5th White House Science Fair

2015 WH Science Fair

Announcing the 5th White House Science Fair!

Noemie Levy on March 12, 2015 at 05:45 PM EDT

The Obama Administration is committed to helping inspire young people across the Nation to get excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and to celebrating the extraordinary K-12 students that already are accomplishing great work in these fields. The President has often said that it is just as important to celebrate the winners of science fairs as it is to celebrate the winners of sporting events.

That’s why the President is hosting the 5th White House Science Fair on March 23rd, welcoming more than one hundred of the Nation’s brightest young minds with some showcasing innovative inventions, discoveries, and science projects. The President will meet with and congratulate these students, who, as budding engineers, scientists, and researchers are on deck to help solve some of the greatest challenges of our time.

Previous White House Science Fairs have featured young innovators who have built electric cars, search-and-rescue robots, and marshmallow cannons; helped develop promising flu vaccines; and studied human genome data to find potential treatments for cancer; among many other projects.

Kicking off the excitement for the 5th White House Science Fair, yesterday President Obama welcomed 40 of the Nation’s extraordinary young scientists and engineers to the White House. These high school seniors are finalists in the 2015 Intel Science Talent Search, which recognizes innovative research projects in computer science, genomics, environmental science, microbiology, and many other STEM areas.

The finalists included Emily Lorin Ashkin, from Charlotte, NC, who studied treatment methods for potentially fatal skin cancers, and Jennifer McCleary, from Irvina, CA, who identified materials that could help harness solar power to produce hydrogen as a fuel source. Among the winners of the competition announced on Tuesday was Andrew Jin, from San Jose, CA, who developed a machine-learning algorithm for identifying mutations across the human genome. This algorithm can help develop effective gene therapies and vaccines, improving global health outcomes.

The geeking out will continue in less than two weeks at the 2015 White House Science Fair. Stay tuned at www.whitehouse.gov/science-fair for updates about the exciting event coming up on March 23rd!

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March 23, 2015
President Obama hosts The 5th Annual
White House Science Fair

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30 thoughts on “5th White House Science Fair

  1. WH

    Monday, March 23, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    11:10 AM
    President Obama views student science fair projects
    State Floor

    11:45 AM
    President Obama delivers remarks at the 2015 White House Science Fair
    East Room

    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM
    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest briefs the press

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:10 PM
    President Obama hosts and deliver remarks at the SelectUSA Investment Summit
    Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, Washington DC

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. 5th White House Science Fair

    Announcing the 5th White House Science Fair!

    Noemie Levy on March 12, 2015 at 05:45 PM EDT

    The Obama Administration is committed to helping inspire young people across the Nation to get excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and to celebrating the extraordinary K-12 students that already are accomplishing great work in these fields. The President has often said that it is just as important to celebrate the winners of science fairs as it is to celebrate the winners of sporting events.

    That’s why the President is hosting the 5th White House Science Fair on March 23rd, welcoming more than one hundred of the Nation’s brightest young minds with some showcasing innovative inventions, discoveries, and science projects. The President will meet with and congratulate these students, who, as budding engineers, scientists, and researchers are on deck to help solve some of the greatest challenges of our time.

    Previous White House Science Fairs have featured young innovators who have built electric cars, search-and-rescue robots, and marshmallow cannons; helped develop promising flu vaccines; and studied human genome data to find potential treatments for cancer; among many other projects.

    Kicking off the excitement for the 5th White House Science Fair, yesterday President Obama welcomed 40 of the Nation’s extraordinary young scientists and engineers to the White House. These high school seniors are finalists in the 2015 Intel Science Talent Search, which recognizes innovative research projects in computer science, genomics, environmental science, microbiology, and many other STEM areas.

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/03/12/announcing-5th-white-house-science-fair

    • March 23, 2015

      Remarks by the President at White House Science Fair

      East Room

      12:15 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! (Applause.) Hello, hello! Thank you. Everybody have a seat. Thank you. Hello, scientists. (Laughter.)

