PARIS – The world greeted the Barack Obama era on Tuesday with excited hopes for the future and deep caution over the difficulties facin...
PARIS – The world greeted the Barack Obama era on Tuesday with excited hopes for the future and deep caution over the difficulties facing the first black American president.
Underscoring the massive public outpouring of faith in the young US leader, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said: "We are eager for him to get to work so that with him we can change the world."
Some counterparts, though, have sought to douse expectations.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel wished Obama "the best of luck" but gave the latest in a series of warnings to the new US president -- this time about sending troops to Afghanistan and dealing with Iran.
She said Obama would not sway Germany to add further to its committed 4,500 force in Afghanistan.
KOGELO, Kenya - Kogelo, the hometown of the father of US President-elect Barack Obama, is normally a sleepy village of 5,000, but has become a riot of color and sound.
The festivities have already begun, as they count down the hours before "their son" becomes the 44th president of the most powerful country in the world.
There are women in brightly coloured "kangas", the Kenyan sarongs which are so popular here. Some have the image of Mr Obama on the cloth, worn mischievously around their waists so that when they dance, he appears to be dancing too.
It is like one enormous wake, but for the fact that no one has died.
Many men are also sporting traditional dress. One wears an elaborate feathered head dress and dances with a traditional spear or ratung. The celebrations will continue well into the night.
VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI gave Barack Obama his blessing and prayed for his "unfailing wisdom and strength" in a telegram sent Tuesday before the U.S. presidential inauguration.
Benedict urged Obama to remember the "the poor, the outcast and those who have no voice" and to stick to his pledge to work for peace.
"I offer cordial good wishes, together with the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you unfailing wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high responsibilities," the telegram said.
The text was made public a few hours before Obama was to be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. The pope asked Obama to build a free society.