UK & World News
Obama Inauguration Tickets Reach $2k Online
Tickets to President Barack Obama's inauguration this month are being sold on eBay and Craigslist for up to $2k (£1.2k), even though the event is meant to be free.
Efforts by congressional offices and the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which are distributing tickets to inaugural events, have not stopped online entrepreneurs.
"These tix are going like hot cakes, and for FAR more than I am listing them for on here," boasted one anonymous seller in a post on Craigslist.
The seller was offering two seats to the January 21 swearing-in at the Capitol for $4k (£2.4k).
Even though enthusiasm is not as high as it was for Mr Obama's historic inauguration four years ago, memories of the incredible crowd for that sprawling outdoor event seem to have driven up prices for this year.
Washington DC officials say they expect between 600,000 and 800,000 visitors to stream into the city.
That is far fewer than the 1.8 million people who flooded the National Mall four years ago to witness the swearing-in of the first black president.
Second inaugurations have historically drawn fewer spectators.
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies issued some 250,000 tickets for politicians to give out however they see fit.
Scalping the tickets is not illegal, members of Congress were encouraged to distribute them fairly.
Unlike congressional tickets, tickets distributed by the Presidential Inaugural Committee cannot be resold without permission of the committee.
Although tickets for the swearing-in ceremony are free, some other inaugural events charge admission.
The presidential committee is sold out of $25 tickets to the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue and $60 tickets to one of its two inaugural balls.
The inauguration will feature some top talent, lead by Beyonce who will be singing the national anthem.
American Idol's Kelly Clarkson will perform My Country 'Tis Of Thee and singer James Taylor will perform America The Beautiful.
Richard Blanco, the son of Cuban exiles, will be 2013 inaugural poet, joining the ranks of Maya Angelou and Robert Frost.