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LIVE! Tonight it’s my turn to say thanks: Obama's final speech

08:01  Race remains a potent and divisive force in our society: Obama’s farewell speech:  

Obama, the United States’ first black president discusses race and immigration. 

“Race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society. Ive lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were ten, or twenty, or thirty years ago you can see it not just in statistics, you see it in the attitudes of young Americans across the political spectrum, he says.

“If we’re going to be serious, we need to uphold laws against discrimination…But hearts must change…”

The US president quoting Atticus Finch, a character from the book How to Kill a Mockingbird, says minorities must also pay attention to the needs of the privileged white guy, while the complaints of minorities must also be listened to. 

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of viewuntil you climb into his skin and walk around in it.

He reminds people the Irish and Italians faced the same problems in the past. “But they embraced this nation’s creed and this nation was strengthened….We all have to try harder.”

Image: Obama along with his family marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge from Selma, Alabama to mark the 50th anniversary of ‘Bloody Sunday’.

07:52  ‘For all the real progress we’ve made, we know it’s not enough’:  

America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started, says Obama, listing the achievements of his administration, including gay marriage, the Iran deal and killing Osama bin Laden.

Obama calls on the country for unity, speaking about the power of democracy and unity.

On Trump, he says he promised a smooth transition. “It’s up to all of us… our potential will only be realised if our democracy works. If our politics reflects the decency of our people. Only if all of us restore the sense of common purpose, that we badly need right now.”

He is calling for solidarity as America moves forward, before ticking off more achievements under his time in office. “We need economic opportunity” and he notes that poverty is falling again.  Unemployment rate is near a 10-year low.

“For all the real progress we’ve made, we know it’s not enough.”


07:48  Tonight it’s my turn to say thanks: Obama’s final speech:  

US President Barack Obama is addressing his farewell speech in Chicago as he closes the book on his presidency. Chicago is his adoptive hometown, where he is addressing a sold-out crowd, not far from where he accepted presidency eight years ago.

“Hello Chicago,” he begins. “It’s good to be home.”

“My fellow Americans, Michelle and I have been so touched by all the well-wishes that we’ve received over the last few weeks. Tonight it’s my turn to say thanks, whether we’ve seen eye to eye or rarely agreed at all,” says Obama.

He speaks about the importance of conversations with every day Americans.

“They’ve kept me honest, they’ve kept me inspired, they kept me going. Every day I’ve learn from you. You made a better president. You made a better man,” said Obama.

The crowd stops the speech with chants of “four more years”.

“I can’t do that!” says Obama.


00:28  Manish Tewari to join US think-tank as distinguished fellow:  Senior Congress leader and former Union minister of state for information and broadcasting Manish Tewari will join a top United States think-tank as a distinguished fellow.

“We are delighted to welcome Manish Tewari to our team. We are eager to draw on his expertise from his years of service to the government of India, and he will be an invaluable addition to the South Asia Center team as we look to deepen our programming on India and the subcontinent,” said Bharath Gopalaswamy, director of South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council.

A counsel practicing in Supreme Court, Tewari previously served as a member of Parliament from Ludhiana and is currently the national spokesperson of the Indian National Congress.

At the Councils South Asia Centre, Tewari will focus on programming aimed at strengthening US-India relations.

South Asia is a region with complex traditional and human security challenges that is home to almost two billion people, Tewari said.

‘As the new administration takes shape, I look forward to working with the Councils South Asia Center to develop programming on how the new administration can best engage with the region to strengthen key relationships,’ Tewari said in a statement.

Based in Washington DC, Atlantic Council has ten regional and thematic centers.

Source: Rediff