REUTERS, TELEGRAPH (UK), CNN, SENATE.GOV (USA)

Worldcrunch

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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food / travel

Russia Thirsts For Prestige Mark On World's Wine List

Gone are sweet Soviet wines, forgotten is the "dry law" of Gorbachev, Russian viticulture is now reborn.

A wine cellar at the Twins Garden restaurant in Moscow

Benjamin Quenelle

MOSCOW — A year after its opening, Russian Wine is always full. Located in the center of Moscow, it has become a trendy restaurant. Its wine list stands out: It offers Russian brands only, more than 200, signalled in different colors across all the southern regions of the country.

Russian Wine (in English on the store front, as well as on the eclectic menu) unsurprisingly includes Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula where viticulture has revived since Moscow annexed it in 2014.

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We are grateful for reader support to continue our unique mission of delivering in English the best international journalism, regardless of language or geography. Click here to contribute whatever you can. Merci!
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