      So this has got to be the most fun event of the year. (Laughter.) At least in the top three. And before I go any further, though, I need to lay down some rules. We had to put these in place based on the previous science fairs. First of all, no taking your robots or electric go-karts for a spin on the South Lawn. (Laughter.) You can’t do that. Rule number two, if you’re going to explode something, you have to warn us first. (Laughter.) Actually, just don’t explode anything. (Laughter.) Number three, no using a marshmallow air cannon in the house — (laughter) — unless you let me shoot it first. (Laughter.)

      This is our fifth White House Science Fair. And every year, I walk out smarter than I walked in, because these young people have something to teach all of us — not just about batteries, or attacking cancer cells, or how to build a working robot or a rocket. I will say, though, the robots I see keep getting smarter every year. We are keeping an eye on that, by the way. (Laughter.) You’re on notice, Skynet.

      But these young scientists and engineers teach us something beyond the specific topics that they’re exploring. They teach us how to question assumptions; to wonder why something is the way it is, and how we can make it better. And they remind us that there’s always something more to learn, and to try, and to discover, and to imagine — and that it’s never too early, or too late to create or discover something new.

      That’s why we love science. It’s more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world, and to share this accumulated knowledge. It’s a mindset that says we that can use reason and logic and honest inquiry to reach new conclusions and solve big problems. And that’s what we are celebrating here today with these amazing young people.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/23/remarks-president-white-house-science-fair

    • Bill Nye the Science Guy Interviews White House Science Fair Participants

      Published on Mar 23, 2015

      On March 23, 2015, Bill Nye the Science Guy spoke with the young scientists and engineers who participated in the 2015 White House Science Fair.

    • President Obama Tours the 2015 White House Science Fair Exhibits

      Published on Mar 23, 2015

      On March 23, 2015, President Obama talked with each of the young scientists and engineers about their innovative projects at the fifth-annual White House Science Fair.

  3. SelectUSA

    SelectUSA, created in 2011, is the first-ever federal effort to bring job-creating investment to the United States, promoting the United States as the world’s premier business location, and providing easy access to federal-level programs and services related to business investment. The 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit aims to connect investors from around the world with representatives from nearly every U.S. state and territory.

    http://selectusasummit.com

    • March 23, 2015

      Remarks by the President at the SelectUSA Investment Summit

      Gaylord National Convention Center
      National Harbor, Maryland

      2:39 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. (Applause.) Thank you. Please have a seat. Well, thank you, everybody. And let me begin by thanking Penny Pritzker for her outstanding leadership. We’ve got six Cabinet Secretaries and dozens of U.S. ambassadors here, which should tell you that SelectUSA is a major priority for this administration. Since I was here with you 17 months ago, this gathering has doubled in size. So I want to thank all 2,600 of you — elected officials and local leaders from across this country, and business leaders from around the world — thank you for making this a priority, as well.

      The fact is there’s never been a more exciting time for us to do business together. And today, I want to talk about why America is not only the right place for you to invest, but why America is the safest, strongest, smartest place for you to invest than we’ve been in a long time.

      After the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, America is now in the midst of the longest streak of private sector job growth on record — 60 straight months; 12 million new jobs. Businesses in America have added more than 200,000 jobs each month for 12 straight months. That’s the first time that’s happened in nearly 40 years.

      Our unemployment rate has fallen from a peak of 10 percent in 2009 to 5.5 percent today. After a decade of outsourcing, we’re starting to bring good jobs back to America. Over the last five years, manufacturers have added jobs at a rate not seen since the 1980s. In fact, the manufacturing sector is actually growing faster than the rest of the economy. And last week, I announced nearly $500 million in new public and private investment in strengthening American manufacturing.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/23/remarks-president-selectusa-investment-summit

  4. Like PBO says about these White House Science Fairs these young talk about stuff that I can only pretend that I understand. Congratulations to them all and continued success because our future depends on it. I also like this: The President has often said that it is just as important to celebrate the winners of science fairs as it is to celebrate the winners of sporting events. And, I applaud PBO encouragement of more girls and students of color to enroll in STEM classes and not to shy away from them. This is a major reason to train more teachers in the STEM subjects and send them to the inner city schools, too. Yes We Can & Must!

