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A confident President Barack Obama kicked off his second term on Monday with an impassioned call for a more inclusive America that rejects partisan rancor and embraces immigration reform, gay rights and the fight against climate change.
Obama's ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol was filled with traditional pomp and pageantry, but it was a scaled-back inauguration compared to the historic start of his presidency in 2009 when he swept into office on a mantle of hope and change as America's first black president
Despite expectations tempered by lingering economic weakness and a divided Washington, Obama delivered a preview of the second-term priorities he intends to pursue, declaring Americans "are made for this moment" and must "seize it together."
His hair visibly gray after four years in office, Obama called for an end to the political partisanship that marked much of his first term in the White House in bitter fights over the economy with Republicans.
President Obama: "My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it"
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He issued a plea for political unity while embracing liberal causes such as immigration reform, gay rights and the fight against climate change.
Mr Obama, 51, who is the 44th US president, was sworn in for his second term by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Hundreds of thousands of people crammed the ceremony on the National Mall.
Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, along with dozens of senators, congressional leaders and other dignitaries, attended the event at the US Capitol.
In his inaugural address, the Democratic president laid out his vision for the next four years and repeatedly declared: "Our journey is not complete."
The first lady is well known for her wardrobe choices, and for the inauguration, Michelle Obama showed off her ability to make multiple style statements during a single day.
In the morning, she wore a custom-made navy checkered jacket by American designer Thom Browne. Then on the West Front of the Capitol for the swearing-in, she updated her look with a bejeweled J.Crew belt and changed shoes, switching from heels to suede boots.
Finally, during the afternoon luncheon with Congress, she unveiled a blue and white dress, also by Browne, and a blue Reed Krakoff cardigan, which she wore the day before to the president's private oath-taking ceremony at the White House.
Throughout the day, the first lady held true to style trends we've watched her develop over the past few years.
J.Crew continues to be a staple of her and her daughters' wardrobes; she often mixes high and low-end fashion; and she loves belts.
America's concern over gun violence became the focus of speeches in Atlanta on Monday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who led a non-violent struggle for civil rights before he was gunned down at age 39.
Crowds gathered at commemorative services across the country on the national holiday in King's honor, the same day as President Barack Obama's second inauguration ceremonies and little more than a month after the Connecticut mass shooting that touched off a national outcry over gun control.
In a ceremony in King's hometown of Atlanta, his daughter Bernice King spoke at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was once a pastor. She recalled her father's reaction after their family home in Montgomery, Alabama, was bombed in 1956 during a boycott of the local bus system.
Some black residents of the city were "armed that day, ready to protect their homes," but King urged them to put away their guns, Bernice King said.
- New Mexico homeschooled teen Nehemiah Griego accused of murdering family, planned to keep killing at local Walmart
New York Daily News
It could have been even worse.
The New Mexico teen accused of gunning down his younger siblings, his mom and his pastor father reportedly planned on continuing his killing spree at a local Walmart.
Nehemiah Griego, 15, had loaded up his family van with "several" guns that he intended to use to slaughter customers at the nearby shopping center, the Albuquerque Journal reported Monday.
Griego hoped to die in a shootout with cops, sources told the paper.
But he was talked out of the plan by a friend, who convinced him over the phone to meet him at his father’s church, the paper said.
He eventually told a church security guard about the crime, and the retired cop called 911, the report said.
The motive for the horrific slayings were still unclear, but the paper said the home-schooled teen had had a "minor disagreement" with his mom Sarah Griego Friday night.
San Francisco will meet Baltimore in Super Bowl XLVII after respective wins over Atlanta and New England.
The 49ers trailed 17-0 early in the second quarter, as the Falcons' Julio Jones caught two touchdown passes.
But the Niners, led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick and star running back Frank Gore, fought back to win 28-24.
Jim Harbaugh's side will meet the Ravens, who are coached by his older brother John and beat the Patriots 28-13, in New Orleans on 3 February.
Atlanta, and wide receiver Jones in particular, raced out of the blocks, scoring on their first three possessions.
Their opening drive culminated in Jones being found unmarked by quarterback Matt Ryan for a 46-yard touchdown.
Kicker Matt Bryant, who booted the winning field-goal from 49 yards last week with only 13 seconds remaining of their divisional play-off against Seattle, then converted a 35-yard effort to make it 10-0.
China has criticised comments made by Hillary Clinton about its increasingly complex and fractious dispute with Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.
Tensions over the island chain – known as the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China – have escalated since Japan bought the islands from private owners.
