UK & World News
Barack Obama Kicks Off Inauguration Events
US President Barack Obama will take the first of two oaths for his second term later today.
Mr Obama will be sworn in during a small ceremony at the White House.
He will take the oath of office again on Monday before hundreds of thousands of people on the National Mall, followed by the traditional parade and formal balls.
But the mood is less festive than it was in January 2009, when the swearing in of the country's first black president drew a record 1.8 million people.
High unemployment, a tough election campaign and partisan fights over fiscal policies have taken a toll.
Still, some 800,000 people are expected to flock to Washington for the event. The star-studded inauguration includes acts by Beyonce and Katy Perry.
Thousands of workers and volunteers are making final preparations for the ceremonies. Hotels and government buildings along the parade route were adorned with red, white and blue bunting.
Mr Obama was still working on his inaugural address. He is expected to talk about the need for political compromise where possible, as well as detailing the priorities of his second term.
Mr Obama and first lady Michelle yesterday participated in a day of service, hoping to encourage Americans to follow suit with volunteering projects.
Mr Obama added the day of service projects to the inaugural schedule in 2009 and he is hoping the event becomes a tradition for future presidents.
The White House says the call to service is a way for Americans to honour the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the civil rights leader's march on Washington.
The White House did not say in advance what Mr Obama's service project would be this time, but it will take place in the Washington area.
what do you think?
Better Obama than a fundamentalist christian who thinks the planet is only 6000 years old, mankind descended from Adam & Eve and the way to love Jesus is to buy assault rifles. .
" ---- followed by the traditional parade and formal balls " I wouldn`t doubt that.
I think it is a tragedy for the U.S.A. that Barrack Obama has been re-elected for a second term of office. I have not been impressed with his policies or decisions in crucial situations. The debt bill in the U.S.A. is massive and has increased since Obama took office. Militarily he is pulling U.S. troops from those trouble spots like Afghanistan whose problems will only start up again after they have gone. He welcomed the so-called 'Arab Spring' but in hindsight those countries involved are now turning towards Islamism and Sharia Law.
Reminds me of a American Tony Blair, all spin
The UK learnt nothing from Tony Blair and re-elected him twice and the US have fallen down the same hole. Leaders who stae one thing and them do another should never be in power