First Lady Michelle Obama Travels To China

FLOTUS Travels to China - map

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Michelle Obama is the wife of the 44th and current President of the United States, Barack Obama. She was born on January 17, 1964 under the Chinese horoscope of the Rabbit 兔 癸 卯 on the South Side of Chicago. She attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School before returning to Chicago to work at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met her future husband. Subsequently, she worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

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First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters will travel to China and she’s inviting students and classrooms across the U.S. to follow her trip.

During her trip to China, the First Lady will be focusing on the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in both countries.

First Lady Michelle will meet with Madame Peng, the spouse of China’s President Xi Jinping. She will  visit a university and a high school in Beijing, and a high school in Chengdu as well as visiting important historical and cultural sites in China, and will share with students in the U.S. the stories of the students she meets in China, as well as interesting facts about China’s history and culture — emphasizing the importance of students learning from one another globally.

First Lady Michelle Obama is inviting young people across America to join her. During her trip, Mrs. Obama will meet with students at the Stanford Center at Peking University, Beijing Normal School and Chengdu No. 7 High School to discuss the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in both countries. She’ll also visit historical and cultural sites, from the Great Wall to the Terra Cotta Warriors, and will be sharing it all with you!

Here’s how people in the U.S. — and around the world — can participate and follow along:

  • The First Lady’s travel journal: Each day, the First Lady will post a daily travel blog, complete with videos and photos (and you can sign up to get the latest entries delivered to your inbox).
  • First Lady Michelle Obama’s  “100,000 Strong” China Study Abroad Initiative  (2011 Video here)
  • Ask the First Lady: In the weeks leading up to the trip, hundreds of young people submitted questions for the First Lady. During the visit, Mrs. Obama will record video responses and engage directly with young people on social media. Use the hashtag #FLOTUSinChina to discuss the trip and ask questions on Twitter or Instagram.
  • Read all of the First Lady’s posts at WhiteHouse.gov/First-Lady-China-Trip.
  • Follow on social media: You can follow along through the First Lady’s Twitter and Instagram accounts.

More ways to engage online:

  • “Exchange for a Day” with Discovery Education: From Peking University in Beijing, the First Lady will answer questions submitted by classrooms around the country, as part of Discovery Education and the White House’s “Of the People” webinar series. Jeff Wood, an American student from D.C. who is currently studying abroad in China, will pose questions to the First Lady on behalf of Discovery Education’s online audience. You can ask questions and watch the event on Tuesday, March 25th at 1:30 p.m. ET.
  • PBS Global Learning and Diplomacy Collection: As part of a new collection of resources, students and classrooms around the U.S. can access educational resources and collections about the history and culture of China. Leading up to the visit, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and the First Lady’s Chief of Staff Tina Tchen participated in a special webinar to answer questions from young people about the trip and China’s rich history and culture.
  • CNN iReport Assignment: iReporters in the U.S. and around the world have submitted questions for the First Lady about study abroad. Stay tuned to watch Mrs. Obama answer questions from Beijing.
  • Q&A with Youth in China: The U.S. Embassy has invited their social media followers on Chinese microblogging websites Sina and QQ Weibo to post questions for the First Lady. While in China, Mrs. Obama will answer questions about her visit. The First Lady’s responses will be posted in Mandarin on the Embassy’s social media platforms.

US – China Trade

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First Lady Michelle Obama’s China Itinerary

Beijing, China

March 20

  • First Lady Michelle Obama arrives in Beijing

March 21

March 22

  • First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks to students at the Stanford Center at Peking University. Speaking to an audience of American students studying abroad at Peking University and Chinese students who have studied abroad in the United States, Mrs. Obama will discuss the importance of study abroad and other cultural exchanges as well as the stake our two countries have in one another’s success.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a virtual discussion with American youth. During the conversation, Mrs. Obama will highlight the role of technology in enabling students in the United States to connect and collaborate with students around the world.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Summer Palace.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama meets with staff and families of the United States Embassy in Beijing.

March 23

  • First Lady Michelle Obama hosts an education roundtable.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Great Wall of China.

Xi’an, China

March 24

Chengdu, China

March 25

  • First Lady Michelle Obama visits Chengdu No. 7 High School. During remarks to students, Mrs. Obama will highlight the importance of education in her own life and in the lives of students in both the United States and China.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama meets with staff and families of the United States Consulate in Chengdu.

March 26

  • First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Chengdu Panda Base. The Chengdu Panda Base is currently home to approximately 50 pandas, ranging in age from infancy to full-grown adults. Chinese scientists spend their days working to increase the panda population through research, conservation, and breeding.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama departs Chengdu and returns to Washington D.C.

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70 Responses to First Lady Michelle Obama Travels To China

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    6:00 AM
    First Lady Michelle Obama, her daughters and her mother arrive in China

    First Lady Michelle meets with Madame Peng, the First Lady of China

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    President Obama Makes a Statement on Ukraine
    The White House

    11:10 AM
    President Obama departs the White House
    South Lawn

    11:20 AM
    President Obama departs Joint Base Andrews

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    1:25 PM
    President Obama arrives in Orlando, Florida
    Orlando International Airport

    2:00 PM
    President Obama takes part in a roundtable with Valencia College students and local workers
    Valencia College, Orlando, FL

    2:30 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks on Woman and the Economy
    Valencia College,

    3:00 PM
    3:45 PM
    President Obama departs Orlando, Florida
    Orlando International Airport

    4:00 PM
    4:35 PM
    President Obama arrives in Miami, Florida
    Miami International Airport

    5:00 PM
    5:10 PM
    President Obama attends a DNC event
    Private Residence, Miami, FL

    6:00 PM
    6:30 PM
    Vice President Biden attends an event for Representative Steve Israel
    Crest Hollow Country Club, Woodbury, Nassau County, New York

    7:00 PM
    7:35 PM
    President Obama attends a DCCC event
    Private Residence
    Private Residence, Miami, FL

    8:00 PM
    8:50 PM
    President Obama departs Miami, Florida
    Miami International Airport

    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM
    11:00 PM
    11:05 PM
    President arrives at Joint Base Andrews

    11:20 PM
    President arrives at the White House
    South Lawn

  2. CR says:

    First Lady Michelle Obama travels to China


    March 20-23 – Beijing, China

    * First Lady Michelle meets with Madame Peng Liyuan, the First Lady of China
    * First Lady Michelle Obama joins First Lady Peng Liyuan at Beijing Normal School, a school that prepares students to attend Universities abroad
    * First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Forbidden City with First Lady Peng Liyuan
    * First Lady Michelle Obama meets with First Lady Peng Liyuan and joins First Lady Peng Liyuan for dinner and a performance
    * First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks to students at the Stanford Center at Peking University.
    * First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a virtual discussion with American youth.
    * First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Summer Palace.
    * First Lady Michelle Obama meets with staff and families of the United States Embassy in Beijing.
    * First Lady Michelle Obama hosts an education roundtable.
    * First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Great Wall of China.

    March 24 – Xi’an, China
    * First Lady Michelle visits the Terra Cotta Warriors
    * First Lady Michelle visits the Walled City

    March 25-26 – Chengdu, China
    * First Lady Michelle Obama visits Chengdu No. 7 High School. During remarks to students, Mrs. Obama will highlight the importance of education in her own life and in the lives of students in both the United States and China.
    * First Lady Michelle Obama meets with staff and families of the United States Consulate in Chengdu.
    * First Lady Michelle Obama visits Chengdu No. 7 High School.
    * First Lady Michelle Obama meets with staff and families of the United States Consulate in Chengdu.