Chinese ships returned to waters around the disputed islands on Monday, the Japanese coastguard said, for the 24th time since the row broke out. Japan's defence minister has refused to rule out the use of warning shots to deter Chinese aircraft from flying nearby, a move that would raise the stakes. This month China scrambled fighter jets to tail Japanese fighters that were shadowing a Chinese surveillance plane.
The row is shaded by broader concerns: neighbours are anxious about an increasingly powerful China, while China fears the US is seeking to contain it. Beijing hit out at Washington after Clinton said that while the US did not take a position on the sovereignty of the chain, it opposed "any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration".
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a briefing on Monday that the outgoing US secretary of state's comments were "ignorant of facts and indiscriminate of rights and wrongs", echoing a statement issued the previous day.
The fall of Lance Armstrong was as steep as the mountains he climbed en route to the Champs-Elysees and life as a global icon. He left a trail of destruction on the way up and on the way down.
The damage included the careers of teammates and support staff whom he verbally attacked or sued. Millions of dollars invested in cycling’s biggest star by corporate sponsors large and small are now gone. Armstrong’s Livestrong anti-cancer charity, whose yellow plastic donation bracelets were once ubiquitous, faces questions about whether it can retain support. Some former backers may have millions of dollars in legal bills as litigation over the sports fraud plays out.
It was a neck-and-neck race in the German state of Lower Saxony, but ultimately Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives lost. The center-left Social Democrats and environmentalist Green Party have scored an upset victory.
In an upset victory, Germany's center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Greens won a pivotal state election in Lower Saxony on Sunday, ousting the incumbent conservative government with a one-seat advantage in the regional parliament.
Although Governor David McAllister's conservative Christian Democratic Union scored the most votes as a single party, at 36 percent, it still failed to gain enough ballots together with its junior coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), to remain in government. The center-left Social Democratic Party (SDP), garnered 32.6 percent of the votes and the environmentalist Greens 13.7 percent.
French and Malian armored columns rolled into the towns of Diabaly and Douentza in central Mali on Monday after the al Qaeda-linked rebels who had seized them fled into the bush to avoid air strikes.
France said the advance was a significant step in its campaign to break Islamist fighters' grip over Mali's vast desert north, a presence raising fears of the region becoming a an African launchpad for international militant attacks.
The stakes in Mali rose dramatically last week when Islamist gunmen cited France's intervention as the reason for attacking a gas plant in neighboring Algeria, seizing hundreds of hostages and sowing fears the conflict would spill across borders.
"This advance by Mali's army into towns held by their enemies is a clear military success for the government in Bamako and for French forces supporting the operation," French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.
Britain's Prince Harry says he killed Afghan insurgents during sorties against the Taliban while on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan where he was a gunner in Apache attack helicopters.
Queen Elizabeth's 28-year-old grandson, third in line to the British throne, will return home later this week after a 20-week posting with NATO forces at the Camp Bastion military base in the southern province of Helmand.
Asked before he left Afghanistan if he had killed insurgents during his tour, he said: "Yeah, so, lots of people have. ... Yes, we fire when we have to, take a life to save a life, but essentially we're more of a deterrent than anything else.
"If there's people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we'll take them out of the game, I suppose," the second son of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana said in one of several interviews released to the media.
Algeria said on Monday it had confirmed the deaths of at least 38 workers, all but one foreign, at the Sahara gas plant its forces stormed two days ago and said the Islamist gunmen had been led by a man with Canadian citizenship.
Named only as Chedad, a surname found among Arabs in North Africa, the Canadian was among 29 assailants from a local al Qaeda group killed during the four-day siege, Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said. Another three were detained.
Among hostages confirmed dead by their own governments were three Americans, seven Japanese, six Filipinos and three Britons; others from Britain, Norway and elsewhere were listed as unaccounted for. Sellal said 37 foreigners died, of whom seven were unidentified, and a further five were missing.
Though nearly 700 Algerians and 100 other foreigners escaped or were rescued, the apparent ease with which a group could race over the nearby border from lawless Libya and seize a heavily defended and economically strategic facility has raised doubts for investors on the security of Algeria's vital energy sector.
India's Supreme Court will hear a petition on Tuesday by one of the five men charged with the gang rape and murder of a student in a bus to shift the case out of the capital on grounds that the atmosphere was too surcharged to ensure a fair trial.
Last month's assault on the 23-year-old woman on a New Delhi bus triggered an outpouring of anger and grief and calls for swift punishment for the five men and a juvenile who will be y tried separately.
One of the accused, Mukesh Singh, approached the Supreme Court urging the trial be held anywhere but New Delhi, saying both the police and the judiciary were under intense public pressure on the case and that a fair trial was not possible.
A bench headed by the Chief Justice Altamas Kabir will hear the petition on Tuesday, Singh's lawyer, Manohar Lal Sharma, said on Monday.
The Russian government said that it was sending two airplanes to Lebanon in an effort to evacuate any of its citizens who wish to leave neighboring Syria.
Russia Today, the official English-language outlet for the country, reports the planes will depart on Tuesday and are expected to carry about 100 Russians.
As the AP reports this is significant because Russia has been Syria's staunch ally. The country has used its veto power in the United Nations to stop international intervention in the bloody conflict against President Bashar Assad that started in March of 2011.
The AP adds:
"Monday's announcement appears to reflect Moscow's increasing doubts about Assad's ability to cling to power and growing concerns about the safety of its citizens.
"Russia's Foreign Ministry has said that it has contingency plans in place to evacuate thousands of Russians from Syria."
Russia Today adds that speculation had swirled about whether Russia would use its Navy to evacuate its citizens from Syria.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
U.S. safety investigators on Sunday ruled out excess voltage as the cause of a battery fire this month on a Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner jet operated by Japan Airlines Co (JAL) and said they were expanding the probe to look at the battery's charger and the jet's auxiliary power unit.
Last week, governments across the world grounded the Dreamliner while Boeing halted deliveries after a problem with a lithium-ion battery on a second 787 plane, flown by All Nippon Airways Co (ANA), forced the aircraft to make an emergency landing in western Japan.
A growing number of investigators and Boeing executives are working around the clock to determine what caused the two incidents which the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration says released flammable chemicals and could have sparked a fire in the plane's electrical compartment.
There are still no clear answers about the root cause of the battery failures, but the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board's statement eliminated one possible answer that had been raised by Japanese investigators.
Refrigerators are getting smart. A new model released earlier this month runs apps to help users browse recipes, create shopping lists and manage the expiration dates of items like yogurt and milk.
The T9000 refrigerator by electronics company Samsung has a 10-inch Wi-Fi-enabled touchscreen and includes apps such as Epicurious for recipes and Evernote for note-taking.
"The fridge, because it's the hub of the family and the kitchen, is now another access point without having to drag around your tablet or have your phone with you in the vicinity of where you're cooking or entertaining," said Warner Doell, a vice president in the home appliance division at Samsung Canada.
The display enables users to keep up with the news, weather and even Twitter from the fridge door. It can also replace hand-written calendars with Google Calendar integration, and run slideshows of photos, according to Doell.
Shopping lists can be created on the fridge with the Evernote app, which will sync to smartphones and recipes can be found at Epicurious.
A team from City of London School has been named the winner of a national codebreaking competition.
In total 6,268 pupils from 725 British schools took part in the National Cypher Challenge at the end of 2012.
Previous years have seen 200 teams take part but this year 1,600 teams signed up to decode a series of cryptic codes released online.
The event was organised by Southampton University with support from GCHQ and commercial partners.
The competition was only for UK schools but teams from Tokyo, Bangkok, Florida and Honolulu also applied to take part.
It ran over a period of two months, with codes of increasing difficulty being issued periodically on the internet for school teams to crack, explained Prof Graham Niblo, organiser of the contest and head of mathematics at Southampton University.
Is the cyber security analyst Eugene Kaspersky the most dangerous man in the world? After more than 15 years researching cyber-crime and running the international online security firm Kaspersky Lab, he is certainly the most paranoid.
Cyber threats are developed as quickly as new technologies themselves, he told a session at the DLD13 conference in Munich on Monday, and with computers now such a critical part of our infrastructure – from our smartphones and cars to national energy systems and even prisons – the potential for damage and danger is catastrophic.
He points to Stuxnet, which was confirmed as the culprit behind three incidents of cyber-terrorism: one in Estonia, one on an Iranian nuclear facility and one on oil companies in Saudi Arabia, which destroyed data on 30,000 computers. If viruses can damage hardware, as in 1998 and 1999 when 10,000 notebooks were destroyed with one virus, are we ready to reinstate human-operated mechanical control systems as roadblocks? It won't happen, but things are only going to get worse, he warns.
Atari, the pioneering video game company that created Pong and Asteroids, has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US.
The American units of the 41-year-old company made a chapter 11 filing in New York on Monday, in an attempt to separate themselves from the loss-making French parent company Atari SA.
Atari Inc said bankruptcy proceedings would separate the US parts of the group from the "financial encumbrances" of its French parent, which has failed to make a profit since 1999.
The US operation has shifted its focus towards digital games for mobile phones, tablets or Facebook.