    Your reply from yesterday post about the Obama signs, etc. brought back memories.

    …Wow, I never saw the “McSame” sign. But is too funny and mostly true.

    I am sorry you experienced some rude treatment, and especially the ignorant person for trying to run you out of your lane just for having that cool Obama camp. sticker in your rear window. I knew people were having their yards sign taken, in many places, and people like you had a great game plan to fight back. I had an Obama magnet sign that I would put on my car. At night I would take it off so no one would damage my car or take it, but later I stopped taking it off. Also, when people so it and wanted one I would sell them mine for a discount and buy another one, then as I got more money, I would buy a supply and give them to people and or use them to fund raiser for the campaign. Boy, I loved that campaign. We may live in the same blue state, if you like, you can send me an email, where you send the posts to, I tell you my location.

    Happy Birthday to Obamacare – It passed 5 years ago on (3/21/10). I am sure this should make all dedicated and hard working volunteers like you so proud. I know it does wonders for me. Thank you PBO and Everyone involved for making this awesome accomplishment possible.

    PSA by The GOP:

    Announcer: Please call the White House and tell PBO and the Democrats to STOP trying to fool the American people by taking credit for the GOP lead robust economic recovery. We say, Mr. President please Stop playing politics with this vital issue and help us to help the middle class and all those trying to get into the middle class. Sir, just do your job for once; that’s what the American people expect of us and deserves nothing less from their elected officials.

    The GOP party leaders have always been the ones to say that, we are not divided into red sates or blue states that we are the United States of America. Mr. President, remember that we are ONE America, and stop trying to divide us by race and class. And, finally, may God bless OUR great country, Pres. Ronald Reagan and protect the Troops. Thank You.

    This PSA was brought to you by & for the Koch Bros, K-Street Lobbyists and other Dark-Money Patriots, like Rudy G., who only loves America. Remember: Our America-Your America-ONE America!

    P.S. For a small donation of 250k or more, we’ll send you a free, limited edition: “RICH – White Live$ Matter – MORE!” T-Shirt. Plz hurry while supply last.

    Thank you for Post!

    • Hi Isaac!

      I like you were buying Obama swag and passing it out to Obama supporters to keep the enthusiasm going. So many people thought that the Democratic party was supplying us with the swag but I know that people like you and I were buying it out of our own pockets….to me my money was well spent.

      I live on the West Coast but was fortunate enough have met Obama supporters that I befriended from the BarackObama blog in 2007-2010 from DC, France, Germany and hopefully I will meet more of them.

      Thank you Isaac for having PBO’s back then and now!

  5. I like science and there are so many different fields. It is good to see young people interested in this. There are so many ideas to come out.

    • HI vitaminlover,

      I love that PBO is helping our youth to expand their interest in STEM to become the movers and shakers of tomorrow.

  6. The White House Champion of Change for Parkinson’s Disease

    Published on Mar 23, 2015

    On March 23, 2015, the White House hosted a Champions of Change honoring people in the Parkinson’s community who are doing extraordinary work to advocate for better treatments and a cure.

  7. March 23, 2015

    White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough Remarks As Prepared at J Street Annual Conference

    As Prepared for Delivery —

    Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you, Alex, for your very kind introduction. It’s great to be here at J Street with so many friends who are committed to a strong alliance between the United States and Israel, to the security of the State of Israel, and to peace.

    I want to thank Jeremy Ben-Ami, Mort Halperin, and everyone at J Street for the important work you do around the country, including those of you from my home state of Minnesota. President Obama actually got a letter last week—one of the ten letters from Americans he reads every night—from a couple in Minneapolis. They were just writing to thank the President for standing up for a progressive agenda, and they signed the letter, “Your Minnesota Jewish cheering squad.” That was pretty great.

    President Obama asked me to convey his deep appreciation to all of you for your partnership and your work on behalf of the U.S.-Israel relationship, especially building support for our efforts to advance a two-state solution.

