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eyes on the U.S.

Obama Inauguration: Four More Years, Top 10 History Quiz To Swear By



WASHINGTON, D.C. - Barack Obama will be sworn in Monday as the President of The United States for a second time. A swearing-in ceremony, parade and an inaugural ball will mark the event.

A private ceremony took place on Sunday because the U.S. Constitution mandates that the president take office on January 20.

photo: White House via Wikipedia

The ceremony will take place on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington D.C., followed by an address to the nation from Obama.

Reuters reports that in is inaugural address, Obama is expected to talk about the need for political compromise where possible, a reminder of the intense battles in his first term that led to paralysis and dysfunction in Washington. His top policy goals for the first year, so far, include tightening gun regulations in response to the massacre of 20 children and six adults at a Conneticut elementary school in December. Obama is seeking an overhaul of immigration laws and tax reform.

With January 21 falling on the national holiday that celebrates Dr Martin Luther King Jr., a personal idol for the POTUS, Obama will also have a chance to draw historic parallels. While taking the oath on Monday, he will place his left hand on two Bibles - one once owned by Abraham Lincoln and the other by King.

Here's 10 things you didn't know about inaugurations:

1. Until Franklin Pierce in 1853, instead of putting one’s left hand on it, the President kissed the bible. - CNN

2.Three Presidents didn’t even use a bible: John Quincy Adams, Theodore Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. - CNN

3. George W Bush had the Masonic bible used by George Washington in 1789 flown in under armed guard for his first ceremony but due to poor weather, a family bible was substituted. - senate.gov

4. Obama will be the first President to take the oath both privately as well as a publicly. - CNN

5. Bill Clinton was the first President to embrace technology and have his inauguration streamed live on the Internet. - senate.gov

6. By Monday, Obama will have been sworn in four times, two for each term, matching Franklin Roosevelt, who won four terms. A second Obama swearing-in was deemed necessary in 2009 when Chief Justice John Roberts flubbed the first one. - Reuters

7. George Washington delivered the shortest address at his second inauguration in Philadelphia. It totaled 135 words - tweetable for sure! - CNN

8. Lyndon Johnson is the only President to take the oath on an airplane - Air Force One en route to Washington after the assassination of JFK. - senate.gov

9. The first time women participated in the ceremony was during Woodrow Wilson’s second inauguration. - senate.gov

10. Obama seemed a bit distracted before the ceremony, declaring: "I love Michelle Obama. And to address the most significant event of this weekend, I love her bangs!” - Telegraph

The First Lady just met with Inaugural citizen co-chair David Hall ahead of #MLKDay of Service: 2013pic.org/service twitter.com/FLOTUS/status/…

— FLOTUS (@FLOTUS) January 17, 2013

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Why Crimea Is Proving So Hard For Russia To Defend

Ukraine has stepped up attacks on the occupied Crimean peninsula, claiming Monday that a missile Friday killed the head of Russia's Black Sea fleet at the headquarters in Sevastopol. And Russia is doing all within its power to deny how vulnerable it has become.

Photograph of the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters in smoke after a Ukrainian missile strike.​

September 22, 2023, Sevastopol, Crimea, Russia: Smoke rises over the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters after a Ukrainian missile strike.

Kyrylo Danylchenko

Russian authorities are making a concerted effort to downplay and even deny the recent missile strikes in Russia-occupied Crimea.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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Media coverage in Russia of these events has been intentionally subdued, with top military spokesperson Igor Konashenkov offering no response to an attack on Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, or the alleged downing last week of Russian Su-24 aircraft by Ukrainian Air Defense.

The response from this and other strikes on the Crimean peninsula and surrounding waters of the Black Sea has alternated between complete silence and propagating falsehoods. One notable example of the latter was the claim that the Russian headquarters building of the Black Sea fleet that was hit Friday was empty and that the multiple explosions were mere routine training exercises.

Ukraine claimed on Monday that the attack killed Admiral Viktor Sokolov, the commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet. "After the strike on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, 34 officers died, including the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Another 105 occupiers were wounded. The headquarters building cannot be restored," the Ukrainian special forces said via Telegram on Monday.

Responding to reports of multiple missiles strikes this month on Crimea, Russian authorities say that all the missiles were intercepted by a submarine and a structure called "VDK Minsk", which itself was severely damaged following a Ukrainian airstrike on Sept. 13. The Russians likewise dismissed reports of a fire at the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet, attributing it to a mundane explosion caused by swamp gas.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has refrained from commenting on the military situation in Crimea and elsewhere, continuing to repeat that everything is “proceeding as planned.”

Why is Crimea such a touchy topic? And why is it proving to be so hard to defend?

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