October 6, 2010 in Nation/World

In brief: Obama loses seal during speech

 
Associated Press photo

President Barack Obama looks over his podium after the presidential seal fell off while he was speaking.
(Full-size photo)

Washington – The presidential seal fell off President Barack Obama’s lectern and clattered to the stage Tuesday as he delivered a speech to a women’s conference.

“That’s all right, all of you know who I am,” the president joked to laughter from the audience when he realized what had happened.

“But I’m sure there’s somebody back there that’s really nervous right now, don’t you think?” the president added, referring to whatever staffer had hung the seal on the front of his lectern so precariously.

“They’re sweating bullets,” he said, laughing.

It happened about halfway through the president’s speech to Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Women Summit.”

• Also Tuesday, nearly 69 years after President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered Japanese Americans to internment camps, Obama signed legislation awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to aging Japanese American World War II veterans.

A handful of Japanese American veterans and lawmakers joined Obama in the Oval Office where he signed the legislation awarding the medal to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion, known as the “Go for Broke” fighting units, as well as the 6,000 Japanese Americans who served in the Military Intelligence Services during WWII.

Fresno, Calif. – An 8-year-old girl who was abducted by a stranger while playing outside a Fresno home escaped from her captor Tuesday after a driver recognized the suspect’s vehicle and cut it off, police said.

The child was found in Fresno about 11 hours after she disappeared around 8:30 p.m. Monday, triggering a statewide Amber Alert. Police arrested Gregorio Gonzalez, 24, who they said was a member of the Bulldogs street gang.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the driver recognized the red pickup truck from media reports that showed surveillance video of the kidnapper’s vehicle.

When the driver saw a girl’s head in the window, he cut the truck off and forced it to stop, Dyer said. The suspect pushed the girl out of the car, and she ran to safety, he said.

The girl was taken to a hospital in good condition, but Dyer later confirmed she had been sexually assaulted.

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