Happening Now – President Barack Obama will be publicly inaugurated to his second four-year term at approximately noon EST. Obama will deliver his inaugural address after Beyonce performs the national anthem. 600,000 people are expected to gather on the National Mall to watch the ceremony.
Obama was officially inaugurated on Sunday, as required by the constitution, at a private swearing-in ceremony with his wife and children. After taking the oath of office, Obama reportedly said, “I did it” to his youngest daughter Malia. Sasha responded, “You didn’t mess up!”
Obama will use two Bibles in the swearing-in ceremony today, one owned by Abraham Lincoln, and the other by Martin Luther King, Jr. “It’s almost like fate and history coming together,” said Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). “If it hadn’t been for Martin Luther King Jr., there would be no Barack Obama as president.”
Fun Fact – Obama becomes only the second president to be sworn in a total of four times – because of the Roberts mess up in 2009 and his double oath this year. The other president? Franklin Roosevelt.
Speech Preview – (via AFP) “President Barack Obama will urge his divided nation to unite around common values Monday, launching his second term with a plea for ideological foes to unpick America's ugly political deadlock. ... He signaled late Sunday, at a reception for supporters, that he would dwell on the 'common good' and the 'goodness, the resilience, neighborliness, the patriotism,' of Americans when he gives his address for history on Monday. 'What we are celebrating is not the election or the swearing in of the president, what we are doing is celebrating each other and celebrating this incredible nation that we call home,' Obama said.”
Lupe Causes a Fiasco – Rapper Lupe Fiasco was thrown off stage by security guards as he performed a 40-minute anti-Obama song during a pre-inauguration event at a Washington, D.C., concert hall Sunday night. He played a lengthy anti-war song and told the audience he didn’t vote for Barack Obama. When he was told to move on to the next song, he refused, and a team of security guards came on stage and told him to go.
Read the full guide to inauguration, the inaugural parade, and tonight’s inaugural balls.
CEOs, heads of state, and big thinkers will gather in Davos for the World Economic Forum this week. Read the confidential list of participants here.
The death toll in the Algeria hostage crisis rose to 80 over the weekend, and all 32 hostage takers have been killed. Two of the Islamist hostage takers are reportedly Canadian.
After Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s visit to North Korea, the country is loosening some restrictions on foreign cell phones by allowing visitors to bring their own phones into the country. Security regulations still prohibit mobile phone calls between foreigners and locals.
The public execution of two Iranian men convicted of stabbing a man has drawn outrage. The two men, in their 20s, were publicly hanged in a central park in Tehran on Sunday.
In lighter news, the world’s top surfers will compete in the famous Mavericks Invitational surf competition in California this week, but three top big-wave surfers, including Kelly Slater, will not be participating.
Top PolicyMic Stories – Will President Obama Fail Millennials for a Second Time? (Areej Elahi-Siddiqui) – On Monday, President Obama should use his speech to tell millennials how he'll solve urgent issues like youth unemployment, no make more promises he has no intention of keeping.
5 Greatest Obama Speeches of All Time (Derek Miles) – As he is set to give his second inauguration speech on Monday, Obama should channel the rhetoric and passion he had in these five speeches.
4 Things Obama Can Do to Win Us Over (Lev Sviridov) – In Obama's second inauguration speech, he needs to outline his vision for America in order to win us over. Here are the issues he should address.
Did Ray Lewis Kill Someone? The Definitive Account of the Case That's Confused Football Fans for Over a Decade (Lenny DeFranco) – Ray Lewis has long had to endure speculation as to whether he killed two men on the night of January 31, 2000. The facts indicate that he is as innocent as he's always claimed.
You'll Never Believe How Many Calories Are in These 7 Popular American Restaurant Dishes(Tom McKay) – Eat 10 Egg McMuffins or 11 slizes of Pizza Hut pizza, and even then you won't match the shocking number of calories in these famous U.S. chain restaurant dishes.
MLK Day of Service: How You Can Honor the Legacy Of the Civil Rights Hero (Camira Powell) – Millions of people gather together to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by serving others, not just themselves, in an MLK Day of Service.
Hillary Clinton is NOT One of the Top 5 Greatest Secretaries of State (Joyce Cordi) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is stepping down with a 69% approval rating, but she is not one of the top visionaries in diplomacy in American history.
What We’re Reading – 17 MLK quotes you never hear (Buzzfeed); 7 songs for Inauguration Day (Mentalfloss); Sitting is the smoking of our generation (HBR); Dutch architects to use a 3-D printer to build a house (Dezeen); The Lance Armstrong fallout continues (Buzzfeed); Dirty Wars: Review of the Sundance movie everyone is buzzing about (Hollywood Reporter); Conserving Africa’s wildlife through photography (My Modern Met); Re-evaluating the values of Scrabble tiles(The Virtuosi); The dark secrets of the Russian ballet (The Daily Beast); The birth of NYC’sGrand Central Terminal (NY Times).