TIME First Lady

Michelle Obama Says It’s Time to ‘Fight Back’ Against Unhealthy Food Ads

David Bishop Inc.—Getty Images Classic cheeseburger

New campaign will counter unhealthy food ads aimed at kids

This week marks five years since First Lady Michelle Obama launched the”Let’s Move!” campaign, which sought to reduce childhood obesity and get kids eating healthier. She’s taken aim at school lunches and encouraged more activity and water consumption. Now she wants more pushback on unhealthy food advertisements aimed at kids—and celebrities on board to help.

“If folks are going to pour money into marketing unhealthy foods,” she said at an event Thursday in Washington, “then let’s fight back with ads for healthy foods, right? Let’s do this.”

Obama spoke at the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit, where the organization announced the launch of FNV, a marketing campaign laser-focused on branding fruits and vegetables (hence the name “FNV”) as cool to youth. The Partnership for a Healthier America, known as PHA, was created in conjunction with the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign in 2010, though the organization is independent from the White House.

A PHA statement released Thursday details how the campaign will feature appearances from actresses Kristen Bell and Jessica Alba, athletes Stephen Curry and Cam Newton and more.

“FNV was inspired by big consumer brands, whose tactics are relentless, compelling, catchy and drive an emotional connection with their products,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler in a statement. “We want to do the same thing for fruits and veggies, which have never had an opportunity to act like a big brand. Until now.”

TIME White House

Obama Meets With Trayvon Martin’s Parents on Third Anniversary of His Death

Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin – the parents of Trayvon Martin – paid a visit to the White House to honor the third anniversary of their son’s shooting.

They joined President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for a special reception in recognition of African American History Month on Thursday, during which the President thanked the Martins for their attendance “on what’s a very difficult day for them.”

“Today, on the third anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death, showing all of our kids, all of them, every single day, that their lives matter, that’s part of our task,” President Obama said. “Where we are today didn’t come easy. It came through thick and thin.”

The couple’s 17-year-old son was shot and killed on Feb. 26, 2012, after a confrontation with George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of second-degree murder charges in the teenager’s death the following year. It was also reported this week that the Department of Justice is set to announce it will not be filing charges against Zimmerman in the shooting of the unarmed teen.

Obama also emphasized to the audience in the East Room, including congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee and Nancy Pelosi, the importance of African American History Month. He explained that annual commemoration is not to “isolate” or “segregate” or to put African-American history “under a glass case.”

He continued, “We set [the month] aside to illuminate those threads.”

In addition to acknowledging Martin’s death, the President also addressed another topical event, the 1965 march from Selma, Alabama, led by Martin Luther King Jr., that is depicted in the Oscar-nominated film Selma.

“What happened in Selma is quintessentially an American experience, not just an African-American experience,” he said. “It reminds us that the history of America doesn’t belong to one group or another. It belongs to all of us.”

Reporting by Sandra Sobieraj

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME White House

Obama Thanks Redditors After FCC Approves Strict Net Neutrality Rules

"I wish I could upvote every one of you"

President Barack Obama knows his Reddit slang.

In a handwritten note, the Commander-in-Chief said he wished he could “upvote” every one of the Redditors who commented on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s net neutrality rules amid the hard-fought battle.

On Thursday, the agency approved the strongest rules yet in a vote split along party lines. “This would not have happened without the activism and engagement of millions of Americans like you. And that was a direct result of communities like reddit,” Obama said in a longer note posted in a Reddit blog post.

Learn more about the FCC’s rules here.

TIME Congress

Real Time: Ted Cruz Rallies the Right at CPAC

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) fired up the conservative base during his speech Thursday, the first day of CPAC 2015.

Watch #RealTime to see what you missed.

TIME 2016 Election

Walker: If I Can Handle Union Protests, I Can Handle ISIS

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, MD on Feb. 26, 2015.
Mark Peterson—Redux for TIME Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, MD on Feb. 26, 2015.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker brought the red meat to the conservative grassroots audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference, but his address was short on substance about what he hopes to do should he be elected president.

The all-but-certain Republican presidential hopeful sharply criticized the Obama administration’s foreign policy, but when asked about how he would deal with the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), dodged.

“For years I’ve been concerned about that threat,” Walker said, saying he received security briefings from the FBI and his adjutant general. “I want a commander-in-chief who will do anything in their power to ensure that the threat of radical Islamic terrorists do not wash up on American soil.”