    I also want to acknowledge all the young people in the audience—more than 1,000 college students. I know sitting in a dark conference hall listening to some guy in a suit give a speech probably isn’t everyone’s ideal spring break. That you are here continues a tradition of young Jewish American leaders working to make our union more perfect, even if – as with the bravery of Rachel Beyda at UCLA – doing so opens you to criticism. You make us all stronger and America even better. Thank you.

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/23/white-house-chief-staff-denis-mcdonough-remarks-prepared-j-street-annual

  8. WH

    Tuesday, March 24, 2015
    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama meets with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
    White House

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/hillary-clinton-barack-obama-white-house-116327.html#ixzz3VLQPnIBi

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:45 AM
    President Obama and Afghan President Ghani hold an expanded bilateral meeting; Vice President Biden also attends
    Cabinet Room

    11:00 AM
    11:50 AM
    President Obama and Afghan President Ghani hold a restricted bilateral meeting; Vice President Biden also attends
    The Oval Office

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    President Obama and President Ghani hold a working lunch; Vice President Biden also attends
    Old Family Dining Room

    2:00 PM
    2:20 PM
    President Obama holds a press conference with Afghan President Ghani
    East Room

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    4:45 PM
    President Obama meets with Secretary of State Kerry; Vice President Biden also attends

    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  9. February 27, 2015

    Statement by the Press Secretary on the Visit of President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan

    President Obama will host Afghan President Ghani, Chief Executive Officer Abdullah, and key members of their unity government for meetings and a working lunch at the White House on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. The two presidents will discuss a range of issues including security, economic development, and U.S. support to the Afghan-led reconciliation process. This marks the first meeting between the two presidents at the White House following the 2014 presidential election, which produced the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan’s history. While in Washington from March 22-25, President Ghani and his delegation will also engage in a high-level strategic dialogue hosted by Secretary Kerry at Camp David. President Ghani’s visit highlights the importance of continuing bilateral cooperation and the American commitment to our U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership to reinforce regional security and sustain the achievements of the last 13 years.

    • Afghanistan will not be ‘a burden’ to US: Ghani

      11 hours ago AFP

      Afghan President Ashraf Ghani told US troops on Monday his country would always be grateful to them and promised his country would not be “a burden” to the United States.

      Speaking to a gathering of American soldiers and top officials at the Pentagon, Ghani repeatedly expressed appreciation for the sacrifices of the more than 850,000 troops who have been deployed in Afghanistan since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

      The Afghan president said he came “to say thank you on behalf of a grateful nation to people in this building and the larger US community for sacrificing continuously since September 11 to bring us freedom and hope.”

      In stark contrast to his predecessor Hamid Karzai, who frequently clashed both publicly and privately with his American counterparts, Ghani offered no criticism and stressed how much his country had benefited from US efforts.

      After thanking American troops and diplomats, Ghani pledged that “we are not going to be a burden.”

      “We do not now ask what the United States can do for us,” he said, turning around a famous phrase by former president John F. Kennedy.

      “We want to say what Afghanistan will do for itself and for the world. And that means we are going to put our house in order.”

      Ghani also expressed thanks to “the American taxpayer” for supplying Afghan development aid, and said his government was “committed to account for every single one of those dollars and pennies.”

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/afghanistan-not-burden-us-ghani-153703697.html;_ylt=AwrSyCNS1RBVdE4AOP3QtDMD

    • March 24, 2015

      Remarks by President Obama and President Ghani of Afghanistan in Joint Press Conference

      East Room

      *Please see below for a correction, marked with an asterisk.

      2:30 P.M. EDT

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good afternoon, everybody. Please have a seat. Before I begin, I want to say that our thoughts and prayers are with our friends in Europe, especially the people of Germany and Spain, following a terrible airplane crash in France. It’s particularly heartbreaking because it apparently includes the loss of so many children, some of them infants.

      I called German Chancellor Merkel — and I hope to speak with President Rajoy of Spain later today — to express the condolences of the American people and to offer whatever assistance that we can as they investigate what has proven to be an awful tragedy. Our teams are in close contact, and we’re working to confirm how many Americans may have been onboard. Germany and Spain are among our strongest allies in the world, and our message to them is that, as their steadfast friend and ally, America stands with them at this moment of sorrow.

