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Tag: Barack Obama (1-10 of 13)

Actress pleads guilty to sending ricin-laced letters to Obama

A Texas woman and former actress pleaded guilty Tuesday to sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, under a deal that her attorney has said would cap prison time at 18 years.

Shannon Guess Richardson pleaded guilty in federal court in Texarkana, Texas, to a federal charge of possessing and producing a biological toxin.

Her attorney, Tonda Curry, said last month that Richardson was ready to admit her role in sending toxic letters to Obama, Bloomberg and the head of Bloomberg’s pro-gun control group.

Prosecutors say that before Richardson was arrested in June, she tried to frame her now-estranged husband for mailing the letters containing ricin, a powdery substance that can cause respiratory failure if inhaled.

The letter to Obama, according to a federal indictment, said: “What’s in this letter is nothing compared to what ive got in store for you mr president.”

An FBI affidavit filed in the case says Richardson first contacted authorities to implicate Nathan Richardson in the scheme, but she later failed a polygraph exam and make inconsistent statements to authorities.

Shannon Richardson, who had minor roles in the television series The Walking Dead and the movie The Blind Side, later admitted she mailed the letters but maintained her husband made her do it, according to the affidavit.

President Obama speaks about Martin Luther King: 'He gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions'

President Obama delivered a 30-minute speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial this afternoon as part of a day-long event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have A  Dream” speech.

The broadcast channels cut away from regular programming around 2:40 p.m. ET Wednesday for live coverage. President Obama began speaking at 3:05 p.m., praising Dr. King by saying, “He gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions.” The speech (which you can read in full here) discussed the significance of that day 50 years ago but also the hard work people have been doing in the years since, as well as the goals Americans still have left to accomplish.

“We would do well to recall that day itself also belonged to those ordinary people whose named never appeared in the history books, never got on TV….,” he said. “In the face of hatred, they prayed for their tormentors. In the face of violence, they stood up and sat in with the moral force of nonviolence. Willingly they went to jail to protest unjust laws, their cells swelling with the sound of freedom songs. A lifetime of indignities had taught them that no man can take away the dignity and grace that God grants us.” READ FULL STORY

President Obama golfs with Larry David on last vacation day

President Barack Obama hit the links on his Martha’s Vineyard vacation with comedian Larry David.

The president played five hours of golf Saturday in an unlikely foursome that included the Curb Your Enthusiasm star, former U.S. trade representative Ron Kirk, and businessman Glenn Hutchins, a part owner of the Boston Celtics.

Obama spent a couple hours Saturday morning with his wife and daughters on a private beach on the island’s south shore. The first family went out for dinner Saturday night at The Boathouse Restaurant, which overlooks the harbor in historic Edgartown.

The president has kept a low profile during his stay and spent most days golfing. He spoke out publicly only once, to condemn escalating violence in Egypt. He flies back to Washington on Sunday night.

'Walking Dead' actress charged in Obama ricin threat

A pregnant Texas actress who told FBI agents her husband had sent ricin-tainted letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was charged Friday with threatening the president.

Shannon Guess Richardson, who had bit parts on The Walking Dead and The Vampire Diaries, made an initial appearance in a Texarkana courtroom after being charged with mailing a threatening communication to the president. She could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted, U.S. attorney’s office spokeswoman Davilyn Walston said.

Richardson, 35, was arrested earlier in the day for allegedly mailing the ricin-laced letters last month. It wasn’t immediately clear if she had an attorney.
READ FULL STORY

President Obama speaks at Newtown memorial service -- VIDEO

President Barack Obama spoke Sunday night at a memorial service honoring the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

In his roughly 20-minute speech at the interfaith vigil, which was carried by many cable news networks uninterrupted, Obama offered “the love and prayers of a nation” and read the names of the victims.

Watch the full speech below. READ FULL STORY

Newtown school shooting: 'Our hearts are broken today' says Obama -- VIDEO

President Obama addressed the nation this afternoon following the tragic school shooting that took place this morning in Newtown, Conn. that has left at least 27 people dead.

Speaking in the White House briefing room at around 3:15 p.m. ET, a visibly emotional President Obama, who paused several times to wipe away tears, said, “We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. Each time I learn the news I react not as a president but as anybody else would as a parent. … I know there’s not a parent in America that doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do. The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10. They had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.”

He also spoke of the future: “We’re going to have to come together to take meaningful action to prevent tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” and ended by saying, “May God bless the memory of the victims, and in the words of scripture, Heal the broken-hearted and bind up their wounds.”