“If I can take on 100,000 protestors, I can do the same across the world,” Walker added, referencing the months of protests in his state over his efforts to limit the power of public sector unions in his state.

Pacing around the stage in shirtsleeves, Walker was high-energy, riding a wave in national polling following a well-received address in Iowa last month. Walker largely kept the momentum alive, drawing multiple standing ovations with criticisms of Washington, D.C. and the Obama administration.

“We need a leader in America who stands up and realizes that radical Islamic terrorism is a threat to our way of life and to all freedom loving people around the world,” Walker said in his speech to loud applause. “We need a president, a leader, who will stand up and say we’ll take the fight to them and not wait til they bring the fight to American soil for our children and grandchildren.

After the speech a Walker spokesperson said he in no way intended to compare Americans to ISIS.

“Governor Walker believes our fight against ISIS is one of the most important issues our country faces,” said his political action committee communications director Kirsten Kukowski. “He was in no way comparing any American citizen to ISIS. What the governor was saying was when faced with adversity he chooses strength and leadership. Those are the qualities we need to fix the leadership void this White House has created.”

“Let me be perfectly clear,” Walker told CNN after the speech. “I’m just pointing out the closest thing I have to handling a difficult situation, was the 100,000 protesters I had to deal with. There’s no analogy between the two other than difficult situation.”

TIME climate change

Senator Throws Snowball on Senate Floor to Disprove Climate Change

Sen. James Inhofe has a way with visual metaphors

Sen. James Inhofe tossed a snowball in the Senate chamber Thursday, using the stunt to emphasize his long-held belief that climate change is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

The Oklahoma Republican is the chair of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee. After a blizzard blew through the southern states in recent days, reaching Washington D.C., Inhofe took advantage of the snow to make his symbolic point that extreme winter weather disproves global warming.

This isn’t the first time he’s done so. After a winter storm in 2010, Inhofe and his family built an igloo and named it after noted environmentalist and former Vice President Al Gore.

TIME technology

The Other Reason Cable Companies Are Sad Today

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler arrives at FCC Net Neutrality hearing in Washington
Yuri Gripas—Reuters Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler arrives at a FCC Net Neutrality hearing in Washington on Feb. 26, 2015.

The Federal Communication Commission earned a lot of ink today for its historic vote approving the strongest possible new net neutrality rules, a move that the cable and telecom industry has described as disastrous.

But just before that much-publicized vote was another, quieter one—one that has to do with municipal broadband rules. With that vote, the FCC approved two Southern cities’ petition to extend their publicly funded Internet services to nearby areas. The cable and telecom industry isn’t so happy about that move, either.

Like the 3-2 vote on the new net neutrality rules, FCC’s decision on municipal broadband was strongly opposed by industry groups, which have spent millions lobbying for the opposite result, and ended up breaking down on party lines—with three Democrats in favor and two Republicans against.

At first glance, what’s a stake here is relatively minute. The FCC’s decision merely grants Chattanooga, Tennesee, and Wilson, North Carolina, permission to extend their publicly funded broadband service to regions outside their city limits, where private sector Internet service providers don’t provide high-speed coverage.

But advocates and critics say it’s actually much bigger than that.

Organizations in favor of the FCC’s vote say it sets a powerful precedent for other cities that want to offer publicly-funded broadband networks to their citizens, but can’t because of state laws banning local governments from building or owning broadband services.

“[A]llowing communities to be the owners and stewards of their own broadband networks is a watershed moment that will serve as a check against the worst abuses of the cable monopoly for decades to come,” wrote Christopher Mitchell, the Director of Community Broadband Networks at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, in a press release.

Meanwhile, organizations opposed to the FCC’s vote say it’s an effort to unlawfully expand the agency’s authority, since it attempts to preempt state laws. Lawrence J. Spiwak, the president of the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies, says it’s a pointless battle, since the issue has already been litigated at the Supreme Court.

A 2004 case, Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League, held that the FCC “lacks authority to preempt state laws that restrict or prohibit municipal broadband deployment,” Spiwak wrote.

Both of today’s big FCC decisions have been celebrated by public interest advocates and slammed by industry groups. But it’s not the end of line of either decision. Both the new net neutrality rules and the expansion of municipal broadband are expected to be challenged in court before the year is out.


