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President Barack Obama Makes Surprise Trip to Afghanistan

UPDATED with Full Video, Photos and Transcript

During a surprise visit to Afghanistan, President Obama speaks to the troops at Bagram Air Base.

President Barack Obama visits with a platoon of U.S. troops at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan that recently lost six members

The President made an overnight trip to visit troops in Afghanistan.

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Dec. 3, 2010) -- U.S. President Barack Obama addresses troops during a surprise visit to Afghanistan. (Photo by Michael Sparks, CJTF-101)

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Dec. 3, 2010) -- President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin Hill, International Security Assistance Force’s senior enlisted leader, after receiving a gift from Hill and U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus during the president’s surprise visit to Bagram Airfield Dec. 3. (Photo by Michael Sparks, CJTF-101)

Barack Obama shakes hands with Maj. Gen. John Campbell in Afghanistan

News reports are starting to come in about President Obama’s Surprise Trip to Afghanistan.

Click play to hear the NPR News Report: President Obama landed at Bagram Air Field on Friday for a short visit in Afghanistan. Steve Inskeep speaks with NPR’s Ari Shapiro, who is traveling with the president.

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CSPAN: President Obama Remarks to Troops in Afghanistan

President Obama was in Afghanistan today for an unexpected visit. While there, he spoke with the President of Afghanistan, visited with wounded soldiers and addressed the troops at Bagram Airfield. His visit there lasted a few hours. Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan : 25 min. Watch the video on CSPAN

Raw Video: Obama Slips Into Afghanistan

From National Public Radio Updates
In Afghanistan, Obama Hails Troops For Their Sacrifices
President Obama has been in Afghanistan today — an unannounced trip that was kept secret for security purposes until he landed.

More updates from NPR : Hit your “refresh” button on the NPR website to see the latest additions.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP  President Barack Obama waves as he is introduced to the troops at Bagram Air Field.

Los Angeles Times:
President Obama is greeted by U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry and Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Western forces in Afghanistan, as he arrives at Bagram Air Base. (Jim Young / Reuters)

In surprise trip to Afghanistan, Obama visits troops — but can’t meet Karzai
A dust storm prevents Obama from meeting in person with Afghan President Hamid Karzai; they’ll chat by video conference instead. At the Bagram airfield, Obama tells troops that they are breaking the Taliban’s momentum, but he notes: ‘Progress comes at a high price.’

Reporting from Dubai, UAE, Washington and Kabul —
President Obama made an unannounced visit Friday to Afghanistan. But in a scenario that seemed symbolic of star-crossed U.S. relations with the administration of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the two leaders were unable to meet face to face.

The U.S. president visited American troops at Bagram airfield, a sprawling base north of the capital, Kabul. But a massive dust storm prevented him from making the short-hop helicopter trip to meet with Karzai at his presidential palace, as the two sides had planned.
Read more about President Obama’s unannounced trip to Afghanistan.

TRANSCRIPT

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President Obama Addresses CEO Business Summit in Japan

President Obama speaks of the importance of the economic relationships between the U.S. and Asia in remarks to the APEC CEO Business Summit in Yokohama, Japan.

President Obama and President Medvedev in Japan

President Obama and Russia’s President Medvedev in Japan discuss bilateral relationships between their two countries.

In Seoul, Korea, President Obama Remembers Veterans

An estimated 1,400 base personnel and families and several hundred Korean veterans were on hand to hear the Commander in Chief’s Veteran’s day remarks at Yongsan Army Garrison in Seoul, South Korea.

In Seoul, Korea, President Obama greets Korean War vet Private Hector Cafferata, White House Photo, Pete Souza, 11/11/10

The President greets Korean War vet Private Hector Cafferata, White House Photo, Pete Souza, 11/11/10

President Barack Obama delivers remarks to mark Veterans Day at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, South Korea, November 11, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

President Obama’s Remarks in Seoul, Korea

We are so proud to have with us U.S. and Republic of Korea vets of the Korean War who are here. And we are greatly honored by their presence. (Hoaa!) (Applause.)

And I want to make special mention of one of them — Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Hector Cafferata, Jr. Please give him an extraordinary round of applause. (Applause.)

It is an enormous honor to be here at Yongsan Garrison. As President of the United States, I have no greater privilege than serving as Commander-in-Chief of the finest military that the world has ever known. (Hoaa!) And on this Veterans Day, there’s no place I’d rather be than right here with U.S. Forces Korea. (Hoaa!)

