listen only to information that confirms what they already believe.
Get out of your "bubbles," said the politician who rose to a prominence with a message of unity, challenging divisions of red states and blue states. Obama also revived a call to activism that marked his first presidential campaign, telling Americans to stay engaged in politics.
"If you're tired of arguing with strangers on the internet," Obama said pointedly, "try to talk with one in real life. "
With Democrats still straining to make sense of their devastating election losses, Obama tried to offer a path forward. He called for empathy for the struggles of all Americans - from minorities, refugees and transgender people to middle-aged white men whose sense of economic security has been upended in recent years.
Paying tribute to his place as America's first black president, Obama acknowledged there were hopes after his 2008 election for a post-racial America.
"Such a vision, however well-intended, was never realistic," Obama said, though he insisted race relations are better now than a few decades ago.
The former community organizer closed out his speech by reviving his campaign chant, "Yes we can." To that, he added for the first time, "Yes we did."
He staunchly defended the power of activists to make a difference - the driving factor behind Obama's optimism in the face of so much anxiety, he said. Though the coalition of young Americans and minorities who twice got Obama elected wasn't enough to elect Democrat Hillary Clinton to replace him, Obama suggested their day was still ahead.
"You'll soon outnumber any of us, and I believe as a result that the future is in good hands," he said.
Steeped in nostalgia, Obama's return to Chicago was less a triumphant homecoming than a bittersweet reunion bringing together loyalists and staffers, many of whom have long since left Obama's service, moved on to new careers and started families. They came from across the country - some on Air Force One, others on their own - to be present for the last major moment of Obama's presidency.
Unexpectedly absent was Obama's younger daughter, Sasha, who had been expected to join sister Malia at the speech. The White House said Sasha stayed in Washington due to a school exam Wednesday morning.
After returning to Washington, he will have less than two weeks before he accompanies Trump in the presidential limousine to the Capitol for the new president's swearing-in. After nearly a decade in the spotlight, Obama will become a private citizen, an elder statesman at 55. He plans to take some time off, write a book - and immerse himself in a Democratic redistricting campaign.
Humiliating defeat for trump in bid to repeal 'Obamacare'
In a humiliating failure, President Donald Trump and GOP leaders yanked their bill to repeal "Obamacare" off the House floor Friday when it became clear it would fail badly — after seven years of nonstop railing against the health care law. Democrats said Americans can "breathe a sigh of relief." Trump said Obama's law was imploding "and soon will explode."
UML condoles Dulari Devi's demise
The CPN-UML has expressed deep sorrow over the demise of parliamentarian Dulari Devi, who succumbed to injuries she suffered in a motorcycle accident. She breathed her last while undergoing treatment at B&B Hospital, Lalitpur on Thursday. She was 48. Issuing a note of condolence on Friday, the party has paid tribute to the departed soul and extended heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.
Holding election before constitution amendment not possible: Mahato
Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato has said the party will not take part in any election until the issues of fresh delineation of provinces are sorted out. Talking to media persons briefly at Janakpur Airport on Friday, Mahato ruled out the possibility of election before the constitution amendment.
- Chinese Vice-Premier Gaoli calls on PM Dahal
Chinese Defence Minister Chang, Nepal Army chief Chhetri hold meeting
Chinese Defence Minister and State Councilor General Chang Wanquan has called on Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Rajendra Chhetri at latter's office at the Army Headquarters on Friday. According to Nepalese Army, Directorate of Public Relations, they held discussions on bilateral relations and cooperation. The armies of the two nations have harmonious relations since long.
We take pride in Sagarmatha and also Bhagwan Buddha. We should introspect as to what has been “our” contribution in the making of both. The tallest mountain landmark is the outcome of tectonic push against the bigger landmass creating the upward drift that created the Himalaya. Prince Siddhartha, on the other hand, was born 2556 years ago or 23 centuries before Nepal got unified under Prithivi Narayan Shah. Siddhartha is believed to have attained enlightenment at the age of 35 or around six years after leaving Kapilvastu.
All this pointed that the election will be held with public support despite efforts by those against it. But all that changed after three people were killed in Rajbiraj after the police opened fire on Madhesi Front cadres who were ‘hurling petrol bombs’ toward the venue where UML Chairman KP Oli had just finished his short address.
Men at work
Currently the larger part of our urban area resembles a war zone with bulldozers and mechanical diggers running amok. What is left behind the unfinished work typically consists of mangled water pipes, jumbled up and torn telephone and electric wires, mounds of dug earth and gravel heaps, unfilled ditches and incomplete manholes.
A great aviator in the Nepali skies
Deepak was not only a competent pilot but also someone who had the inner strength to always remain cool, calm, and collected. That nature helped him make a total of three emergency landings in his career as a pilot when he suddenly had to deal with technical malfunctions while flying an aircraft.
Traffic Police in Kathmandu
As busy and hassling as the traffic system in Kathmandu is, the Traffic Police here have to handle an equally strenuous job. Over 1,400 traffic officers in and around the Kathmandu Valley battle against the pestering traffic and air pollution each day.
Menstrual taboo outdated
I have seen my sisters and friends isolated and treated in discriminatory manner during their first menstruation cycle. They were not allowed to look at the sun, to touch water source, flower, fruits, any male family member, nor even hear their voice. The activist may claim the situation has changed and I do agree but still during every month my loved ones turns into untouchables beings.