    • CR says:

      First Lady Michelle Obama Travels to China And Invites Young People to Participate

      March 03, 2014 11:22 AM EST

      On March 19th, I’ll be heading to China for an official visit – and I want young people like you across America to join me.

      Over the past five years as First Lady, I’ve traveled around the world – to countries like Mexico, India, South Africa, Ireland and others across Africa, Asia, Europe and South America – and China is another important stop on this journey. With more than 1.3 billion people, China is the most populous country on earth, and it plays an important role on the world stage.

      My husband and I take the time to visit countries like China because we know that today, more than ever before, our lives here in America are connected to the lives of people around the world.

      Companies here in America do business with – and compete with – companies across the globe. With the click of a button, you can connect with kids on every continent, and last year alone, more than 283,000 American high school and college students studied in more than 190 different countries (China is actually the fifth most popular place for American students to study abroad, and more students come from China to study in the U.S. than from any other country). And no matter what country we live in, we’re all facing so many of the same challenges – from ensuring that students get a good education; to fighting poverty, hunger and disease; to addressing threats to our planet like climate change.

      These issues affect every last one of us, so it’s critically important that young people like you learn about what’s going on not just here in America, but around the world. Because when it comes to the challenges we face, soon, all of you will be leading the way. You’ll be discovering the cures, inventing the technologies, building the businesses, and making the laws that will shape our future for generations to come. And you’ll need to do these things together, working with others around the world – so you’ll need to be familiar with cultures, languages, and traditions that are very different from your own.

      That’s why everywhere I go, whether it’s here in the U.S. or abroad, I meet with young people to hear about your challenges, hopes and dreams – and that’s what I’ll be doing in China as well. During my trip, I’ll be visiting a university and two high schools in Beijing and Chengdu (which are two of China’s largest cities). I’ll be talking with students about their lives in China and telling them about America and the values and traditions we hold dear. I’ll be focusing in particular on the power and importance of education, both in my own life and in the lives of young people in both of our countries. I’ll also be visiting various historical and cultural sites in China, and I look forward to sharing with you the stories of the students I meet, as well as the interesting facts I learn about Chinese history and culture.

      I’ll be posting a daily travel blog, complete with videos and photos, and I’ll be taking – and answering – questions from kids across America as I go.

      I hope you’ll join me – all you have to do is get online:

      Go to WhiteHouse.gov to check out my travel blog, and you can even sign up for a daily email update delivered to your inbox.
      Explore educational resources about China and join virtual events with PBS LearningMedia and Discovery Education.
      Follow me on Twitter @FLOTUS and on Instagram @MichelleObama for the latest updates from the road and for chances to ask questions during the visit.

      I look forward to sharing this important trip with you.

    • CR says:

      March 17, 2014

      Press Briefing By The First Lady’s Chief Of Staff Tina Tchen And Deputy National Security Advisor For Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes On The First Lady’s Upcoming Travel To China

      Via Conference Call

      12:33 P.M. EDT

      MS. GONZÁLEZ: Thank you all for joining us on this on-the-record conference call to discuss the First Lady’s upcoming trip to China. This call is not embargoed. We are joined today by Tina Tchen, the Chief of Staff to the First Lady, and Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting. So I’m going to hand it over to them for some brief opening remarks, and then depending on time, we’ll take a few questions.

      Ben.

      MR. RHODES: Thanks, everybody, for getting on the call. I’ll just give some context for the First Lady’s visit in terms of current U.S.-China relations, and then Tina can say a little bit more about the First Lady’s agenda.

      First of all, as you all know, the bilateral relationship between the United States and China is really as important as any relationship in the world. China of course now is the second-largest economy in the world. It’s our fastest-growing trading partner, and it’s also a country we cooperate with on a whole host of international issues.

      Today, we’ve been very clear that our relationship with China is one in which we welcome the peaceful rise of China, which is in the service of global stability and greater prosperity for our people and the people of China and the people of the region.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/17/press-briefing-first-lady-s-chief-staff-tina-tchen-and-deputy-national-s

    • CR says:

      The Rhodes Ahead: The First Lady’s Trip to China

      Uploaded on Mar 19, 2014

      Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and the First Lady’s Chief of Staff Tina Tchen preview First Lady Michelle Obama’s official visit to China. During the trip to China, as on previous international trips to Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, the First Lady will be focusing on the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in China and the United States.

    • CR says:

      Michelle Obama to Visit China Schools in March

      March 03, 2014 VOA News

      U.S. first lady Michelle Obama will meet with Chinese high school and college students when she makes her first trip to the Asian powerhouse later this month.

      She plans to share stories of her travels with U.S. students through a daily travel blog, the White House said on Monday.

      The wife of President Barack Obama will travel to Beijing on March 19 and spend several days in the Chinese capital. Her itinerary also includes visits to to the central city of Xian and the southwestern city of Chengdu.

      Obama will also meet with her Chinese counterpart, Peng Liyuan, the wife of President Xi Jinping. The two had been expected to meet last June when their husbands held a summit in California, but Michelle Obama stayed behind in Washington.

      The first lady will be accompanied by her daughters, 15-year-old Malia and 12-year-old Sasha, and her mother Marian Robinson.

      In a message posted on the White House website Monday, the Obama said her trip will focus “on the power and importance of education, both in my own life and in the lives of young people” in both countries.

      “No matter what country we live in, we’re all facing so many of the same challenges – from ensuring that students get a good education; to fighting poverty, hunger and disease; to addressing threats to our planet like climate change,” she said.

      Obama, who often speaks about the importance of education, will preview her tour on Tuesday during a visit to the Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School Chinese immersion school, and will encourage students to follow her trip.

    • CR says:

      July 10, 2014

      Message from First Lady Michelle Obama to the United States-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange

      I am pleased to send my warmest greetings to all those gathered at the opening of the fifth round of the United States-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) in Beijing, China. I would like to send my thanks to President Xi Jinping, Vice Premier Liu Yandong, and the entire Chinese delegation for hosting the United States’ delegation this year.

      I would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank President Xi, Madame Peng, and the Chinese people for their gracious hospitality during my recent visit to China. In conversations with Madame Peng – as well as with students, teachers and others from across China – I gained a deep appreciation for the shared aspirations of people in both of our countries. I saw firsthand the importance of continuing to strengthen the bonds between our peoples – the foundation upon which the U.S.-China relationship is built.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/10/message-first-lady-michelle-obama-united-states-china-consultation-peopl

  3. CR says:

    Obama to visit Valencia College, highlight women’s economic issues

    March 18, 2014 Mark K. Matthews- orlandosentinel

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will highlight the role of women in the U.S. economy — as well as the challenges they still face — in a visit Thursday to Orlando, in which he’ll appear at the West Campus of Valencia College.

    The focus of the event dovetails with efforts the administration has made recently to address issues it considers relevant to women, including raising the minimum wage and addressing income inequality, as women make 77 cents for every $1 earned by a man.

    “This year, we should do more to secure a women’s right to equal pay for equal work,” noted the president’s Council of Economic Advisers in a report released earlier this month.

