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Entries in London (3)

Tuesday
Mar132012

Michelle Obama Will Lead Delegation At 2012 Olympics

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Michelle Obama will lead the U.S. delegation during the opening ceremonies of this summer’s Olympic Games in London.

The first lady announced her plans at American University Tuesday. Joined by Samantha Cameron, wife of British Prime Minister David Cameron, the two celebrated the 2012 games by hosting a mini-Olympics-styled event for D.C.-area school children. The activities were billed as part of Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, with Olympians and Paralympians leading the children in relay races, basketball challenges and other games.

Obama said she hoped the premier international sporting event would inspire more young people to live active lifestyles.

“You don’t have to be a gold medal winner or the best athlete at your school to take part,” Obama said. “You don’t even have to play an organized sport.  You can dance in the living room, ride your bike around the neighborhood, or go for a walk with your friends.”

She then asked the roughly 60 children watching her to be “ambassadors” in their communities for good nutrition and exercise.

The event was emceed by three-time Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes, who serves on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. Dawes said her work on the board was a way to give back to the country that supported her through the Games.

Let’s Move has become one of Obama’s signature causes during her time in the White House, promoting healthy eating and physical exercise among American youths. The administration says the program has encouraged 1,500 schools to adopt more nutritious cafeteria menus and led to the commitment from several major national food distributors and restaurants to cut calories in their products. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 17 percent of children are obese.

Leading U.S. Olympic delegations are a modern trend in first ladies: Laura Bush oversaw the opening ceremonies for the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy, and Hillary Clinton did the same for the 1994 Winter Games in Norway.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug112011

Riot Fear: Could U.K.-Style Destruction Happen in the US?

CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- With riots breaking out across the U.K., some are wondering if the unrest could spread to America.  Already in the past few months, youth mobs have wreaked havoc in Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Cleveland.

The rioting in Britain, now entering a sixth day, has prompted authorities to add 16,000 police in the streets of London.  Mob rule has taken place across the capital and quickly spread to smaller British cities, including Manchester, Birmingham, and Liverpool.  On Wednesday, three men were killed when they were hit by a car while reportedly defending their neighborhood from looters.

Now that youth mobs in Philadelphia have led to new government action, questions remain: why is this happening, and what is the likelihood of such activity amongst American youth?

The city of Philadelphia has now begun a coordinated response to flash mobs and teen violence that has recently plagued the city and terrorized residential areas.

On June 23, a few dozen young people looted several hundred dollars worth of merchandise in the Philadelphia suburb of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.  On Monday, Philly Mayor Michael A. Nutter reduced the citywide curfew to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays for all minors under the age of 18 in targeted enforcement districts.

"This nonsense must stop," Nutter said on Sunday at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in West Philadelphia.  "If you wanna act like a butthead, your butt's gonna get locked up.  If you wanna act like an idiot, move; we don't want you here anymore."

And Philadelphia is not alone: this weekend, Milwaukee shuddered as a mob stormed the fairgrounds at the Wisconsin state fair; some eyewitness accounts say race was a strong element, and whites were being targeted. And on July 4 in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights, a group of 1,000 youths organized through social networking sites to fight and disrupt an event.

Adding to the contagion for the young people participating in such wanton destruction are the bleak economic outlook, seemingly unending high unemployment and a deep distrust of government.

ABC News consultant Brad Garret, who was an FBI agent in Washington, D.C. for 30 years, says that he's not sure if he's seen a combination of conditions like today's facing the youth of America.

"When you get people on the edge anyway, and you pull one brick out of their wall, it can collapse," he said.

There are signs of hope for the U.S. though. The chaos seen in Britain is less likely to occur here, because American cities are generally less segregated than Britain's.  In addition, police forces in America have gotten much better at fighting and preventing crime and antisocial behavior.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec222010

Director of National Intelligence Not Briefed on London Arrests Before Interview

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was caught off-guard Monday by a question on the widely-covered arrest of 12 men in an alleged terror plot in London. Wednesday, Clapper's spokeswoman admits it was because he had not been briefed on the arrests.

In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, taped Monday afternoon, Clapper was asked about the arrests, which had happened hours before and were featured on all of the network morning news broadcasts. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Chief Counterterrorism Advisor John Brennan, who were also participating in the joint interview, were aware of the arrests.

"First of all, London," Sawyer began. "How serious is it? Any implication that it was coming here? Director Clapper?"

"London?" Clapper said after a pause, before Brennan entered the conversation explaining the arrests.

Later in the interview, Sawyer returned to the subject.

"I was a little surprised you didn't know about London," Sawyer told Clapper.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't," he replied.

On Tuesday, Clapper's office had declined to say whether he knew about the specific disrupted plot, but issued a statement calling Sawyer's question "ambiguous." Wednesday, his office appears to have changed their position.

"Director Clapper had not yet been briefed on the arrests in the United Kingdom at the time of this interview taping," said ODNI spokeswoman Jamie Smith in a statement to ABC's Jake Tapper.

Smith explained that Clapper had been working on other matters during the day, following developments on the Korean Peninsula and issues surrounding the ratification of the START nuclear pact. He was not briefed on the London arrests, she said, because it was not centered in the homeland and required no action on his part.

Still, Smith acknowledged, that Clapper "should have been briefed on the arrests, and steps have been taken to ensure that he is in the future."

In an on-camera briefing at the White House Wednesday, Brennan strongly defended Clapper, calling him a "consummate" DNI.

"Should he have been briefed by his staff on these arrests? Yes," Brennan said before criticizing the media for what he called "breathless" coverage of the British arrests.

"I'm glad that Jim Clapper is not sitting in front of the TV 24 hours a day and monitoring what's coming out in the media," Brennan said. "As of that time, there was nothing that the DNI needed to do or to be engaged in that would have required him to set aside other pressing intelligence matters to be briefed on things that were being put out in the press."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio