It's time for action, Obama declares, urging unity to tackle nation's problems in second term
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Turning the page on years of war and recession, President Barack Obama summoned a divided nation Monday to act with "passion and dedication" to broaden equality and prosperity at home, nurture democracy around the world and combat global warming as he embarked on a second term before a vast and cheering crowd that spilled down the historic National Mall.
"America's possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands," the 44th president declared in a second inaugural address that broke new ground by assigning gay rights a prominent place in the wider struggle for equality for all.
In a unity plea to politicians and the nation at large, he called for "collective action" to confront challenges and said, "Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time -- but it does require us to act in our time."
Elected four years ago as America's first black president, Obama spoke from specially constructed flag-bedecked stands outside the Capitol after reciting oath of office that all presidents have uttered since the nation's founding.
The events highlighted a day replete with all the fanfare that a security-minded capital could muster -- from white-gloved Marine trumpeters who heralded the arrival of dignitaries on the inaugural stands to the mid-winter orange flowers that graced the tables at a traditional lunch with lawmakers inside the Capitol.
INAUGURATION WATCH: A special dress ends a big day, and a president faces daunting work ahead
WASHINGTON (AP) -- AP journalists fanned out across the capital to cover Inauguration Day as part of a running feed of content and analysis. Here are their reports.
A NEW CHAPTER
AP National Political Editor Liz Sidoti closes Inauguration Watch by summing up the day's events and what they might mean.
10 Things to Know for Tuesday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:
1. SURPRISES FROM THE INAUGURATION
Obama stressed the need to combat climate change. He declared his full support for gay rights. And his speech lasted just 10 minutes.
In praise of the inaugural do-over: less drama for 2nd swearing-in but still moments to savor
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Let's hear it for the do-over.
Inaugurations are always moments of great ceremony and pageantry. But, hey, everybody can rel-a-a-a-ax a little the second time around.
After the electric moment of President Barack Obama's first swearing-in, the second inaugural was just so much more ... comfortable.
(Really, Monday was a do-over of the do-over. The actual swearing-in took place a day earlier in a private ceremony at the White House.)
Yup, that was the president chomping on gum -- Nicorette, perhaps -- as he watched the inaugural parade, while his wife and daughters rocked out in their seats and the girls snapped photos on their phones.
Analysis: Defending Democrats' ideals, Obama warns GOP to seek accord on debt, social contract
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama appealed for "one nation and one people" in his second inaugural address. Any notion that the country's bitter partisanship might fade, however, seemed tempered by the president's newly assertive push of central Democratic tenets: safety-net programs for the poor, equal rights for gays and minorities and government spending on investments like schools and highways.
Deficit spending, the president's biggest conflict with Republicans, got only one passing mention. And he never uttered the word "debt."
Never fear, Republicans seemed to say in response. They will press the overspending issue time and again, starting this week in the GOP-controlled House. And the outcome of the two parties' long-running conflict will help shape the government's role in coming years, not to mention Obama's legacy.
All presidents want to drive the national agenda. Inauguration Day is their moment to lay out their visions. As Obama rudely learned in his first term, however, unforeseen events quickly intervene, and a president's fate is to adjust, improvise and re-order priorities.
After winning his first election with a call for greater unity and cooperation in Washington, Obama appeared to be taken aback by the ferocity of Republican resistance. It gave birth to the tea party in 2009, forced him to pass "Obamacare" without a single GOP vote, and fueled huge Democratic setbacks in the 2010 congressional elections.
Inside job, 2 Canadian militants, bomb experts: Algeria describes how Islamists drove mayhem
ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) -- The hostage-taking at a remote Algerian gas plant was carried out by 30 militants from across the northern swath of Africa and two from Canada, authorities said. The militants, who wore military uniforms and knew the layout, included explosives experts who rigged it with bombs and a leader whose final order was to kill all the captives.
The operation also had help with inside knowledge -- a former driver at the plant, Algeria's prime minister said Monday.
In all, 38 workers and 29 militants died, the Algerian prime minister said Monday, offering the government's first detailed account of four days of chaos that ended with a bloody military raid he defended as the only way possible to end the standoff. Five foreigners are still missing.