    Poverty also has been a major concern. Women are more likely than men to be poor, especially single mothers and the elderly.

    The report noted that 21 percent of women 65 and older were in poverty, about six percentage points higher than men. And for singles mothers who live with their children, the poverty rate was nearly 28 percent, a statistic the administration has used to argue for more expansive childcare.

    “Increased support for childcare for young children has been shown to positively affect mothers’ employment hours and earnings,” noted that same report.

    For more: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/nation/os-obama-will-visit-valencia-talk-womens-economic-issues-20140318,0,6220245.post

  4. CR says:

    Obama talks Obamacare on ‘Ellen’

    March 19, 2014 By Hal Boedeker – orlandosentinel

    Barack Obama will be a guest Thursday on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show.

    But he won’t be in the studio; he will appear from the White House.

    The reason? “President Obama will talk to Ellen about Obamacare in an effort to encourage people without health insurance to sign up for coverage,” the show siad.
    “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” airs at 3 p.m. weekdays on WESH-Channel 2.

    This will be Obama’s first visit to the talk show since being elected president. The interview tapes Wednesday (today).

    Obama will be in Orlando Thursday afternoon. He will talk about women’s role in the U.S. economy during a stop at the West Campus of Valencia College.

    Other announced “Ellen” guests Thursday are actress Lauren Graham (“Parenthood”); Olympian Shaun White, who discusses his band, Bad Things; Derek and Julianne Hough, who will dance; and country singer Brandy Clark, who will perform “Stripes.”

  5. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Happy and HOPEful Wednesday, CR and all friends!

    Safe travels to our FLOTUS!

    >^..^<

  6. COS says:

    Hello CR and everyone. Thanks for posting FLOTUS’s China schedule.

  7. CR says:

    Jobless Claims in U.S. Held Last Week Near Four-Month Low

    Mar 20, 2014 5:34 AM PT By Victoria Stilwell – bloomberg

    The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits held last week near the lowest level in almost four months, a sign the labor market continues to strengthen.

    Jobless claims increased by 5,000 to 320,000 in the week ended March 15, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an increase to 322,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to the lowest level since late November.

    A slowdown in dismissals may pave the way for employers to take on more workers once demand accelerates. Federal Reserve policymakers said yesterday in a statement there is “sufficient underlying strength in the broader economy to support ongoing improvement in labor-market conditions,” even as economic activity slowed during the winter months.

    “Most of the evidence points toward a labor market that’s continuing to do gradually better,” Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at Maria Fiorini Ramirez Inc. in New York, said in an interview before the report.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-20/jobless-claims-in-u-s-held-last-week-near-four-month-low.html

  8. CR says:

    Leading Indicators in U.S. Rose More Than Forecast in February

    Mar 20, 2014 7:07 AM PT By Jeanna Smialek – bloomberg

    The index of U.S. leading indicators rose more than forecast in February, a sign the world’s largest economy will strengthen after a weather-induced slowdown in the first quarter.

    The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months climbed 0.5 percent, the biggest gain since November, after a revised 0.1 percent gain the prior month, the New York-based group said today. The median forecast of 49 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.2 percent gain.

    Job market growth, climbing home values and record-high stock prices are adding to household wealth, which will probably help boost Americans’ confidence. More consumer spending, which makes up about 70 percent of the economy, could make businesses willing to invest and hire.

    “The general trend is still positive, and that’s consistent with a pickup in the overall economy,” Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida, said before the report. “We look for things to pick up.”

    Estimates in the Bloomberg survey of economists ranged from an increase of 0.5 percent to a decline of 0.2 percent.

  9. CR says:

    As Families Gather Around the Nowruz Table, President Obama Speaks to the People and Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran

    Megan Slack March 20, 2014 08:00 AM EDT

    As families and friends gather around the Sofreh-e Haft Sin to celebrate Nowruz, President Obama extends his best wishes for the new spring and new year.

    In his message, the President speaks directly to the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran about the possibility for the first time in many years of a new chapter in the history of Iran and its role in the world – including a better relationship with the United States and the American people. The President is clear that if Iran meets its international obligations with regards to its nuclear program, it will open up new possibilities and prosperity for the Iranian people for years to come.

    Eid-e Shoma Mobarak.

    Transcript (Persian)

    Transcript (English)

    • CR says:

      March 20, 2014

      Readout of the Vice President’s Call with President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani

      Vice President Biden spoke today with President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani. On behalf of the United States, the Vice President extended a Happy Nowruz to the Kurdish people in the region. He further reaffirmed that the United States remains committed to Iraq and to all Iraqi citizens as they strive to build a state consistent with the Iraqi constitution and its vision of a democratic, federal, pluralistic, and united Iraq. The United States continues to emphasize the importance of the general elections to be held on April 30, and the right of all Iraqi citizens to hold their representatives accountable at the ballot box.

      The United States also remains committed to facilitating a framework agreement on the management of Iraq’s hydrocarbon sector consistent with the Iraqi Constitution. The Vice President noted the decision by the Kurdistan Regional Government to begin exports through the Iraq-Turkey pipeline pursuant to existing arrangements with the Government of Iraq, pending a more permanent resolution of these difficult issues. The United States will continue to serve as a neutral broker with all sides as talks accelerate in the coming weeks.

    • CR says:

      March 20, 2014

      Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Iraqi Prime Minister of Nouri al-Maliki

      Vice President Biden spoke today with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The two discussed ongoing negotiations between Baghdad and Erbil over oil exports and budgetary matters. The Vice President welcomed progress made toward an interim understanding on these matters, encouraged all parties to continue working toward a permanent framework agreement on oil exports, and emphasized the United States’ ongoing commitment to facilitate such an agreement. He also reaffirmed that the United States stands with Iraq and its people in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and other extremist groups.

  10. CR says:

    We the Geeks: Women Role Models

    Danielle Carnival March 18, 2014 02:48 PM EDT

    n order for the United States to continue to lead the world in innovation and reap the health, security, and economic benefits offered by cutting-edge discoveries in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), we must engage the Nation’s full talent pool in these growing fields, including America’s girls and women.

    On Thursday, March 20th at 1:00pm ET, the White House will host another episode of “We the Geeks”, this time focused on “Women Role Models”. Tune in to this Google+ Hangout to hear from women and girl STEM leaders as they share their stories and advice to inspire the next generation of young women to discover their inner geeks and become the inventors and leaders of tomorrow. You’ll hear from an all-star line-up, including:

    Kari Byron , host of the Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters and Science Channel’s Head Rush
    Amanda Wills, Associate Managing Editor, Mashable
    Ellen Stofan , NASA Chief Scientist
    Debbie Sterling , CEO, GoldieBlox
    Courtney Robinson , Assistant Professor, Microbiology, Howard University
    Ma’Kese Wesley and Isis Thompson, young inventors, FIRST LEGO League competitors and White House Science Fair attendees

    Viewers can join the conversation by asking questions on Twitter using #WeTheGeeks. And you can view the hangout Thursday at 1pm ET by visiting http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/WeTheGeeks .

