Obama speaks on George Floyd protests, urges mayors to review use-of-force policies with communities

WASHINGTON -- While speaking on the ongoing protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd, former President Barack Obama urged “every mayor in this country to review your use-of-force policies with members of your community and commit to report on planned reforms.”Obama highlighted how most of the needed reforms take place on the local level, while urging the nation to use current momentum drawn from the protests to drive effective change.“We have seen in the last several weeks, last few months, the kind of epic changes and events in our country that are as profound as anything I’ve seen in my lifetime,“ Obama said.“All of us have been feeling pain, uncertainty and disruption, some folks have been feeling it more than others,” the president said, noting that the nation grieves with he family of Floyd, who died during an encounter with Minneapolis police on May 25.The former president said he and the nation are grateful for members of law enforcement “who share dreams of reforming police.”Obama reminded viewers of the forum, “As we’re confronting the particular act of violence that led to those losses, our nation and the world is still in the midst of a global pandemic that has exposed vulnerabilities of our health care system.”He also said younger individuals have a profound ability to create change, highlighting how noted civil rights leaders, as well as those of the forefront of other social causes throughout history, were younger people.“Sometimes when I feel despair, I just see what’s happening with young people across the country...

‘Let’s get to work:' Barack Obama pens letter on how to achieve ‘real change’ amid George Floyd protests

MINNEAPOLIS -- Former President Barack Obama published an essay in which he reflected on his thoughts and hopes for “real change” amid the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd during an encounter with Minneapolis police.Titled “How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change,” the June 1 post on Medium from Obama focused on how to translate the anger and frustration felt during this moment into good.“First, the waves of protests across the country represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the United States,” Obama wrote in his letter. “The overwhelming majority of participants have been peaceful, courageous, responsible, and inspiring.

‘We must be better:' Former President Barack Obama issues statement on death of George Floyd

LOS ANGELES - Former president Barack Obama weighed on the death of George Floyd, who was killed during an incident with Minneapolis police officers on Monday, writing “this shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America.”“It can’t be ‘normal’ if we want our children to grow up in a nation what lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better,” he wrote.Obama also called on Minnesota officials to ensure that circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death are investigated thoroughly and “that justice is ultimately done.”

Former President Obama offers message to 2020 graduates in virtual ceremony

CHICAGO -- Former President Barack Obama was joined by students from Chicago in a special virtual graduation ceremony on Saturday night, since so many students were deprived of a "real life" ceremony by the coronavirus.The one-hour special was aired on the major TV networks including FOX, ABC, NBC and CBS.

Obama criticizes coronavirus response in online graduation speech

WASHINGTON — Former President Barack Obama on Saturday criticized some officials overseeing the coronavirus response, telling college graduates in an online commencement address that the pandemic shows many officials "aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”Obama spoke on “Show Me Your Walk, HBCU Edition,” a two-hour livestreaming event for historically black colleges and universities broadcast on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Sen. Lindsey Graham to probe Russia investigation; won't call Obama to testify

WASHINGTON — Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said Thursday his committee is opening a wide-ranging inquiry into the Russia investigation, but rejected President Donald Trump’s call to bring in former President Barack Obama to testify.“I am greatly concerned about the precedent that would be set by calling a former president for oversight,'' said Graham, a South Carolina Republican and staunch President Trump ally. “No president is above the law.

Obama calls President Trump's coronavirus response an 'absolute chaotic disaster'

WASHINGTON -- Former President Barack Obama on Friday said that the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been an “absolute chaotic disaster” and blamed it on a “selfish” and “tribal” mindset that has become operationalized in government.“This election that’s coming up on every level is so important because what we’re going to be battling is not just a particular individual or a political party.

Former President Barack Obama will headline televised prime-time commencement

NEW YORK — Former President Barack Obama will deliver a televised prime-time commencement address for the Class of 2020 during an hour-long event that will also feature LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai and Ben Platt, among others.ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC will simultaneously air the special May 16 at 7 p.m. CDT along with more than 20 other broadcast and digital streaming partners, according to the announcement Tuesday from organizers.Several high school students from Chicago public schools and the Obama Youth Jobs Corps will join, as will the Jonas Brothers, Yara Shahidi, Bad Bunny, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Megan Rapinoe and H.E.R.The event is titled “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020.” It's hosted by the education advocacy group XQ Institute, The LeBron James Family Foundation and The Entertainment Industry Foundation.Obama will reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic's disruption of school life, especially for seniors who have missed out on their milestone rites of passage.“This high school graduation season will be anything but ordinary — but that’s all the more reason why the Class of 2020 deserves extraordinary advice, heartfelt encouragement, and hard-won wisdom about facing new challenges in an uncertain world,” Russlynn Ali, CEO and co-founder of XQ Institute, said in a statement.“We are grateful to President Obama for giving this gift to our nation’s three million high school seniors as they #GraduateTogether,” he added.

Hillary Clinton endorses Joe Biden for president: 'This is a moment when we need a leader'

NEW YORK -- Hillary Clinton, the first woman to become a major party's presidential nominee, endorsed Joe Biden's White House bid on Tuesday, April 28, continuing Democrats' efforts to coalesce around the former vice president as he takes on President Donald Trump.Clinton made her announcement during a Biden campaign town hall to discuss the coronavirus and its effect on women.

Medal of Honor recipient Bennie Adkins loses battle with coronavirus at 86

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Medal of Honor recipient Bennie Adkins of Alabama has succumbed to the coronavirus after a long battle.The Vietnam War hero was 86 when he died Friday, April 17.“We are deeply saddened to notify you that after a courageous battle with COVID-19, Command Sergeant Major Bennie G.

Barack Obama endorses Joe Biden, says former VP has 'qualities we need'

WASHINGTON — Former President Barack Obama endorsed Joe Biden in a video on Tuesday, giving the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee a boost from the party’s biggest fundraiser and one of its most popular figures.“I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a president right now,” Obama said in a nearly 12- minute video, touting him as a “close friend” and lauding him for his perseverance and compassion.Obama and Biden are close friends from their two terms in the White House, when Biden served as vice president.