January 28, 2015 01:19 UTC

In the News

Obama Calls for Economy Where 'Everyone Does Their Fair Share'

President Barack Obama delivering the 2012 State of the Union address on Capitol Hill.  Vice President Joe Biden, left, and House Speaker John Boehner sit behind him.
President Barack Obama delivering the 2012 State of the Union address on Capitol Hill. Vice President Joe Biden, left, and House Speaker John Boehner sit behind him.

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story


Download this story as a PDF

This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.

This week, President Obama gave his State of the Union speech, the last one before he seeks re-election in November.

BARACK OBAMA: "Tonight I want to speak about how we move forward and lay out a blueprint for an economy that is built to last -- an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers and a renewal of American values."

Tuesday night, Mr. Obama told Congress and the nation that "the renewal of American leadership can be felt across the globe."

BARACK OBAMA: "Anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, does not know what they are talking about."

He also talked about what he called "the defining issue of our time."

BARACK OBAMA: "We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same set of rules."

On foreign policy issues, he noted that for the first time since two thousand three, no Americans are fighting in Iraq. He spoke about progress in Afghanistan, where American troops are beginning to withdraw. He also discussed the killing of Osama bin Laden and the "wave of change" across the Middle East and North Africa. He noted that today, in Libya, Moammar Gadhafi "is gone."

BARACK OBAMA: "And in Syria, I have no doubt that the Assad regime will soon discover that the forces of change cannot be reversed, and that human dignity cannot be denied."

The president said American-led international pressure on Iran is having an effect. He said he "will take no options off the table" to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

BARACK OBAMA: "But a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible, and far better. And if Iran changes course and meets its obligations, it can rejoin the community of nations."

President Obama did not talk about issues such as North Korea, Middle East peace efforts or the European debt crisis. Daniel Serwer at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington says that was because of the election campaign.

DANIEL SERWER: "It seems to me very significant that a lot was left out and that the president is trying to refocus away from broad international commitments and toward some very specific, mostly domestic commitments."

The president did talk about China's trade policies. He announced plans to create a Trade Enforcement Unit to investigate reports of unfair trade practices.

Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana gave the Republican Party reaction to the State of the Union speech. He called Mr. Obama's policies extreme and "pro-poverty."

MITCH DANIELS: "No feature of the Obama presidency has been sadder than its constant efforts to divide us, to curry favor with some Americans by castigating others. As in previous moments of national danger, we Americans are all in the same boat."

The day after his speech, the president began a three-day trip to five states across the country. The states were Iowa, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and Michigan. All are considered political "swing states," which could help decide the election.

In the Nevada, for example, the president discussed his proposals for increasing American energy development while protecting the environment. Republicans denounced his recent rejection of a proposed pipeline to move natural gas from Canadian tar sand fields to Texas.

The four remaining candidates for the Republican nomination debated in Florida Thursday night. It was their last debate before that big southern state holds its primary election on Tuesday.

And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember.

___

Contributing: Greg Flakus, Kent Klein and Dan Robinson

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Learn with The News

  • Libyan security forces and emergency services surround Tripoli's central Corinthia Hotel (R) in the Libyan capital,  Jan. 27, 2015.

    Audio Libya Hotel Attack Kills Five Foreigners

    At least 5 foreigners and 3 guards were killed Tuesday in a hotel attack in Tripoli; President Obama pays respects to Saudi King; Islamic State militants threaten two hostages’ lives; Indonesia’s military halts its search for a passenger plane; and the US northeast is hit with a big snowstorm. More

  • Pakistan Charlie Hebdo Protest

    Video Sensitivity About Religious Images Is Not Unique to Islam

    Non-Muslims may have some difficulty understanding Muslim concerns about their Prophet Muhammad. But the National Museum of Women in the Arts is being criticized for its exhibit on how the Mother of Jesus appears in European art. More

  • Mideast Israel Palestinians

    Video Obama Won't Meet with Netanyahu During Visit to Congress

    The US Congress has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak at a joint meeting of the House and Senate in March. House Speaker John Boehner said he did not contact the Obama administration about the visit. President Obama will not meet with Mr. Netanyahu. More

  • Japan Hostage

    Audio Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan over Military Plan

    Japan says the government is working with Jordan to secure the release of a Japanese cititizen. The Islamic State militant group is holding Kenji Goto hostage, but claims to have executed another Japanese hostage. The hostage crisis will likely increase divisions among the Japanese public. More

  • Detroit Auto Show 42

    Video Cars Making a Comeback at North American Auto Show

    The 2015 North American International Auto Show took a test drive in the U.S. city of Detroit, Michigan. It was the first major international car show in the U.S. Automobile manufacturers from around the world presented over 500 models, gas, electric, luxury, performance and concept vehicles More

Featured Stories

  • agridrone

    Video French Farmers Are Using Drones to Examine Their Crops

    It used to be mostly the military that used small, unpiloted aircraft, called “drones.” The little planes were very costly. But as they have dropped in price more people have begun to use them. Rescue workers and farmers are among the new users. More

  • Video Is There a Better Way to Track Passenger Planes?

    New technology could help to more closely follow passenger airplanes, and find them when they crash; international group to meet next month to discuss changes. Airline industry leaders and regulators want to improve airplane safety. They want better, more dependable tracking devices. More

  • Obama

    Audio Has Obama Set the Message for the 2016 Campaign?

    “I have no more campaigns to run … I know because I won both of them.” Mr. Obama cannot run for president again – U.S. presidents may serve only two terms. But some observers say his most recent State of the Union message on the middle class sounded like a campaign speech. More

  • American Sniper

    Video With Oscar Nomination, 'American Sniper' Stirs Debate

    The movie is based on a book by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. He is considered the deadliest marksman in the history of the United States military. The film explores how war can affect a soldier's mental and emotional health and stirs a debate on social media over its message. More

  • Designers work at computer stations at TechShop in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco, California, April 24, 2014

    Video TechShop Puts High-Tech Dreams Within Reach

    Members of TechShop use high-tech equipment to develop and produce ideas they have for inventions. Members are able to use costly machines including 3D modeling tools and laser cutters. Membership costs for TechShop start at just over $100 per month. | Science in the News More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner blog
Confessions of an English Learner blog

 

 

 

Tell us About Our Programs