    READ MORE: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/03/18/we-geeks-women-role-models

    • CR says:

      We the Geeks: Women Role Models

      Streamed live on Mar 20, 2014

      Tune in tomorrow at 1pm ET for a #WeTheGeeks Hangout on Women Role Models, where women leaders in #STEM will share their stories and advice to inspire the next generation of young women leaders → http://wh.gov/lVu6h #WomenSucceed

  11. CR says:

    11:00 AM ET
    President Obama Makes a Statement on Ukraine
    The White House

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/video/?318394-2/president-obama-ukraine

    • CR says:

      March 20, 2014

      Statement by the President on Ukraine

      South Lawn

      11:05 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. I wanted to provide an update on the situation in Ukraine and the steps that the United States is taking in response.

      Over the last several days, we’ve continued to be deeply concerned by events in Ukraine. We’ve seen an illegal referendum in Crimea; an illegitimate move by the Russians to annex Crimea; and dangerous risks of escalation, including threats to Ukrainian personnel in Crimea and threats to southern and eastern Ukraine as well. These are all choices that the Russian government has made — choices that have been rejected by the international community, as well as the government of Ukraine. And because of these choices, the United States is today moving, as we said we would, to impose additional costs on Russia.

      Based on the executive order that I signed in response to Russia’s initial intervention in Ukraine, we’re imposing sanctions on more senior officials of the Russian government. In addition, we are today sanctioning a number of other individuals with substantial resources and influence who provide material support to the Russian leadership, as well as a bank that provides material support to these individuals.

      Now, we’re taking these steps as part of our response to what Russia has already done in Crimea. At the same time, the world is watching with grave concern as Russia has positioned its military in a way that could lead to further incursions into southern and eastern Ukraine. For this reason, we’ve been working closely with our European partners to develop more severe actions that could be taken if Russia continues to escalate the situation.

      As part of that process, I signed a new executive order today that gives us the authority to impose sanctions not just on individuals but on key sectors of the Russian economy. This is not our preferred outcome. These sanctions would not only have a significant impact on the Russian economy, but could also be disruptive to the global economy. However, Russia must know that further escalation will only isolate it further from the international community. The basic principles that govern relations between nations in Europe and around the world must be upheld in the 21st century. That includes respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity — the notion that nations do not simply redraw borders, or make decisions at the expense of their neighbors simply because they are larger or more powerful.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/20/statement-president-ukraine

  12. CR says:

    Ending Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in the United States

    Lynn RosenthalMarch 20, 2014 01:13 PM EDT

    This week, I was honored to join a first-of-its-kind meeting at the White House: a roundtable of business leaders and advocates called upon to discuss building public-private partnerships aimed at helping end domestic violence and sexual assault in the United States. The meeting served as an opportunity to share strategies and concrete steps companies can take to address violence in their workplaces and communities.

    During the gathering, we heard from several companies that are working to improve the status quo, including Avon, Macy’s, Allstate, Viacom, and Kaiser Permanente.

    The need for action could not be more urgent. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in five women is the victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. In fact, 60% of Americans 15 years of age or older know a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.

    Not only does domestic violence affect victims and families; it can also harm entire communities and the nation. More than 8 million paid days of work are lost every year because of domestic violence, and even by conservative estimates, domestic violence costs our economy more than $8 billion a year in lost productivity, health, and mental health costs alone.

    Since day one, the Obama administration has worked hard to combat violence against women. Vice President Biden has championed many of the administration’s efforts, including helping create new campaigns to reach teens and young adults, and working to build new initiatives to reduce domestic violence homicides. And to lead by example, President Obama has directed federal agencies to develop policies to address domestic violence and sexual assault in the federal workforce. Recently, President Obama established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.

    The White House’s commitment coincides with NO MORE’s goal of bringing together corporations to increase support for domestic violence and sexual assault programs. A collaboration of corporations and nonprofit organizations, NO MORE seeks to normalize the conversation around these issues and end the stigma, shame, and silence of domestic violence and sexual assault. Bringing the NO MORE campaign to White House for this important conversation was a reminder that working together can help end violence against women.

    The spirit of yesterday’s gathering can be summed up by something President Obama once said about domestic violence:

    We need to make sure every victim of domestic violence knows that they are not alone; that there are resources available to them in their moment of greatest need. And as a society, we need to ensure that if a victim of abuse reaches out for help, we are there to lend a hand. This is not just the job of government. It’s a job for all of us.

    Lynn Rosenthal is the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women.

  13. CR says:

    2:30 PM ET
    President Obama Speaks on Improving Economic Opportunity for Women and Working Families
    Valencia College, Orlando, FloridaOrlando, FL

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/video/?318394-1/president-obama-women-economy

    • CR says:

      March 20, 2014

      Remarks by the President on the Minimum Wage

      Valencia College
      Orlando, Florida

      3:00 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Valencia! (Applause.) Well, thank you so much. It is great to be back in Orlando. (Applause.) I’m glad some of you came to work while a lot of folks are pretending to work and watching — (laughter) — the tournament. I know there must be some Gators fans around here. (Applause.) They are an outstanding team. I put out my Men’s bracket — I’ve got them going to the Final Four.

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: They’re going to win!

      THE PRESIDENT: And they could win the whole thing — in which case, I won’t win the billion dollars. (Laughter.) You can only pick one winner. There are 63 colleges mad at me. (Laughter.) I understand there are some neighbors up the road in Gainesville who are not happy with me. (Laughter.) There will be even more tomorrow when I release my Women’s bracket — because you can’t please everybody.

      But we’ve got some terrific elected officials here. I just want to, in particular, thank the Mayor of Orlando, Buddy Dyer, who’s been a great friend. Give him a big round of applause. (Applause.) And I want to thank the president of Valencia College, Sandy — (applause) — where’s Sandy? Sandy Shugart — there he is. We’ve got the president of the West Campus who I just had an amazing conversation with — Falecia Williams. Where’s Falecia? Right there. (Applause.) I want to thank everybody here at Valencia for having me.

      A few years ago, I announced a new competition called the Aspen Prize to recognize exceptional community colleges, and, lo and behold — (laughter) — your school, Valencia — (applause) — was the very first school in the entire country to win this prize. (Applause.) So between the students’ hard work, the outstanding faculty, the administrators who are making sure everybody has what they need to succeed, Valencia graduates are leaving here ready for a career; ready to continue their education; ready to pursue their dreams, wherever they may lead.

      And so this college represents what’s best in America — the idea that here in this country, if you work hard, you can get ahead. And restoring that opportunity for every American, that’s been our driving focus as a country. That’s driven everything I’ve done since I came into office.

      And today, we’re at a moment when, after the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, after just some devastating losses that people had — their homes, or their retirement accounts, or their jobs — now we’ve see businesses creating 8.7 million new jobs over the past four years. American manufacturers are adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s. In American energy, we’re producing more oil here at home than we buy from other countries for the first time in two decades. We’re generating more renewable energy. The housing market is rebounding, including here in Florida. Our high school graduation rate is the highest on record. (Applause.) Absolutely. More young people are earning college degrees than ever before. (Applause.)

      So even as we are digging ourselves out of the economic hole that we were in back in 2008, we’ve also worked to lay a new foundation for America’s future growth. Here’s the problem, though — there are a bunch of good things happening, the economy is starting to grow, but some of the trends that have really battered middle-class families and people who are working hard to get into the middle class for decades — those have not yet gotten better. Folks at the top are doing better than ever, but over the past four years, average wages have barely budged. So you’ve got too many Americans who are working harder than ever just to keep up.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/20/remarks-president-minimum-wage

    • CR says:

      March 20, 2014

      FACT SHEET: Expanding Economic Opportunity for Women and Working Families

      “This year let’s all come together, Congress, the White House, businesses from Wall Street to Main Street, to give every woman the opportunity she deserves, because I believe when women succeed, America succeeds.”