"You may have heard the last words of the terrorist chief," Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal told reporters. "He gave the order for all the foreigners to be killed, so there was a mass execution, many hostages were killed by a bullet to the head."
Monday's account offered the first Algerian government narrative of the standoff, from the moment of the attempted bus hijacking on Wednesday to the moment when the attackers prepared Saturday to detonate bombs across the sprawling complex. That's when Algerian special forces moved in for the second and final time.
Accused priests' files show how LA church hierarchy controlled damage, kept followers in dark
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony and other top Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles officials maneuvered behind the scenes to shield molester priests, provide damage control for the church and keep parishioners in the dark, according to church personnel files.
The confidential records filed in a lawsuit against the archdiocese disclose how the church handled abuse allegations for decades and also reveal dissent from a top Mahony aide who criticized his superiors for covering up allegations of abuse rather than protecting children.
Notes inked by Mahony demonstrate he was disturbed about abuse and sent problem priests for treatment, but there also were lengthy delays or oversights in some cases. Mahony received psychological reports on some priests that mentioned the possibility of many other victims, for example, but there is no indication that he or other church leaders investigated further.
"This is all intolerable and unacceptable to me," Mahony wrote in 1991 on a file of the Rev. Lynn Caffoe, a priest suspected of locking boys in his room, videotaping their crotches and running up a $100 phone sex bill while with a boy. Caffoe was sent for therapy and removed from ministry, but Mahony didn't move to defrock him until 2004, a decade after the archdiocese lost track of him.
"He is a fugitive from justice," Mahony wrote to the Vatican's Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI. "A check of the Social Security index discloses no report of his demise, so presumably he is alive somewhere."
Report: NM boy accused of killing parents, 3 siblings said he had homicidal, suicidal thoughts
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- The New Mexico teenager accused of fatally shooting his parents and three younger siblings told authorities he was annoyed with his mother and had been having homicidal and suicidal thoughts, according to a probable cause statement.
Nehemiah Griego, 15, remained in custody Monday on charges of murder and child abuse resulting in death. He was arrested following the shootings Saturday at a home in a rural area southwest of Albuquerque where he lived with his family.
A Bernalillo County sheriff's detective questioned the teen Saturday night and the details of their conversation were spelled out in the statement.
The teen allegedly told the detective that he took a .22 caliber rifle from his parents' closet around midnight Saturday and shot his mother in the head while his younger brother slept next to her.
Griego told the detective that his brother did not believe him that their mother was dead so he showed his mother's bloody face to his brother and then shot him, according to the statement.
Nation honors Martin Luther King Jr. as first black president is inaugurated for 2nd term
ATLANTA (AP) -- Commemorative events for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. slid seamlessly into celebrations of the swearing-in Monday of the nation's first black president, with many Americans moved by the reminder of how far the country has come since the 1960s.
"This is the dream that Dr. King talked about in his speech. We see history in the making," said Joyce Oliver, who observed King Day by visiting the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn., built on the site of the old Lorraine Motel, where King was assassinated in 1968.
In Atlanta, at the 45th annual service for the civil rights leader at the church where he was pastor, those gathered in the sanctuary were invited to stay to watch President Barack Obama's second inauguration on a big-screen TV.
As the nearly three-hour service closed at Ebenezer Baptist Church, organizers suggested forgoing the traditional singing of "We Shall Overcome" because the inauguration would begin. But the crowd shouted protests, so the choir and congregation sang the civil rights anthem before settling in to watch the events in Washington.
In the nation's capital, dozens took pictures of the King statue before walking to the National Mall for the inauguration.
Harry comes home: British prince returns from deployment as helicopter pilot in Afghanistan
LONDON (AP) -- Capt. Wales is coming home to be Prince Harry once again.
The Ministry of Defense revealed Monday that the 28-year-old prince is returning from a five-month deployment in Afghanistan, where he served as an Apache helicopter pilot with the Army Air Corps. It did not immediately divulge his exact whereabouts.
In interviews conducted in Afghanistan, the third in line to the British throne described feeling boredom, frustration and satisfaction during a tour that saw him fire at Taliban fighters on missions in support of ground troops.
When asked whether he had killed from the cockpit, he said: "Yea, so lots of people have."
He also spoke of his struggle to balance his job as an army officer with his royal role -- and his relief at the chance to be "one of the guys."