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Obama in Indonesia, urges progress on Muslim ties

In Indonesia, President Obama signed a “comprehensive partnership” deal with President Yudhoyono. During a meeting in Jakarta, the capital, he talked about continuing to build bridges between the two countries.
From Al Jazeera
Obama and Yudhoyono
Obama and Yudhoyono signed a ‘comprehensive partnership’ which covers security and economic issues [AFP]

Obama flew from India to Indonesia, his former boyhood home, on Tuesday for the second leg of his 10-day Asia trip.

At a joint news conference with Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Indonesian president, Obama said his efforts to improve the relationship between Muslims and the West had been “earnest” and “sustained”.

However, he said the progress was “incomplete” and there was more work to do.

Obama also said he did not think “we’re going to completely eliminate some of the misunderstandings and mistrust”.

The president said he wanted to make sure the US is “building bridges and expanding our interactions with Muslim

More from Al Jazeera

Pres. Obama proposes steps to strengthen U.S.-India Business

At the U.S.-India Business Council Summit, President Obama proposed steps to grow trade and business relationships between India and the United States. He described India as a market of the future and welcomed a mutually beneficial increase in commerce between the world’s two largest democracies.

TRANSCRIPT

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 08, 2010
Remarks by the President to U.S.-India Business Council and Entrepreneurship Summit

5:43 P.M. IST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. (Applause.) Please, everyone be seated. Good afternoon, everyone. Namaste. Thank you all for an extraordinarily warm welcome. And before I get started, I just want to acknowledge some outstanding public servants, some wonderful dignitaries who are in the room. Anand Sharma, our Commerce and Industry Minister here in India. (Applause.) Khurshid Salman, the Minister of Corporate Affairs and Minority Affairs, who’s here. (Applause.) Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, State Planning Commission Deputy Chairman. (Applause.) Gary Locke, who is the Secretary of Commerce for the United States. (Applause.) Terry McGraw, the chairman of the U.S.-India Business Council. (Applause.) Hari Bhartia, the president of the Confederation of Indian Industries. (Applause.) And Rajan Bharti Mittal, president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. (Applause.)

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India – Michelle Obama considered a complete natural

Charmed by her spontaneity, friendliness and free spirit, the press in India—referring to Michelle Obama as “a complete natural”— lauded the first lady for her ability to connect with youth in Mumbai. Of course, it couldn’t hurt that she brought along her equally charming husband.

Mumbai: A dancing Michelle Obama has become the defining image of the Obamas’ maiden visit to India. The US First Lady hit the dance floor not just once, but twice.

The whole country watched Michelle Obama shaking a leg to hit Bollywood number Rang De Basanti during her interaction with school kids in Mumbai on Saturday. Then again on Sunday, while celebrating Diwali with children from a school in south Mumbai, she broke into a jig to join kids performing a Konkani folk dance, even inspiring the US President to join her on the dance floor.

On both occasions, Michelle Obama joined in the dance spontaneously and got right into the spirit of things. The result was an immediate connect with the children.

“Barack and Michelle Obama were both so friendly,” said one of the school kid. “We were pinching ourselves as we weren’t sure if we were dreaming,” said another.
Click here for more from NDTV

From McClatchy.com

On the eve of the presidential visit, some Indian analysts were wondering if Obama still had the charms.

“Obama has still to prove to Indians that he is swoon-worthy,” Indian newspaper columnist Santosh Desai told The Washington Post last week.
But on Sunday, that concern seemed to have vanished.

Tejpal said she was home with her mom when she first saw footage of the president dancing.
“I was like, ‘Mom! The biggest man on the earth is dancing. I can’t believe that!’” she said. “When I came to work my colleagues were saying ‘He’s so down to earth, he’s so humble.’”

Read MORE FROM MCCLATCHY

Obama fields questions from students in Mumbai

President Obama fields incisive questions from students in Mumbai.

After a tribute to 26/11 victims, and wowing India Inc, US President Barack Obama heads to Delhi today for a two-day stopover. But before the date with Delhi, Obama is meeting school and college students in Mumbai on Sunday morning. Read more at: NDTV

Obama holds video conference with Rajasthan villagers

US President Barack Obama got firsthand account of how IT has revolutionised life in rural India, when villagers of Kanpura near Ajmer interacted with him in Mumbai through video conference.
Read more at: NDTV

Obama in India

Breaking stories of Obama in India from news destinations – The Guardian, Reuters, The Hindu, BBC, CNN, Washington Post and Voice of America.
From The Guardian

Michelle Obama India

Michelle Obama plays music with youth in Mumbai University, India - Photo by Punit Paranjpe/AFP

Obama talks up US economic benefits from India visit
Barack Obama has attempted to reach out to voters who deserted the Democrats in the midterm elections at the start of his longest foreign tour, announcing a $10bn (£6.18bn) trade deal with India that he said would pay for 54,000 US jobs.