      –President Barack Obama, State of the Union, January 28, 2014

      Today, President Obama will hold a roundtable discussion at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida with women to discuss his plan to expand economic opportunity for women and working families. The President will discuss his efforts to expand access to higher education for women, and ensure that when women enter the workforce they have access to the skills they need to succeed and earn a fair and equal wage.

      Today’s event kicks off an initial five regional forums on women’s issues hosted by senior administration officials that will take place across the country this spring, leading up to the White House Summit on Working Families hosted by the President on June 23. These forums will take place in Denver on April 11; Chicago on April 28; San Francisco on May 5; Boston on May 19 and in New York City (date to be announced).

      In addition to these regional forums, next week on March 26, the Small Business Administration and the National Women’s Business Council are hosting a roundtable, STEM for Her, that will bring together the private sector, academic experts and other stakeholders to identify actions that can encourage more women entrepreneurs in STEM fields to start and grow their businesses. The feedback we hear at all of these events will help inform the Summit and our efforts to build 21st century workplaces that meet the needs of a 21st century workforce.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/20/fact-sheet-expanding-economic-opportunity-women-and-working-families

  14. CR says:

    spring

    Happy Spring Everyone! I HOPE that you have a good day!

  15. vitaminlover says:

    Happy Spring to you, CR! So glad that the Obama daughters get to experience China.

    • CR says:

      Happy Spring vitaminlover! Yes, I agree. I think that traveling is wonderful. Experiencing other cultures is educating and leads to a better understanding and acceptance of others.

  16. CR says:

    5:10 PM ET
    President Obama attends a DNC event
    Miami, FL

  17. CR says:

    7:35 PM ET
    President Obama attends a DCCC event
    Miami, FL

  18. CR says:

    WH

    Friday, March 21, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    3:00 AM
    First Lady Michelle Obama joins First Lady Peng Liyuan at Beijing Normal School, a school that prepares students to attend Universities abroad
    Beijing, China

    4:00 AM
    First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Forbidden City with First Lady Peng Liyuan
    Beijing, China

    First Lady Michelle Obama meets with First Lady Peng Liyuan and joins First Lady Peng Liyuan for dinner and a performance
    Beijing, China

    5:00 AM
    6:00 AM
    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    10:00 AM
    10:20 AM
    National Association of Community Health Centers
    Vice President Biden speaks at the National Association of Community Health Centers 2014 Policy and Issues Forum in Washington, D.C.

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    1:15 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    4:05 PM
    President Obama meets with Internet CEOs
    Oval Office

    5:00 PM
    Dr. Jill Biden meets with teachers from the Santa Barbara Unified School District
    Santa Barbara Municipal Airport

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM
    Vice President Biden attends a DNC event
    Private Residence – Santa Barbara, California

  19. CR says:

    First Lady Michelle Obama Travels To China

    March 21
    First Lady Michelle meets with Madame Peng Liyuan, the First Lady of China
    Beijing, China

    First Lady Michelle Obama joins First Lady Peng Liyuan at Beijing Normal School, a school that prepares students to attend Universities abroad
    Beijing, China

    First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Forbidden City with First Lady Peng Liyuan
    Beijing, China

    First Lady Michelle Obama meets with First Lady Peng Liyuan and joins First Lady Peng Liyuan for dinner and a performance
    Beijing, China

    • CR says:

      On Board: Travels with the First Lady in China, Day One

      Published on Mar 21, 2014

      Hear from the First Lady Michelle Obama as she recaps day one of
      her trip to China and previews her upcoming address on study abroad and connecting students across continents.

    • CR says:

      March 21, 2014

      Remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama and Madame Peng Before Tour of Beijing Normal School

      Beijing Normal School
      Beijing, China

      9:35 PAM. CST

      MADAME PENG: (As Interpreted.) Mrs. Michelle Obama, Mrs. Marian Robinson, Malia and Sasha, first of all, let me extend a very warm welcome to you all to China. And it’s such a great delight to see you all.

      In China, we have an ancient idiom, which means that when two people meet for the first time, they may feel as if they have known each other for many years.

      In June last year, President Xi Jinping and I met with your husband, President Barack Obama, at Annenberg Estate where the two sides agreed on the visit to China, and afterwards, you and I exchanged correspondence in which we confirmed your visit — and the subsequent pleasure to finally see you here in person. And in December of last year, to celebrate the 100th day of the birth of the baby panda at the Washington Zoo, we sent video messages to express our congratulations. And the people of both China and the United States shared the joy.

      MRS. OBAMA: Well, thank you so much, Madame Peng. It is truly an honor and a privilege to travel here to visit you in China. Your gracious welcome, your invitation means the world to me.

      It’s very rare that I have the opportunity to travel outside of the United States, and it’s even more rare to have the opportunity to travel with three generations — with my daughters, and with my mother. And it is no accident that one of our first trips as a family is here to China.

      The relationships between the United States and China couldn’t be more important. And having the opportunity to travel here, to listen, to learn, to hear more about the education initiatives here in this country and to share my travels with students throughout the United States is a very unique experience, and it’s one that I will never forget.

      END
      9:39 A.M. CST

    • CR says:

      March 21, 2014

      Remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama and Madame Peng Before Tour of Beijing Normal School

      Beijing Normal School
      Beijing, China

      9:35 PAM. CST

      MADAME PENG: (As Interpreted.) Mrs. Michelle Obama, Mrs. Marian Robinson, Malia and Sasha, first of all, let me extend a very warm welcome to you all to China. And it’s such a great delight to see you all.

      In China, we have an ancient idiom, which means that when two people meet for the first time, they may feel as if they have known each other for many years.

      In June last year, President Xi Jinping and I met with your husband, President Barack Obama, at Annenberg Estate where the two sides agreed on the visit to China, and afterwards, you and I exchanged correspondence in which we confirmed your visit — and the subsequent pleasure to finally see you here in person. And in December of last year, to celebrate the 100th day of the birth of the baby panda at the Washington Zoo, we sent video messages to express our congratulations. And the people of both China and the United States shared the joy.

      MRS. OBAMA: Well, thank you so much, Madame Peng. It is truly an honor and a privilege to travel here to visit you in China. Your gracious welcome, your invitation means the world to me.

      It’s very rare that I have the opportunity to travel outside of the United States, and it’s even more rare to have the opportunity to travel with three generations — with my daughters, and with my mother. And it is no accident that one of our first trips as a family is here to China.

      The relationships between the United States and China couldn’t be more important. And having the opportunity to travel here, to listen, to learn, to hear more about the education initiatives here in this country and to share my travels with students throughout the United States is a very unique experience, and it’s one that I will never forget.

      END
      9:39 A.M. CST

    • CR says:

      First Lady Michelle Obama Answers Your Questions From China: Will you meet the Chinese First Lady?

      Published on Mar 21, 2014

      First Lady Michelle Obama answers questions from American students about her travels in Beijing during the first days of her trip to China in March, 2014.

    • CR says:

      First Lady Michelle Obama Answers Your Questions From China: which monuments did you visit?

      Published on Mar 21, 2014

      First Lady Michelle Obama answers questions from American students about her travels in Beijing during the first days of her trip to China in March 2014.

