04-19-2018  10:08 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

April 24 is Voter Registration Deadline for May 15 Primary Election

Tuesday, April 24, is voter registration and party choice deadline for May 15 Primary Election ...

Portland Libraries Celebrate National Poetry Month

April poetry events and recommended reading from Multnomah County libraries ...

PCRI Launches the Pathway 1000 Implementation Plan

Pathway 1000 a bold and ambitious 10-year displacement mitigation initiative ...

AG Rosenblum Launches New Resource on Oregon’s New Gun Safety Laws

One-page handout aims to educate Oregonians about the new law ...

Ethos Music Center Honors Portland Attorney Dave Baca with Annual Resonance Award

Founder Charles Lewis to receive first-ever Ethos Visionary Award at the May 2 event ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Will HUD Secretary Ben Carson Enforce the Fair Housing Act?

Julianne Malveaux questions HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s ability to enforce the Fair Housing Act ...

Waiting While Black in Philadelphia Can Get You Arrested

Reggie Shuford on the daily indignities African-Americans face in Philadelphia and around the country ...

Black People Must Vote or Reap the Consequences

Jeffrey Boney on the importance of voting in the Black community ...

Civil Rights Community Doesn’t Need to Look Farr for Racism in Trump Court Nominees

Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO, explains organization's opposition to Trump's nomination of Thomas Farr ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

President Barack Obama, left, with daughters Malia and Sasha, mother-in-law Marian Robinson and first lady Michelle Obama sing onstage during the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at the Ellipse in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. Also on stage is actress Reese Witherspoon at left. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama jumpstarted the holiday season Thursday, lighting the National Christmas Tree but also appealing to Americans to "come together as brothers and sisters" one day after 14 people were shot to death in Southern California.

"This is of course the most wonderful time of the year, but we would be remiss not to take a moment to remember our fellow Americans whose hearts are heavy tonight, who grieve for loved ones, especially in San Bernardino, California," Obama said.

"Their loss is our loss, too. We're all one American family," he added.

Moments earlier, the president, his wife, Michelle, daughters Malia and Sasha, and his mother-in-law, Marian Robinson, together flipped a switch and illuminated the Christmas tree near the White House.

The festive ceremony was held under somber circumstances following Wednesday's events in California. As a backdrop to the ceremony, the U.S. flag flew at half-staff atop the White House, on Obama's orders, in remembrance of the victims.

Obama closed the ceremony by taking over the microphone to help Santa Claus belt out "Jingle Bells."

Actress Reese Witherspoon served as host. Musicians Crosby, Stills and Nash, Aloe Blacc, Kelsea Ballerini and Fall Out Boy also performed.

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