      Now, it is a great pleasure to welcome President Ghani to the White House. As many of you know, President Ghani spent time here in the United States, as a student and as a scholar. He happened to go to Columbia University, where we both studied, and then spent time at the World Bank just down the street from here. And so his life reflects, in many ways, the friendship and mutual respect between Americans and Afghans. And in that spirit, Mr. President, I want to extend to you the warmest of welcomes.

      President Ghani’s presence here today, along with Chief Executive Abdullah, underscores Afghanistan’s progress. In last year’s election, millions of Afghans defied the threats from the Taliban and bravely cast their ballots. In the spirit of compromise and putting their interests behind the interests of the nation, President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah ensured the first peaceful and democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan’s history. And together they now lead a national unity government that reflects the diversity, the strength and the determination of the Afghan people.

      Their government signed the Bilateral Security Agreement between our two countries, and on December 31st, after more than 13 years, America’s combat mission in Afghanistan came to a responsible end. Afghan forces now have full responsibility for security across their country. Some 330,000 Afghans serve in the police and security forces, and they are making extraordinary sacrifices — fighting and often dying for their country, and they continue to grow stronger month by month.

      Today, we honor the many Afghans — men, women and children — who have given their lives for their country. We salute the more than 2,200 Americans, patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan, and the many more who were wounded. This morning, President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah visited Arlington National Cemetery to pay their respects to our fallen heroes. We are grateful for that gesture of gratitude, and we know it meant a lot to the families as well. We’ll see the bonds again between our people on display when President Ghani has an opportunity to address Congress tomorrow.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/24/remarks-president-obama-and-president-ghani-afghanistan-joint-press-conf

    • March 24, 2015

      U.S.-Afghanistan Joint Statement

      President Barack Obama welcomed Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and the accompanying Afghan delegation to Washington from March 22-26, 2015.

      The visit offered an opportunity to renew U.S.-Afghan relations, review the joint achievements of the last 13 years in Afghanistan, and to discuss the actions each country needs to take to ensure that the social, economic, security and human rights gains made over that period are sustained and advanced.

      President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah expressed deep appreciation for the contributions, sacrifices and sustained commitment of the United States that made these achievements possible and underscored that this support is paying dividends for Afghans, Americans, and the international community alike. The Afghan economy has grown more than fourfold over the last 13 years and young Afghans are attending school at unprecedented levels, with girls and women comprising a growing percentage of these students.

      The leaders further noted the success of joint counter-terrorism efforts to date and emphasized that sustained U.S. and other international assistance will be important to enable the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) to address the significant security challenges facing Afghanistan and the wider region. President Obama and President Ghani reiterated their commitments under the U.S.-Afghanistan Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and the U.S.–Afghanistan Security and Defense Cooperation Agreement (also known as the Bilateral Security Agreement, or BSA) to advance common objectives in these and other areas. The Presidents welcomed the decision of Secretary of State Kerry and Foreign Minister Rabbani made on March 23 at Camp David to meet again in Kabul this year to restart the U.S.-Afghanistan Bilateral Commission meetings and to review progress in the implementation of the SPA.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/24/us-afghanistan-joint-statement

  10. March 24, 2015

    Readout of the President’s Phone Call with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

    Yesterday evening President Obama spoke with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to express his and the First Lady’s condolences and the condolences of the American people on the death of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. The President recognized founding Prime Minister Lee’s remarkable leadership and lasting contributions, not just to Singapore’s development, but also to the region’s dynamism. The President also conveyed his appreciation for founding Prime Minister Lee’s wise counsel and strong support for U.S.-Singapore relations.

  11. March 24, 2015

    Statement by NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice’s Meeting with Moaz al-Khatib

    National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice met yesterday with Moaz al-Khatib, former President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition. Mr. Khatib offered his perspective on the path to a political solution to resolve Syria’s civil war. Ambassador Rice stressed that Bashar al-Asad has lost all legitimacy to govern and must go, expressed concern for the humanitarian situation in Syria, and reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to a negotiated political transition that would preserve the institutions of the Syrian state, protect minorities, and lay the foundations for a more inclusive government.