  20. CR says:

    10:25 AM ET
    National Association of Community Health Centers
    Vice President Biden speaks at the National Association of Community Health Centers 2014 Policy and Issues Forum in Washington, D.C.

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/video/?318410-1/vice-president-biden-health-care

  21. CR says:

    March 21, 2014

    Statement by the Press Secretary on Blocking of Twitter in Turkey

    The United States is deeply concerned that the Turkish government has blocked its citizens’ access to basic communication tools. We oppose this restriction on the Turkish people’s access to information, which undermines their ability to exercise freedoms of expression and association and runs contrary to the principles of open governance that are critical to democratic governance and the universal rights that the United States stands for around the world. We have conveyed our serious concern to the Turkish government, urge Turkish authorities to respect the freedom of the press by permitting the independent and unfettered operation of media of all kinds, and support the people of Turkey in their calls to restore full access to the blocked technologies.

  22. CR says:

    4:05 PM ET
    President Obama meets with Internet CEOs
    Oval Office

  23. CR says:

    5:00 PM ET
    Dr. Jill Biden meets with teachers from the Santa Barbara Unified School District
    Santa Barbara Municipal Airport

  24. CR says:

    WH

    Saturday, March 22, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks to students at the Stanford Center at Peking University.
    Beijing, China

    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a virtual discussion with American youth. During the conversation, Mrs. Obama will highlight the role of technology in enabling students in the United States to connect and collaborate with students around the world.
    Beijing, China

    First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Summer Palace.
    Beijing, China

    First Lady Michelle Obama meets with staff and families of the United States Embassy in Beijing.
    Beijing, China

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:20 PM
    Vice President Biden delivers the Keynote Address at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner
    Dr. Jill Biden also attends
    Los Angeles, California

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  25. CR says:

    http://propresobama.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/forward-for-equality1-e1350600219347.png?w=450<br />

    Vice President Joe Biden to Deliver Keynote Address at the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Dinner

    Dr. Jill Biden will join Vice President at Southern California’s largest LGBT rights gala

    WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today announced that Vice President Joe Biden will deliver the keynote address at the organization’s Los Angeles Dinner on Saturday, March 22, 2014. Vice President Biden will be joined by Dr. Jill Biden.

    “Vice President Biden has been a champion of civil rights for his entire career, from his leadership on the Violence Against Women Act to his strong support for marriage equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “As Senator and Vice President, his work to advance LGBT equality is just one chapter in a remarkable lifetime of service.”

    For more: https://www.hrc.org/press-releases/entry/vice-president-joe-biden-to-deliver-keynote-address-at-the-human-right

    • CR says:

      Momentum for Marriage Equality Continues with Michigan Ruling

      March 21, 2014 by HRC staff

      Michigan today became the latest state to have its ban on marriage equality ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge, and in the process also dealt a blow to the credibility of the anti-gay parenting junk science peddled by UT Austin sociologist Mark Regnerus.

      “The momentum for marriage equality is undeniable as yet another federal judge affirmed today that all loving and committed same-sex couples deserve to be treated equally under the law,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. “Today’s ruling in Michigan now joins similar rulings in Virginia, Kentucky, Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah. It’s clear that the law is on the side of LGBT Americans, and we are moving with increasing momentum toward the day when all loving and committed same-sex couples receive the dignity and respect they deserve.”

      For more: http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/momentum-for-marriage-equality-continues-with-michigan-ruling

  26. CR says:

    First Lady Michelle Obama Travels To China

    March 22
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks to students at the Stanford Center at Peking University. Speaking to an audience of American students studying abroad at Peking University and Chinese students who have studied abroad in the United States,
    Beijing, China

    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a virtual discussion with American youth. During the conversation, Mrs. Obama will highlight the role of technology in enabling students in the United States to connect and collaborate with students around the world.
    Beijing, China

    First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Summer Palace.
    Beijing, China

    First Lady Michelle Obama meets with staff and families of the United States Embassy in Beijing.
    Beijing, China

    • CR says:

      March 22, 2014

      Remarks by the First Lady at Stanford Center at Peking University

      Beijing, China

      MRS. OBAMA: (Applause.) Thank you. Well, ni-hao. (Laughter.) It is such a pleasure and an honor to be here with all of you at this great university, so thank you so much for having me.

      Now, before I get started today, on behalf of myself and my husband, I just want to say a few very brief words about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. As my husband has said, the United States is offering as many resources as possible to assist in the search. And please know that we are keeping all of the families and loved ones of those on this flight in our thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time.

      Now with that, I want to start by recognizing our new Ambassador to China, Ambassador Baucus; President Wang; Chairman Zhu; Vice President Li; Director Cueller; Professor Oi, and the Stanford Center; President Sexton from New York University, which is an excellent study abroad program in Shanghai; and John Thornton, Director of the Global Leadership Program at Tsinghua University. Thank you all for joining us.

      But most of all, I want to thank all of the students who are here today. And I particularly want to thank Eric Schaefer and Zhu Xuanhao for that extraordinary English and Chinese introduction. That was a powerful symbol of everything that I want to talk with you about today.

      See, by learning each other’s languages, and by showing such curiosity and respect for each other’s cultures, Mr. Schafer and Ms. Zhu and all of you are building bridges of understanding that will lead to so much more. And I’m here today because I know that our future depends on connections like these among young people like you across the globe.

      That’s why when my husband and I travel abroad, we don’t just visit palaces and parliaments and meet with heads of state. We also come to schools like this one to meet with students like you, because we believe that relationships between nations aren’t just about relationships between governments or leaders — they’re about relationships between people, particularly young people. So we view study abroad programs not just as an educational opportunity for students, but also as a vital part of America’s foreign policy.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/22/remarks-first-lady-stanford-center-peking-university

    • CR says:

      First Lady Michelle Obama Answers Your Questions From China: Exercise in China?

      Published on Mar 22, 2014

      First Lady Michelle Obama Answers Your Questions From China during her trip to the country in March 2014

    • CR says:

      March 22, 2014

      Remarks by the First Lady in Video Conference with Students at Peking University and Stanford University in California

      Stanford Center at Peking University Beijing, China

      11:57 A.M. CST

      DR. CUELLAR Well, we’re joined by somebody who also happens to be interested in this discussion. (Laughter.) And just to give you a little background, you walked in during the most important part of the discussion, which is when they give me advice.

      MRS. OBAMA: Oh, well I caught the tail end of it, so — sound advice.

      DR. CUELLAR: I was explaining that I have a daughter and a son; I’m trying to teach them Spanish, and sometimes they will resist. And I’m getting good advice.

      MRS. OBAMA: How old are they?

      DR. CUELLAR: They’re seven and nine.

      MRS. OBAMA: Oh, well, they will resist everything. (Laughter.) Coming from you, they’re going to resist it.

      DR. CUELLAR: I wonder if we could ask Wang (ph) maybe to summarize the discussion up to now, and then we can take it from there.

      Q Yes, sure. Well, First Lady, I’m Ting Yu (ph) from the School of Foreign Languages. My major is madrigal literature. So what we have been — discussed about is how learning a new language is important for different individuals, as well as for a community or a country. And also, how we struggle during this process, and also, how study abroad benefits our different individuals and also our country and our people who are supportive, behind us.

