WEEKLY ADDRESS: A Comprehensive, Long-Term Deal with Iran

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, July 17, 2015.

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, July 17, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week's address, the President explained the comprehensive, long-term deal announced earlier this week that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This agreement cuts off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon, implements unprecedented monitoring and inspections of Iran’s key nuclear facilities, and ensures that if Iran violates these terms, the strict sanctions previously imposed on the country will snap back into place. This is a good deal that demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change that makes our country, and the world, safer and more secure.

The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, July 18, 2015.

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In Charleston, President Obama Honors the Life of Pastor and State Senator Clementa Pinckney

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"We are here today to remember a man of God who lived by faith. A man who believed in things not seen. A man who believed there were better days ahead, off in the distance. A man of service who persevered, knowing full well he would not receive all those things he was promised, because he believed his efforts would deliver a better life for those who followed."

-- President Obama, on the late Rev. Clementa Pinckney

Today, President Obama traveled to Charleston, South Carolina to honor the life of pastor and state senator Clementa Pinckney -- one of the nine who lost their lives in last week's shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

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What Today’s Supreme Court Decision on Housing Means:

More than one important decision from the Supreme Court today that's worth noting → pic.twitter.com/WPuh8y8cZC

— Josh Earnest (@PressSec) June 25, 2015

This morning, the Supreme Court ruled to preserve a critical tool that helps prevent housing discrimination.

In a 5-4 vote, the Court ruled that disparate-impact claims can be filed under the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Under the disparate-impact doctrine, a policy can be considered discriminatory if it has a disproportionately adverse impact against any group of people, based on race, national origin, color, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.

As Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) was created to eliminate discriminatory housing practices, such as "zoning laws and other housing restrictions that function unfairly to exclude minorities from certain neighborhoods" without sufficient justification.

"Recognition of disparate-impact claims," he added, "is consistent with the FHA's central purpose."

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Weekly Address: Pass the USA Freedom Act

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, May 29, 2015.

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, May 29, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

In this week's address, the President addressed critical pieces of national security business that remained unfinished when the Senate left town. This Sunday at midnight, key tools used to protect against terrorist threats are set to expire. The USA Freedom Act strikes a balance between security and privacy, reauthorizing important measures that give our national security professionals the authorities they use to keep us safe, while also implementing reforms that enhance the privacy and civil liberties of our citizens. But currently, a small group of senators is standing in its way.

The President asked Americans to speak with one voice to the Senate to put politics aside, put the safety of the American people first, and pass the USA Freedom Act now.

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Weekly Address: Tuition-Free Community College

President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address at Hill Air Force Base in Layton, Utah, April 3, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) In this week’s address, the Vi... Read more »

Why Conversion Therapy Hurts All of Us

This afternoon, Amanda Simpson -- Executive Director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives, and the first openly transgender woman Presidential appointee ever -- sent the following message to the White House email list. Her message explains why "conversion therapy" is so harmful to all of us, and why it was important for the White House to stand up against the practice.

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Across the country, there are doctors working to convince people to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. It's known as "conversion therapy," but it could also be called brainwashing, or reprogramming.

Loving and compassionate parents and ministers who are trying to do the right thing are doing just the opposite. They are influenced by bad science, not grounded in fact. This so-called "conversion therapy" is harmful.

A couple of days ago, the White House came out in support of efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy. And as a transgender woman, this is especially personal to me.

No one should be forced to be someone they're not. Everyone should be valued for their authentic, true self -- who they are -- regardless of the gender with which they identify, or who they love.

I recently talked with a few other people in the Administration about why conversion therapy is so dangerous, and why it was so important for the White House to take a strong stance against the practice.

Here's what we have to say:

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President Obama Offers Easter and Passover Greetings

In a special video message, President Obama offered his warmest wishes to people across the country and around the world celebrating the Easter and Passover holidays.

Last night, the President and First Lady hosted a Seder here at the White House to mark the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Tomorrow, the First Family will celebrate Easter, reflecting on Christ's sacrifice and embracing the hope that this sacred season represents.

"Whether we’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, or Buddhist; whether faith in God shapes our daily lives completely or not at all, we believe that with common effort, and shared sacrifice, a brighter future is just around the bend," the President said. "And we embrace our obligation to do something meaningful, something lasting, with the precious time we’ve been allotted on this Earth."

The President also encouraged all Americans to "pause and give thanks for the chance to live in a country where everyone has the right to worship and pray and love as they choose."

Watch the President's Easter and Passover greetings below:

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Weekly Address: Reaching a Comprehensive and Long-Term Deal on Iran’s Nuclear Program

President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address at Hill Air Force Base in Layton, Utah, April 3, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) In this week’s address, the Pr... Read more »

A Message from President Obama: Preventing Iran from Acquiring a Nuclear Weapon

President Obama sent the following message to the White House email list laying out how today's historic understanding with Iran will prevent Iran from producing a nuclear weapon. Didn't see it in your inbox? Sign up to get email updates here

Today, the United States, together with our allies and partners, reached a historic understanding with Iran.

If fully implemented, this framework will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, making our nation, our allies, and our world safer.

For decades, Iran has been advancing its nuclear program. When I took office, Iran was operating thousands of centrifuges -- which can produce the materials for a nuclear bomb -- and was concealing a secret nuclear facility. I made it clear that the United States was prepared to find a diplomatic resolution, if Iran came to the table in a serious way.

But that didn't happen.

So we rallied the world to impose the toughest sanctions in history, profoundly impacting Iran's economy. Sanctions couldn't stop Iran's nuclear program on their own, but they helped bring Iran to the negotiating table.

And after many months of tough and principled diplomacy, the United States -- joined by the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the European Union -- achieved the framework for a deal that will cut off every pathway Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.

I want you to understand exactly what this deal entails:

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