  12. U.S. Markit flash PMI rises to 55.3 in March

    Mar 24, 2015 9:53 a.m. ET GREG ROBB, SENIOR ECONOMICS REPORTER – MARKETWATCH

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The flash reading of the Markit manufacturing purchasing managers index unexpectedly rose in March to 55.3 from 55.1 in February, to mark the highest reading since October. Economists had been looking for a small decrease. New orders also increased in March at the fastest pace in five months despite slower export sales. The flash estimate is typically based on approximately 85%-90% of total PMI survey responses each month, and any reading above 50 indicates improving conditions. The rate of growth remains well down from last year’s peaks. Although U.S. gross domestic product looks likely to decelerate in the first quarter, “the upturn in order books… gives some reassurance that the pace of economic growth is likely to pick up as we move towards the summer,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

    Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-markit-flash-pmi-rises-to-553-in-march-2015-03-24?siteid=rss

  13. Sales of New U.S. Homes Unexpectedly Rise to Seven-Year High

    7:00 AM PDT March 24, 2015 by Bloomberg News

    (Bloomberg) — Purchases of new homes in the U.S. unexpectedly rose in February to a seven-year high as stronger job gains helped bolster industry activity amid severe weather.

    Sales climbed 7.8 percent to a 539,000 annualized pace, the most since February 2008, Commerce Department data showed Tuesday in Washington. The reading exceeded even the most optimistic forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

    Americans withstood weaker income gains and higher property prices, braving a chillier-than-usual February to go out and buy a house last month. Further healing in the labor market and a boost in inventory should provide stronger support to an industry entering its busiest sales season.

    “It looks like the spring selling season is off to a good start,” said Stan Shipley, an economist at Evercore ISI in New York, whose projection for 485,000 sales was among the closest in the Bloomberg survey. “With low mortgage rates, if you look at it, it’s very affordable for most potential homeowners,” even as credit remains tight, he said.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-24/sales-of-new-u-s-homes-unexpectedly-climb-to-seven-year-high

  14. UN committee approves benefits for spouses of gay staffers

    3/24/15 4 hours ago By EDITH M. LEDERER – Associated Press

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. will now give benefits to all spouses of gay U.N. staffers who are legally married after Russia and other opponents of same-sex marriage failed Tuesday in an attempt to scuttle the plan by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

    Currently, family benefits for U.N. staff members are determined by their country of origin. The secretary-general’s plan will give family benefits to all staffers who are legally married — regardless of the laws on same-sex marriage in their home countries.

    Tuesday’s vote in the General Assembly’s budget committee was key because it must approve additional funding to pay for the new benefits.

    U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said “this means that the policy stands,” adding that Ban welcomes the affirmation of his authority under the U.N. Charter to make such decisions. Ban has been an outspoken supporter of gay rights.

    Forty-three countries supported a Russian-sponsored resolution that called for the U.N. chief’s plan to be dropped, while 80 countries opposed it and 37 abstained. The Russian resolution was supported by many Arab and Muslim countries as well as China, India and Zimbabwe.

    Members of the European Union and the United States lobbied hard against the resolution and were relieved that it was defeated.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/un-committee-approves-benefits-spouses-gay-staffers-153916898.html;_ylt=AwrTWf1J2RFV90EAL.bQtDMD

  15. March 24, 2015

    Readout of the President’s Call with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany

    The President spoke today with Chancellor Merkel of Germany concerning the crash of Germanwings flight 9525. He expressed his condolences and those of the American people for the tragic loss of life, including the loss of many schoolchildren. The President offered the Chancellor the full assistance of American officials in responding to this tragedy.

    • March 24, 2015

      Readout of the President’s Call with President Mariano Rajoy of Spain

      The President called Spanish President Rajoy today about the crash of Germanwings flight 9525. The President conveyed his condolences and those of the American people to Spain and to the families of those lost on the flight. He offered President Rajoy the full assistance of American officials as needed to respond to this tragedy.

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    Come on over to my newest post titled: ”Affordable Care Act aka ObamaCare – 5th Anniversary ″

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