See Behind the Scenes at CPAC

Part political rally, part marketing bonanza and part youth bacchanal, CPAC is one of few events in which the far-flung factions of the Republican party come together for a three-day blitz of speeches, panels and policy sessions. Go behind the scenes of the event through the lens of photographer Mark Peterson

TIME 2016 Election

Ted Cruz Stresses Conservative Cred At CPAC

Cruz doled out the red meat to a supportive crowd on Thursday

Sen. Ted Cruz was in his element at the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday, throwing out tweet-sized red meat to a crowd of grassroots activists.

As he prepares for a possible run for the Republican presidential nomination, the Texas Republican stressed his conservative bona fides, arguing that primary voters should look at actions, not words.

“We all know that in a campaign every, candidate comes out and tells you, ‘I’m the most conservative guy that’s ever lived,'” Cruz said. “If you’re really a conservative you will have been in the trenches and you will bear the scars.”

“I demand action, not talk,” Cruz said.

Cruz has made a name for himself as a hardline opponent of the Obama White House, helping prompt a government shutdown in 2013 in an unsuccessful bid to defund the Affordable Care Act. His pugnacity has drawn ire from Republicans like Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain, who has called Cruz “wacko bird” and “crazy.” But Cruz stood by his record during his speech on Thursday, drawing applause from an audience.

“If a candidate tells you they oppose Obamacare, fantastic,” said Cruz in a reference to his 21-hour speech against the law. “But when have you stood up and fought against it?”

Cruz also is seeking to establish an ideological distance between his likely campaign and Washington DC, which he impugned for its “mendacity.”

“We need to run a populist campaign, standing for hardworking men and women,” Cruz said “We need to take the power out of Washington and bring it back to the people.”

Cruz took some pointed shots at the presumptive Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, saying that she “embodies the corruption of Washington.” Cruz was asked in a question-and-answer session with Fox News commentator Sean Hannity after his speech to describe Bill Clinton. The Texas senator answered “youth outreach” to snickers from the crowd—a less-than-subtle reference to the Monica Lewinsky scandal during his presidency.

“What I’m trying to do more than anything else is bring a disruptive app to politics,” Cruz said.

TIME 2016 Election

Defiant Chris Christie Swipes At News Media, Jeb at CPAC

CPAC Conservatives Republicans Chris Christie
Mark Peterson—Redux for TIME New Jersey governor Chris Christie on stage at CPAC in National Harbor, Md. on Feb. 26, 2015.

New Jersey Gov. Christie struck a defiant tone at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday, taking swings at the media and his leading presidential rivals as he fought off the notion that his likely presidential campaign is moribund.

In a 20-minute interview on stage with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, Christie cast himself as the victim of media attacks and a fighter for the middle class, while saying he’s unconcerned by his declining poll numbers in the crowded Republican field.

“When you do things like I’ve done in New Jersey, that take on a lot of these special interests that they support, they just want to kill you,” Christie said, of the New York Times. “And that’s what they try to do me every day. And here’s the bad news for them. Here I am and I’m still standing.”

Asked about his falling national poll numbers, Christie said they are irrelevant 20 months before Election Day. “I’ll take my chances on me. I’ve done pretty well so far,” he said.

The outspoken governor criticized former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s assertion that immigrants could help repopulate Detroit. “That’s misdirecting the priorities,” he said, saying the priority should be on helping those who live there.

“If the elites in Washington who make backroom deals decide who the next president is going to be, then he’s definitely going to be the frontrunner,” Christie said of Bush. Once the favorite of the establishment donor class, Christie now finds himself edged out by Bush for his once stalwart backers.

Christie also took a veiled shot at Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who sought to downplay his pro-life positions during his 2014 re-election bid. “I’m pro-life,” he said, drawing applause for saying he vetoed funding for planned parenthood five times for ideological reasons. “I ran as a pro-life candidate in 2009 unapologetically.”

Christie’s frequent criticism of the media drew steady applause from the audience of conservative activists, a traditionally tough crowd for him.

“The focus unfortunately with a lot of people in politics right now is what they say on the editorial pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post,” he said. “What we should be concerned about is what I heard when I traveled to 37 states last year: they want opportunities for great careers for themselves and their children, and we’re not talking about that.”

“I went to my parish priest and said I’m giving up the New York Times for Lent,” Christie added when Ingraham asked what he’d given up. “Bad news: he said you have to give up something you’ll actually miss.”


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