Here’s a quick glimpse at what happened this week on WhiteHouse.gov:
Hurricane Sandy: The Hurricane is currently moving away from the Bahamas and toward the East Coast of the United States. Forecasters with the National Weather Center are tracking the path of the storm, while FEMA offices from Atlanta to Boston are readying for a potential impact. Earlier today, the President spoke on the phone with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Dr. Rick Knabb, Director of the Hurricane Center, John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism about the ongoing preparations.
FEMA is currently advising residents in the path of Sandy (which includes those on much of the East Coast) to prepare for tropical storm and hurricane conditions. Read these set of basic safety tips, and visit www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement: U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Panamanian Minister of Commerce and Industry Ricardo Quijano signed a letter of exchange setting a date for the entry-into-force of the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement. Starting October 31, Panama will eliminate tariffs on more than 86 percent of U.S. industrial and consumer goods. Learn more about the trade promotion agreement, and see what key stakeholders are saying this will mean for the United States’ economy.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: On Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Jill Biden and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hosted three breast cancer survivors at the Naval Observatory for a Breast Cancer Awareness Month conference call. They reminded advocates around the country about the importance of early detection and prevention. Read more about the call, and learn about the survivors here.
On Wednesday evening, the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden hosted a reception at the Naval Observatory commemorating Breast Cancer Awareness Month for survivors, advocates, and women’s health groups. Vice President Biden said that he and Dr. Biden have long been committed to the cause of raising awareness for breast cancer, and he thanked the survivors attending the event for their courage—giving other women with breast cancer hope.
United Nations Day: Wednesday marked the 67th anniversary of the United Nations. In a Presidential Proclamation, President Obama reflected on the progress the international community has made since the creation of the United Nations:
Through the better part of a century, we have seen what is possible when a strong and united international community takes action to advance the interests and values we share. The founding values of the United Nations remind us that countries can resolve their differences peacefully, and that all people deserve the chance to seek their own destiny, free from fear and empowered with their most fundamental rights. As we recognize this 67th anniversary of the United Nations, let us recommit to carrying that vision forward in the years ahead.
White House Hosts Visiting Young African Leaders: Earlier this week, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs Grant Harris met with a group of twenty-seven young African leaders at the White House, continuing the Administration’s engagement with Africa’s next generation of leaders. Senior Director Harris led a discussion on the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, and the goals of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative. Learn more about the visit, and the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa here.
National Christmas Tree: We know it’s still October, but the nation’s capital is already getting ready for the holidays. This week, the lottery for tickets to see the lighting of the National Christmas Tree is officially open. To sign up for your chance, visit Recreation.gov.