The President has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff. Watch the video below: READ FULL STORY

President Obama addresses the nation about Hurricane Sandy

Breathless coverage of Hurricane Sandy on network and cable news was briefly interrupted this afternoon by a special message from President Obama. Obama cancelled campaign events that were to take place in Florida and Wisconsin on Monday and Tuesday in order to travel back to Washington, D.C., where he is monitoring the effects of the hurricane.

“Obviously, everybody is aware at this point that this is going to be a big and powerful storm,” the president said around 12:45 p.m. ET. He urged residents of the East Coast to exercise caution and listen to their state and local officials: “When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate. Do not delay; do not pause or question.” He stressed that those who do not follow evacuation instructions will be putting first responders in danger.

Obama also emphasized the storm preparations that local, state, and federal governments have taken over the past few days; the president said he has spoken with the governors of every state that has declared a state of emergency, and asked the public to be patient while waiting for their power to be restored.

When he finished speaking, the president did not answer questions — except one. A reporter asked Obama how the storm will affect next week’s presidential election. Obama replied, “I’m not worried about the impact on the election — I’m worried about the impact on families, and first responders… The election will take care of itself next week. Right now, our priority is to make sure that we’re saving lives.”

Read more:
Hurricane Sandy: Tone of Weather Channel meteorologists turns ominous
Blame it on the rain: Morning shows take on Hurricane Sandy
Armageddon Watch: First Horseman of the Apocalypse spotted in Washington, D.C. – VIDEO

Obama 'Hope' poster artist fined and sentenced to probation

A dispute between artist Shepard Fairey and The Associated Press was settled last year — but Fairey’s legal woes were just beginning. The man behind an iconic poster of Barack Obama has been sentenced to two years of probation and fined $25,000, the New York Times reports.

The case began in 2009, when the AP claimed that Fairey infringed on one of its copyrighted photographs to create his poster. In return, Fairey sued the news organization, saying he had used another photograph under fair use. But as the suit progressed, Fairey admitted that he had been mistaken — and that he tried to conceal his error by both destroying documents and fabricating evidence. He pleaded guilty to a criminal contempt charge in February 2012.

“My wrong-headed actions, born out of a moment of fear and embarrassment, have not only been financially  and psychologically costly to myself and my family, but also helped to obscure what I was fighting for in the first place— the ability of artists everywhere to be inspired and freely create art without reprisal,” Fairey said in a statement after his sentencing.

Anne Hathaway, Harvey Weinstein, and Aaron Sorkin host Obama fundraiser

Catwoman, a powerful studio chief, and the master of the walk-and-talk are joining forces to host a $35,800-per-person fundraiser for President Obama tonight. As the Hartford Courant writes, the event will be held at producer Harvey Weinstein’s beachfront home in Westport, Connecticut this evening. The Dark Knight Rises star Anne Hathaway and The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin will serve as the fundraiser’s co-hosts. Fifty guests, including Academy Award winner Joanne Woodward, are expected to attend. Hathaway and Sorkin’s event will follow a less exclusive, $500-per-person reception at Stamford’s Marriott Hotel.

President Obama is no stranger to events hosted by Hollywood royalty: Both George Clooney and Sarah Jessica Parker made headlines when they threw separate fundraisers for Obama this past spring. These dinners combined raised around $17 million for the Democrat’s reelection campaign. Mitt Romney, the president’s Republican challenger, has also secured the support of several high-profile names; Donald Trump announced that he was hosting a Romney fundraiser in June, while Oscar-winning multihyphenate Clint Eastwood recently endorsed the GOP candidate. READ FULL STORY

NYC celebs raise $4.5 million for Obama

President Barack Obama soaked in the support — and the campaign cash — of Manhattan’s elite entertainers Thursday as his re-election team sought to fill its fundraising coffers. The president and first lady Michelle Obama made a rare joint fundraising appearance when they visited the home of actors Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick. The intimate dinner banked about $2 million, with 50 people paying $40,000 each. The dinner was the Obama campaign’s latest attempt to bank on celebrities for fundraising help in countering the growing donor enthusiasm from Republicans supporting Mitt Romney’s presidential bid.

Speaking in a dimly lighted, art-filled room, Obama told supporters they would play a critical role in an election that would determine a vision for the nation’s future. “You’re the tie-breaker,” he said. “You’re the ultimate arbiter of which direction this country goes.” READ FULL STORY

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