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Aug 032013
 

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Obama, who turns 52 on Sunday, spent Saturday playing golf with friends at Joint Base Andrews, but before he hit the links, he was briefed on the terrorist threat that will cause 21 U.S. embassies to close Sunday.

“Before departing this morning, the president was updated on the potential threat occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula by Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco. He will continue to be updated through the weekend,” a White House official told reporters.

The State Department has ordered all U.S. embassies to close Sunday. Most are closed anyway on Sundays, except those in Muslim countries, meaning the closures affect 21 embassies in the Muslim world. The State Department also issued a worldwide travel alert for Americans on Friday.

After the briefing, the president’s motorcade left the White House with golf clubs and at least one cooler in tow. Later, he planned to head to Camp David.

Three groups teed off at Andrews, according to a White House official, including a smattering of old friends and former colleagues. Among them were two Chicago friends, Marty Nesbitt and Eric Whitaker. Whitaker attended graduate school with Obama at Harvard. High school friends Mike Ramos and Bobby Titcomb, who was arrested in 2011 in Honolulu on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute, were also there.  Obama has played golf with him at least twice since the arrest.

Former aide Reggie Love and Chicago chef Sam Kass, who has also served as a White House chef, senior policy adviser on nutrition, and executive director of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, also played.

Obama was expected to depart for Camp David in the afternoon, returning Sunday.

The presidential golf outing got cool-for-August morning temperatures accompanied by some intermittent, light drizzling rain.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Jul 272013
 

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Obama will commemorate the 60 year anniversary of the Korean War armistice Saturday, marking the end of hostilities on the peninsula.

Communist North Korea invaded South Korea with 135,000 troops on June 25, 1950, and three years later with more than 2.5 million dead, including more than more than 36,000 Americans who died in combat, the war ended.

Joined by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Obama will lay a wreath at the memorial in Washington, D.C.

On Thursday, Obama issued a declaration making today National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, noting that the conflict “defined a generation and decided the fate of a nation.”

“We remember ordinary men and women who showed extraordinary courage through 3 long years of war, fighting far from home to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met,” Obama said in his proclamation. “This anniversary marks the end of a war. But it also commemorates the beginning of a long and prosperous peace.”

It is often referred to as the “Forgotten War,” because fighting half a world away garnered little domestic attention at the time. But the remnants of the conflict are still felt today. North Korea and South Korea remain divided, and there is still no peace treaty between the two countries.

According to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs there are still 2 million living veterans of that war.

“No monument will ever be worthy of their service, and no memorial will fully heal the ache of their sacrifice,” Obama said in the proclamation. “But as a grateful nation, we must honor them — not just with words, but with deeds.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio