Obama

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When the President of the United States burst into song on the weekend, music amplified the emotional force of his words. EPA/Richard Ellis

Obama’s Amazing Grace shows how music can lift oratory high

Only a hard heart could fail to respond on some emotional level when Barack Obama, eulogising at one of the most emotionally and racially charged funerals in US history, started singing Amazing Grace.
An outstanding performance from David Oyelowo. Atsushi Nishijima © 2014 Paramount Pictures

It’s dangerous to draw parallels between Selma and today

In an early scene in Selma, a sunlit stairwell is the backdrop for several floral-clad girls chatting happily about the hair styles of Coretta Scott King. This gorgeous vision then explodes before our…
In this year’s State of the Union Obama has new found confidence Larry Downing/Reuters

State of the Union 2015: telegraphing the punches with purpose

There are many ways to look at the Obama approach to the 2015 State of the Union – the idea that the President’s strategy is ruining the culture and tradition of the State of the Union address is just…
The star-spangled banner yet waves over a Havana taxi-bike. EPA/Alejandro Ernesto

Obama’s Cuba move is more a milestone than a turning point

The recent news that the United States and Cuba are finally beginning to “normalise” relations has understandably caught the world’s imagination, given the two countries’ longstanding mutual hostility…
In action? EPA/Stringer

Boots already on the ground as US mission in Iraq accelerates

President Obama’s address, on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, was uncompromising, the United States will “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State (IS) with “a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism…
US President Barack Obama outlines his new four-point strategy to defeat Islamic State in a televised address from the White House. EPA/SAUL LOEB / POOL

Obama’s new strategy still misses Islamic State’s weakest link

US President Barack Obama has announced a more aggressive strategy against Islamic State, including air strikes against its fighters “wherever they are”, even inside Syria – which he had previously ruled…
Isolated by sanctions - but does Putin care? EPA/Mikhail Klimentyev/Ria Novosti

Explainer: how will sanctions against Russia work?

The sanctions against Russia just announced by the EU and the US are widely reported to be the harshest since the end of the Cold War. The package includes cutting off Russia’s state-owned banks from international…
The Indonesian president, and his government, have experienced a serious loss of face at a time when they least wanted it. EPA/Abror Rizki

Diplomatic crisis: can the PM mend our relationship with Indonesia?

When The Guardian Australia and the ABC broke the news that Australian intelligence agencies had been monitoring the phones of Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and leading Cabinet…
Will the US attack Syria in the face growing international condemnation and opposition? EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

Malcolm Fraser: Syria attack ‘illegal’

Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser has attacked American plans to launch attacks on the Assad regime in Syria, describing them as illegal and reminiscent of the disastrous invasion of Iraq…
The grim cost of conflict. Freedom House via Creative Commons

Syria casts its shadow as G8 leaders gather

President Obama’s confirmation that the United States would begin arming Syrian rebels has prompted an urgent debate about both the legality and the effectiveness of the decision. The announcement, ahead…

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