Barack Obama on Saturday strutted the stage of William Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, joining in festivities to mark 400 years since The Bard's death. Actors from a company that embarked on a two-year Hamlet world tour in 2014, playing to more than 100,000 people in 197 countries, put on a special performance for the president. The performers returned to London on Friday from their world tour, and will perform their four final shows at the Globe this weekend.
US President Barack Obama on Friday called for the repeal of laws in North Carolina and Mississippi which discriminate on the basis of sexual and gender orientation. In Mississippi, Republican Governor Phil Bryant has signed a law allowing officials and businesses to deny marriage-related services to gay people or refuse to employ them if they feel it would violate their religious beliefs. North Carolina last week moved to curtail a law targeting gay and transgender people, following a growing backlash from companies and celebrities, but stopped short of ending limits to public bathroom access.
The United States said Friday it would buy heavy water from Iran despite angry claims at home that it has already gone too far in granting Tehran nuclear sanctions relief. Officials said the purchase would cost $8.6 million, even as Republican lawmakers pressed for Iran to be excluded from any use of the US dollar or financial system. The deal was announced as Secretary of State John Kerry was to meet his Iranian counterpart to discuss ways of ensuring Tehran benefits from the nuclear deal it signed last year.
By Roberta Rampton and Kylie MacLellan LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama warned Britain on Friday that it would find itself "at the back of the queue" for a trade deal with the United States if it voted to leave the European Union in a referendum in June. Obama told British voters that their country's influence on the world stage was "magnified" by its membership of the 28-member bloc and that, as a close friend and ally, the United States felt a deep interest in the issue. Speaking at a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron during a visit to Britain, Obama said Britain's EU membership enhanced the "special relationship" between Washington and London.
China and the United States, the world's top greenhouse gas emitters, on Friday signed the Paris climate deal at a UN ceremony attended by a record 171 countries, boosting hopes of quick action on combatting global warming. French President Francois Hollande was the first leader to put his signature to the accord, and was quickly followed by leaders from island-states hardest hit by climate change. US Secretary of State John Kerry came to the podium cradling one of his granddaughters in his arms and triggered warm applause from delegates as he signed the historic deal.
Tributes poured in from around the world Friday following the sudden death of superstar Prince at age 57, with fans flocking to all-night dance parties to celebrate the life of the "Purple Rain" music legend. In his hometown of Minneapolis, a huge crowd gathered outside the First Avenue club, where Prince recorded the film version of "Purple Rain," as well as outside the secluded compound where he was found dead Thursday. Fans also gathered in other cities, including New York, where director Spike Lee led a Prince sing-along at a packed block party in Brooklyn.
US President Barack Obama plunged into Britain's poisonous European Union membership debate Friday, arguing strongly against a "Brexit" as he kicked off a visit to the UK. Obama's intervention ahead of the June 23 vote in a piece for the Daily Telegraph newspaper drew a furious response from eurosceptics like London Mayor Boris Johnson, who said he should mind his own business. Writing in the Telegraph, a traditional bastion of euroscepticism, Obama argued that Britain's place in the EU magnifies its global influence and its membership is a matter of "deep interest" to the United States.
For the eighth and final time, President Obama this year will break his unambiguous 2008 campaign promise to declare that the mass killings of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks in 1915 and 1916 amounted to “genocide,” a leading Armenian-American activist told Yahoo News on Thursday. But officially designating the Ottoman Turks’ actions as “genocide” would have deeply angered Turkey, a NATO ally and a pivotal player in the coalition Obama has assembled to wage war on the Islamic State in neighboring Syria. Aram Hamparian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America, told Yahoo News shortly after a briefing from Obama aides at the White House that the president would once again stop short of using the term “genocide” in his annual statement about the tragedy.