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White House Blog

WhiteHouse.gov blog is the official web site for the White House and President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. This site is a source for information about the President, White House news and policies, White House history, and the federal government.

Connecting Young African Leaders with the U.S. and One Another

What do you do when nearly 50,000 young Africans apply for 500 spaces in President Obama’s inaugural Washington Fellowship program, the opportunity for young African leaders to learn new skills and build lasting partnerships in the United States?

President Obama announced his answer to this question today:

The Young African Leaders Initiative Network – or YALI Network – is a virtual community that connects young African leaders with resources from the U.S. government and to one another. Thousands of young Africans have already joined the YALI Network. They have participated in virtual programs, signed up for online courses, and are eager to shape Africa’s future.

That’s why President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and the United States are committed to helping them succeed.

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President Obama Hosts Annual Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House

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This morning, President Obama welcomed religious leaders to the White House for the fifth-annual Easter prayer breakfast, marking the beginning of Holy Week.

At the start of his remarks, the President took a moment to reflect on yesterday's tragic shootings at two Jewish facilities — a community center and a retirement home — in Kansas. As he said today, "nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers. No one should ever have to fear for their safety when they go to pray."

As Americans, we not only need to open our hearts to the families of the victims; we've got to stand united against this kind of terrible violence, which has no place in our society. And we have to keep coming together across faiths to combat the ignorance and intolerance, including anti-Semitism, that can lead to hatred and to violence, because we're all children of God.

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A Moment of Silence to Mark the One-Year Anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing

49 P.M. to mark the one-year anniversary since the Boston Marathon bombings

President Barack Obama observes a moment of silence during his meeting with senior advisors in the Oval Office at 2:49 P.M. to mark the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, April 15, 2014. Pictured from left, are Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer, Press Secretary Jay Carney, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, and Katie Beirne Fallon, Director of Legislative Affairs. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Today at 2:49 pm ET, President Obama will observe a moment of silence to mark the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. 

President Obama also released a statement this morning on the tragedy.

Today, we remember Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard, and Sean Collier. And we send our thoughts and prayers to those still struggling to recover.

We also know that the most vivid images from that day were not of smoke and chaos, but of compassion, kindness and strength: A man in a cowboy hat helping a wounded stranger out of harm’s way; runners embracing loved ones, and each other; an EMT carrying a spectator to safety. Today, we recognize the incredible courage and leadership of so many Bostonians in the wake of unspeakable tragedy. And we offer our deepest gratitude to the courageous firefighters, police officers, medical professionals, runners and spectators who, in an instant, displayed the spirit Boston was built on – perseverance, freedom and love.

Read the full statement here.

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Vice President Biden Joins Instagram

Today, we’re excited to announce the Office of the Vice President is joining Instagram to give followers a unique look inside the Vice Presidency. This new social media presence continues efforts by the Vice President’s Office to connect with citizens online, adding to his official Twitter handle and the Being Biden audio series.

The VP's Instagram followers will have access to behind-the-scenes photos from the road and around the White House. And today, as the Vice President joins President Obama in Pennsylvania to announce grants that will spur job training and apprenticeship programs, you’re invited to follow along on Instagram.

Stay tuned for photos and videos from the Vice President – and don't forget to check out our other official Instagram accounts, including: The White House, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza.

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Reforming America's Job-Driven Training Programs

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In this year's State of the Union address, President Obama announced that Vice President Biden would lead a reform of America's job training programs, making sure that these programs "train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now."

This afternoon, the President and Vice President visited the Community College of Allegheny County in Oakdale, Pennsylvania to announce progress on that reform.

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