      MRS. OBAMA: Absolutely.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/22/remarks-first-lady-video-conference-students-peking-university-and-stanf

  27. CR says:

    West Wing Week 03/21/14 or, “24 Soldiers”

    Published on Mar 21, 2014

    This week, the President celebrated St. Patrick’s day alongside the Prime Minister of Ireland, continued to work toward a diplomatic resolution to the conflict in Ukraine, hosted Palestinian President Abbas, awarded 24 Medals of Honor, and traveled to Florida to speak on the importance of supporting working families.

  28. CR says:

    Weekly Address: Rewarding Women’s Hard Work and Increasing the Minimum Wage

    Remarks of President Barack Obama
    Weekly Address
    The White House
    March 22, 2014

    Hi, everybody. This week, I visited a community college in Florida, where I spoke with students about what we need to do to make sure our economy rewards the hard work of every American.

    More specifically, I spoke about making sure our economy rewards the hard work of women.

    Today, women make up about half of our workforce, and more than half of our college graduates. More women are now their families’ main breadwinner than ever before.

    But in a lot of ways, our economy hasn’t caught up to this new reality yet. On average, a woman still earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man does. And too many women face outdated workplace policies that hold them back – which in turn holds back our families and our entire economy.

    A woman deserves to earn equal pay for equal work, and paid leave that lets you take a day off to care for a sick child or parent. Congress needs to act on these priorities.

    And when women hold most lower-wage jobs in America, Congress needs to raise the minimum wage. Because no woman who works full-time should ever have to raise her children in poverty.

    Now, the good news is that in the year since I first called on Congress to raise the minimum wage, six states have passed laws to raise theirs. More states, counties, and cities are working to raise their minimum wages as we speak. Small businesses like St. Louis-based Pi Pizzeria, are raising their wages too – not out of charity, but because it’s good for business. And by the way, Pi makes a really good pizza. And in this year of action, I signed an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their employees a fair wage of at least ten dollars and ten cents an hour.

    But if we’re truly going to reward the hard work of every American, Congress needs to join the rest of the country and pass a bill that would lift the federal minimum wage to ten dollars and ten cents an hour. This wouldn’t just raise wages for minimum wage workers – its effects would lift wages for nearly 28 million Americans across this country. It will give businesses more customers with more money to spend, and grow the economy for everybody. So call up your Member of Congress and let them know it’s time for “ten-ten.” It’s time to give America a raise.

    A true opportunity agenda is one that works for working women. Because when women succeed, America succeeds. We do better when everyone participates, and when everyone who works hard has the chance to get ahead. That’s what opportunity means – and it’s why I’ll keep fighting to restore it.

    Thanks, everybody, and have a great weekend.

  29. CR says:

    10:20 PM ET
    Vice President Biden delivers the Keynote Address at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner
    JW Marriott L.A. Live Hotel, Los Angeles, California

    Human Rights Campaign http://www.hrc.org

    • CR says:

      March 23, 2014

      Remarks by the Vice President and Dr. Biden to the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Dinner

      J.W. Marriott Los Angeles LA Live
      Los Angeles, California

      7:41 P.M. PDT

      DR. BIDEN: Thank you, Chad, for that kind introduction. Joe and I are so proud to be with you tonight, and you are doing a phenomenal job leading HRC. (Applause.)

      Hello, Los Angeles, my name is Jill Biden. (Applause.) I am with you tonight as an educator who knows the kind of bullying and harassment that some of my students face in the classroom, and the rejection they encounter at home.

      I am with you tonight as a military mom and someone who cares deeply for our service members and their families –(applause) — who saw the burden that “don’t ask, don’t tell” and DOMA placed on so many of our military families who serve this nation with just as much courage and patriotism and sacrifices as any other military family. (Applause.)

      And I am with you tonight as a mother and a grandmother — in fact, our granddaughter Finnegan is with us. I, like you, want my children and grandchildren to grow up in an America where no matter who you are or whom you love, you are treated with dignity and respect — (applause) — an America where your rights can’t disappear from one state to the next, so that gay parents from California have the same rights when they take their kids to visit grandparents on Arizona. That’s the kind of country we want to live in. And for God’s sake, an America where the Vice President of the United States can speak up for basic human rights and equality and it’s not breaking news. (Applause.)

      I am so proud of Joe and his commitment. Tonight, we celebrate the work that you do to change hearts and minds and open up opportunities for every American from our classrooms, to our boardrooms, to our locker rooms. And I’m with you tonight and always ready to finish the important work that remains. I am here with another ally and champion for equality, a man whose life purpose stems from a profound commitment to civil rights, a man who always speaks from the heart. Please join me in welcoming my husband, our Vice President, Joe Biden. (Applause.)

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/23/remarks-vice-president-and-dr-biden-human-rights-campaign-los-angeles-di

  30. CR says:

    First Lady Michelle Obama Travels To China

    March 23

    First Lady Michelle Obama hosts an education roundtable.
    Beijing, China

    First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Great Wall of China.
    Beijing, China

    • CR says:

      March 23, 2014

      Remarks by the First Lady and Ambassador Baucus Before Roundtable with Chinese Educators, Parents and Students

      American Embassy Beijing, China

      10:09 A.M. CST

      AMBASSADOR BAUCUS: Zăoshàng hăo. We’re very honored that all of you are here. And it’s most appropriate that we’re — talked about education — and, more specifically, how we can help each other get that — of educating each other, helping each other and learning from each other’s country, and how we can work better together.

      I’m going to be very brief. I just wanted to tell you how excited I am that Michelle Obama is here; second, the subject is just — it’s education. It’s kids, because the kids are our future.

      I believe that all of us have a moral obligation who are on this place — on this planet — we’re not here very long. We leave it, and we leave it in as good a shape or better shape than we found it. That means our children and our grandchildren — leave it in as good a shape, a better shape than we found it for our kids and for our grandkids. And education is a key way to help accomplish that objective.

      So I just wanted to tell you how happy we are that we’re here together. And thank you, Mrs. Obama, for being here.

      MRS. OBAMA: Oh, thank you. Thank you, Ambassador Baucus. I’m not going to talk long either.

      I have had a wonderful first few days here in Beijing. And, as the Ambassador said, one of the reasons I have come to China is to learn more about education around the world. Education is an important focus for me. It’s personal, because I wouldn’t be where I am today without my parents investing and pushing me to get a good education.

      And my parents were not educated themselves, but one of the things they understood was that my brother and I needed that foundation. So the President and I have made education a key focus of our work over the coming years because we want to make sure that as many young people in the United States and around the world, quite frankly, have access to education.

      So I’ve had a chance to visit a high school with Madame Peng here in Beijing and talked to some of the high school students there. Yesterday, I had an amazing conversation with a group of students at Peking University yesterday, along with students at Stanford because through the Internet, we were able to have a joint conversation. In a couple of days, I’m going to travel to Chengdu, and I’m going to be able to speak with more high school students there, really to see another region of the country and to speak to the students there, as well. So I’m very excited.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/23/remarks-first-lady-and-ambassador-baucus-roundtable-chinese-educators-pa

    • CR says:

      On Board: Travels with the First Lady in China, Day Three

      Published on Mar 23, 2014

      Go on board with the First Lady, Michelle Obama, as she answers your questions from the road in China. See more at http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/fore

    • CR says:

      Michelle Obama Praised For Style, Warmth In China

      MARCH 23, 2014, 9:09 AM EDT DIDI TANG & LOUISE WATT – tpm

      BEIJING (AP) — U.S. first lady Michelle Obama brought the importance of education to the foreground on Sunday on the third day of a visit to China, where she has won praise for her approachability and admiration for her comments supporting freedom of speech.