Intent on demonstrating his attention to the sluggish US economy even while overseas, the president unveiled new export rules to make it easier for the US to trade with India.

“As we look to India today the United States sees the opportunity to sell our exports in one of the fastest growing markets in the world. For America this is a jobs strategy,” the president said in a speech to the US-India Business Council.
More from The Guardian

From Reuters:

Obama wins India business

Obama-India-Reuters-Jason Reed

U.S. President Barack Obama meets members of the audience after delivering remarks at the U.S.-India business council and entrepreneurship summit in Mumbai, India, November 6, 2010. - Photo by Jason Reed, Reuters


President Barack Obama announced $10 billion in business deals on Saturday as he arrived in India to boost U.S. exports and jobs after a mauling in mid-term polls, but he ran into immediate controversy over Pakistan.

Obama flew into Mumbai, India’s financial hub, and announced the United States would also relax export controls over sensitive technology, a demand of India’s that will help deepen U.S. ties with the emerging global power and its trillion dollar economy.
More from Reuters

From The Hindu

Mumbai is a symbol of energy and optimism that defines India: Obama
MUMBAI: Making terror the centre-piece of his address, United States President Barack Obama said here on Saturday his visit intended to send a very clear message that India and his country were united in their determination to give their people a future of security and prosperity.

In his remarks, commemorating the 26/11 terror attack, to a select gathering on a terrace at the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers, Mr. Obama termed Mumbai a symbol of the incredible energy and optimism that defined India in the 21st century. “And ever since those horrific days two years ago, the Taj has been the symbol of the strength and the resilience of the Indian people,” he pointed out.

Speaking from a podium, silhouetted against the historic Gateway of India, the President, accompanied by Ms. Obama, said: “There’s been a great deal of commentary on our decision to begin our visit here in this dynamic city, at this historic hotel. And to those who have asked whether this is intended to send a message, my answer is simply, absolutely.”
More from The Hindu

From BBC
“Just remember there’s nothing that you guys can’t do.” Michelle Obama to children in India.

Michelle Obama dances in Mumbai
During a visit to Mumbai with her husband, Michelle Obama danced and sang with disadvantaged children before talking to them about the importance of education.
The US First Lady spent time with 33 children from the charity Make a Difference, which teaches English to orphans and runaways.
Mrs Obama is in India with her husband at the start of a 10-day Asian tour, designed to boost US exports and create jobs.
More from BBC

Video from CNN

First lady Michelle Obama takes time from visiting school children in Mumbai to show off some dance moves.

From Washington Post

Obama meets with entrepreneurs in India
By Rama Lakshmi
The first business delegation that President Obama met in Mumbai on Saturday was that of about a dozen Indian entrepreneurs, working on such issues as health care and solar energy. Obama is in India with a high-powered delegation of 250 American business leaders and has said his visit to India is like a job-hunting mission.

But one of the first things he learned at the 45-minute meeting at a five-star hotel room was about India’s smart cycle-rickshaw revolution in the eastern state of Bihar.
More from Washington Post

From Voice of America

President Barack Obama says further opening India’s markets to U.S. exports is crucial to job growth in the United States, and to economic progress for both countries. Mr. Obama spoke to American and Indian business executives on the first day of a three-day visit to strengthen economic, political and security ties with India, as part of a 10-day Asian tour.

Mr. Obama met with Indian and U.S. business entrepreneurs, and participated in a roundtable with U.S. executives gathered here as part one of the largest-ever foreign business missions ever undertaken.

In remarks to a business summit organized by the U.S. – India Business Council, the president described the U.S. – India relationship as one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.
More from Voice of America News

President Obama Honors Victims of Mumbai Terror Attack
The President honors those who died as a results of the Mumbai terror attacks and praises the courage and resiliency of the Indian people as he and First Lady Michelle Obama visit the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai.

Former guerrilla leader Dilma Rousseff elected president of Brazil

Brazil elects the daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant and former Marxist rebel as its first female president.

Dilma Vana Rousseff

Dilma Vana Rousseff


Read more at the Guardian

Dilma Rousseff – Wikipedia

Article about Dilma Rousseff’s election in New York Times