OBAMA RETURNS TO PUBLIC EYE IN CHICAGO
CHICAGO President Barack Obama lifted the veil on his retirement Monday at a University of Chicago forum, engaging students with a message calling on them to use empathy and listen to those with whom they disagree.
I have to say that theres a reason why Im always optimistic when things look like theyre sometimes not going the way I want. And that is because of young people like this, Obama said in wrapping up the 80-minute forum, the closest he came to addressing his successor, President Donald Trump.
The discussion with six younger people, including four students, featured Obama largely delivering bromides from a historical perspective of his years as an organizer, state senator, U.S. senator and president.
I am the first to acknowledge I did not set the world on fire, nor did I transform these communities in any significant way, he said of his days as a community organizer on the South Side.
But it did change me. This community gave me more than I was able to give in return. This community taught me that ordinary people, when working together, can do extraordinary things, he said.
US ANNOUNCING SANCTIONS ON SYRIAN SCIENTISTS
WASHINGTON Following up on a limited U.S. military strike against Syria, the Trump administration on Monday announced new sweeping sanctions on the Syrian government agency it blames for producing chemicals used in a deadly attack on Syrian civilians earlier this month.
The announcement names 271 members of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center in what the Treasury Department called one of its largest sanctions actions in history.
It said the Syrian agency was responsible for developing and producing nonconventional weapons and the means to deliver them.
ARKANSAS PREPARES FOR DOUBLE EXECUTION
LITTLE ROCK Arkansas could carry out a double execution tonight, the first in the nation since Texas put two inmates to death in 2000.
Lawyers for Marcel Wayne Williams and Jack Harold Jones are scheduled to die in back-to-back executions starting at 7 p.m. at the state Department of Corrections Cummins unit near Grady. Their lawyers have filed a flurry of lawsuits, motions and appeals seeking to block their executions, with the ultimate decisions likely to come down to the U.S. Supreme Court tonight.
The state sought to kill four inmates last week, but court stays blocked all but one execution, that of Ledell Lee on Thursday. This week, in addition to tonights scheduled executions, the state will seek to put Kenneth Williams to death Thursday.
LE PEN GOES ON ATTACK, STEPS ASIDE AS PARTY PRESIDENT
PARIS The far-right National Front attacked presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron as a candidate of oligarchs and banking lobbies, who parties with show-business celebrities, as it sought to portray Marine Le Pen as more in touch with the French people.
The morning after the election-night parties, the National Front was eager to underscore the differences between long-time opposition politician Le Pen and political newcomer Macron, a former investment banker and economy minister. Macron had 23.8 percent in the first round and Le Pen had 21.5 percent, according to results from the Interior Ministry with 97.4 percent of votes counted.
We are in almost perfect opposition on all points, Florian Philippot, the partys vice-president, told France 2 television on Monday.
Le Pen also announced she would step down temporarily as the party's president to focus on being a candiate for the French presidency.
DEMOCRATIC PAC LAUNCHES AD CAMPAIGN AGAINST TRUMP
WASHINGTON A Democratic group is launching a weeklong effort to criticize President Donald Trumps performance during his first 100 days in office, including digital ads that attack the Republican leaders spending on travel.
Trump has spent one-in-five minutes in Mar-a-Lago, says one of the display ads set to appear on Facebook. Taxpayers bill: $26.1 million.
The ads will appear on Facebook in swing states Trump carried in 2016, according to a spokesman for the Democratic Super PAC funding the ads, American Bridge 21st Century. The group would not say how much money it would spend on the ad campaign.