      Mrs. Obama, traveling with her two daughters, has been photographed at famous spots including the Forbidden City and Great Wall during the first independent trip by a U.S. president’s wife to China. She has won compliments for her elegant clothing and her interactions with ordinary people in a country where it is rare to see leaders’ spouses or children in public.

      “She is very warm and frank, and when she is talking to people she conscientiously listens to what they have to say,” said Wu Qing, a retired professor of Beijing Foreign Studies University who met Mrs. Obama on Sunday.

      “In China, we usually use weather to express our mood or state of mind, so the fact that the weather has been so nice these few days means she is very welcome in China,” Wu said.

      Mrs. Obama hosted a discussion about education with a handful of Chinese professors, students and parents, as well as the new U.S. ambassador to China, Max Baucus, at the U.S. Embassy on Sunday morning. In the afternoon, she visited part of the Great Wall in the northern Beijing suburbs with her daughters, 15-year-old Malia and 12-year-old Sasha, and her mother, Marian Robinson.

      For more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/michelle-obama-china

  31. CR says:

    First Lady Michelle Obama Travels To China

    March 24

    First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Terra Cotta Warriors Museum.
    Xi’an, China

    First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Xi’an City Wall.
    Xi’an, China

    • CR says:

      On Board: Travels with the First Lady in China, Day Three

      Published on Mar 23, 2014

      Go on board with the First Lady, Michelle Obama, as she answers your questions from the road in China. See more at http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/fore

    • CR says:

      On Board: Travels with the First Lady in China, Terracotta Warriors

      Published on Mar 26, 2014

      Go behind the scenes with First Lady Michelle Obama as she visits the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Xi’an, China. Narrated by First Lady Michelle Obama. Learn more about the First lady’s trip to China at http://www.wh.gov/First-Lady-China-Trip

  32. CR says:

    First Lady Michelle Obama Travels To China

    March 25

    First Lady Michelle Obama visits Chengdu No. 7 High School. During remarks to students, Mrs. Obama will highlight the importance of education in her own life and in the lives of students in both the United States and China.
    Chengdu, China

    First Lady Michelle Obama meets with staff and families of the United States Consulate in Chengdu.
    Chengdu, China

    • CR says:

      March 25, 2014

      Remarks by the First Lady at Number Seven School — Chengdu, China

      Chengdu, China

      10:50 A.M. CST

      MRS. OBAMA: (Applause.) Ni hao. It is truly a pleasure to be here at the Number Seven School. Thank you so much for your warm welcome.

      Now, before I get started, on behalf of myself and my husband, I want to say that our hearts go out to all those with loved ones on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. As I said this past weekend when I spoke at Peking University, we are very much keeping all of them in our thoughts and our prayers at this tremendously difficult time.

      So now, let me start by thanking your Principal, Principal Liu, and your classmate, Ju Chao, for that wonderful introduction. Your English, Ju Chao, is excellent, and you should be very proud. Thank you so much. (Applause.) And I want to thank all of the students here today, both those of you here in person and those of you joining remotely from across the region. I’m thrilled to be visiting your wonderful school.

      Now, in preparation for this visit, before I left the U.S. I visited the Yu Ying School. It’s a public school near the White House in Washington, D.C., and all of the students at this school study Chinese. And I met with the sixth-grade class, kids who are 11 and 12 years old. They had recently taken a trip here to China, and they were bursting with excitement. They were eager to tell me about everything about what they had seen.

      But they admitted that before their trip, they had all kinds of misconceptions about China. They thought they would see palaces and temples everywhere they went, but instead they found massive cities filled with skyscrapers. They weren’t sure that they’d like the food here in China, but they actually loved it, and they learned how to use chopsticks. And in the end, one of the students told me –- and this is his quote — he said, “Coming home was really exciting, but was at the same time sad.”

      Now, meeting these students reminded me that when we live so far away from each other, it’s easy to develop all kinds of misconceptions and stereotypes. It’s easy to focus on our differences –- how we speak different languages and eat different foods and observe different traditions. But as I travel the world, and I meet young people from so many countries, I’m always struck by how much more we have in common. And that’s been particularly true during my visit here in China.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/25/remarks-first-lady-number-seven-school-chengdu-china

    • CR says:

      March 25, 2014

      Remarks by the First Lady Before Number Seven School Classroom Visit — Chengdu, China

      Number Seven High School
      Chengdu, China

      11:16 A.M. CST

      MRS. OBAMA: (Applause.) Well, I’m very excited to meet all of you. I am here to learn from you. I’m very interested to hear all the things you’re doing here at the Number Seven School. I’m really interested to see how the distance-learning program works here; it sounds very exciting.

      And also, I’m open to answering any questions that you all have as well, so feel free. So I’m going to stop talking, because I want to hear from you. But thank you for such a warm welcome.

      You all truly make me proud, and it is wonderful to be able to highlight all that you’re doing here to students here in the United States who are following my trip. So you all are wonderful examples and wonderful representation of your country.

      So thank you. (Applause.)

      MR. XIE: Mrs. Obama — for your coming. We, too, feel very honored for your coming. As you can see here, it’s our usual class. And every day, we have tens of thousands of students having the class at the same time. And we are from Number Seven High School — campus district schools. And here you can see in the screen is a district school from Wen Jiang Number Two, the school. It’s a town not very far away from Chengdu, like half-an hour drive from Chengdu. But we still have another school from our — distant school, and it’s about four hours’ drive. It’s in Nanchong, Yi Long High School.

      So we are very eager to ask you questions later. But first of all, we would like to greet the — welcome you. So would you please say something to our First Lady here?

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/25/remarks-first-lady-number-seven-school-classroom-visit-chengdu-china

    • CR says:

      1:30 PM ET
      Discovery Education ”Exchange for a Day” with First Lady Michelle Obama

      “Exchange for a Day” with Discovery Education: From Peking University in Beijing
      First Lady Michelle answers questions submitted by classrooms around the country, as part of Discovery Education and the White House’s “Of the People” webinar series. Jeff Wood, an American student from D.C. who is currently studying abroad in China, will pose questions to the First Lady on behalf of Discovery Education’s online audience.

  33. CR says:

    First Lady Michelle Obama Travels To China

    March 26

    First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Chengdu Panda Base. The Chengdu Panda Base is currently home to approximately 50 pandas, ranging in age from infancy to full-grown adults. Chinese scientists spend their days working to increase the panda population through research, conservation, and breeding.

    First Lady Michelle Obama departs Chengdu and returns to Washington D.C.

    • CR says:

      Raw Video: Behind the Scenes at Chengdu Panda Base with Fist Lady Michelle Obama

      Published on Mar 26, 2014

      Go behind the scenes with the First Lady at Chengdu Panda Base in Chengdu, China, on the last day of her official visit to China. Learn more about the First Lady’s trip at http://www.wh.gov/First-Lady-China-Trip

  34. CR says:

    *******************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED NBLB

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ” Pres Obama’s European Travel & 2014 Nuclear Security Summit″

    ********************

    To get to the newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the thread

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