07-20-2017  11:33 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Northeast Portland Sunday Parkways

This summer the eight-mile bike route takes place on July 23, from 11 a.m - 4 p.m. ...

APANO: Cultural Series Launches with Solidarity Film Screening

"American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs" screens on July 25 at North Portland Library ...

National Hunger Hotline Seeks to Reach More Children in Need

Callers can locate summer meals sites for kids, food pantries, and other meals programs near them ...

ICS Announces New Executive Director

Lisa LeSage has been named the new Executive Director of Immigration Counseling Service ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Throw the Doors of Opportunity Wide Open for Our Youth

Congressional Black Caucus member Robin Kelly says it’s time to pass the “Today’s American Dream Act.” ...

Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts Threaten Civil Rights

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending talks about the impact of President Trump’s budget on civil rights...

Nooses on National Mall Echo Domestic Terrorism

Lauren Victoria Burke reports on a series of domestic terrorist attacks across the U.S ...

White House Proposes $9.2 Billion Cut in Education Funding

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes about the rising costs of higher education ...

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

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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