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Welcome to CNN Radio News Day.
President Obama took his public oath of office today on the National Mall in Washington D.C. During his inaugural address he spoke about the chronic federal deficit, rising health care costs, climate change and equal rights. He also spoke of the United States' role in the world:
"America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe, and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation."
A bloody four-day hostage siege at a gas plant in Algeria is finally over, with dozens of hostages now confirmed dead. Three of them are Americans. A former member of "Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb", Mokhtar Belmokhtar, has claimed responsibility. Monday morning Algeria's prime minister gave more specifics as to exactly what happened. Terrorists planned to take the captives to Mali, but were thwarted by security guards riding with the foreigners. CNN's Dan Rivers says some of the freed hostages tell harrowing stories:
"They had plastic explosives strapped around their neck. That they were bound and gagged."
While Americans gathered in Washington D.C. for the inauguration, people around the country also marked another occasion - the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The significance of the day coinciding with the second swearing-in of Barack Obama was first and foremost for many who gathered in Atlanta on or near famous Auburn Avenue. That included Nykesh White from Memphis, who was visiting the King National Historic Site:
"I think that's just awesome and I think that MLK would be so proud that his (President Obama's) second inauguration landed on his holiday."