From VOA Learning English, this is IN THE NEWS in Special English.
This week, Barack Obama began his second term as president of the United States. The public swearing-in ceremony took place on Monday at the Capitol building in Washington.
In a speech, Mr. Obama read from parts of the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
President Barack Obama receives the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts at the ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.
"What makes us exceptional, what makes us American is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
Officials estimated that over one million people gathered on Washington's "National Mall" for the inaugural ceremonies. Some came for the musical performances. But others wanted to hear how President Obama would define goals for the next four years.
In his speech, Mr. Obama said he will make climate change one of his top goals. He said that failing to deal with the threat from rising temperatures would betray the world's children.
"Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms. "
Environmental groups welcomed the president's desire to act on climate change. The Sierra Club called his comments ‘heartening.' It said global warming is an urgent issue for the whole world. But many opponents of Mr. Obama's policies disagree. They say it would cost too much for the American economy to move away from using oil and other fossil fuels.
The president raised other issues of disagreement between the Republican and Democratic Parties. For example, he made it clear that now is the time to re-examine American immigration policies. The president predicted that some immigrants could one day become the country's technological leaders.
After the speech, political leaders were quick to comment on the ceremonies. Senator Johnny Isakson, a Republican, thought the event was great.
"I thought it was a great program, an uplifting program. I thought the music was fantastic, the poem was fantastic. The president's speech was thoughtful. I thought it was another testament to our constitution and our democracy."
Democratic Congressman John Conyers praised the inaugural address. He said he thinks President Obama will make his second term even more powerful than the first.
Mr. Obama said that with 10 years of war coming to an end, and the economy recovering, now is the time for America to unite. But, Republican Senator John McCain found the speech lacking. He said it failed to improve cooperation between the two parties. Yet Senator Robert Casey, a Democrat, noted that inaugural addresses are important.
"I know there are cynics who say that speeches do not matter and nothing will cut through the cynicism and partisanship. But I disagree. I think all of us at our core share some basic values as Americans. And we need to be reminded of it."
Mr. Obama took the oath of office on two historic Bibles. One book had been used by President Abraham Lincoln in his 1861 inauguration. The other Bible belonged to the civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Junior. People across the United States observed the Martin Luther King federal holiday on Monday.
1.self-evident adj. 不言而喻的；不证自明的
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed - we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
2.uplifting adj. 令人振奋的；使人开心的
Besides the physiological benefits of exercise and vitamin D, being around trees or absorbing natural daylight will have an uplifting effect on your mood.
“让我们变得独特、让我们成为美国人的，是我们对两个多世纪前一项宣言中明确表达出来的一种信念的忠诚 。我们认为下述真理是不言而喻的：人人生而平等 。”
环境组织对总统就气候变化采取行动的决心感到欣慰，塞拉俱乐部称他的讲话非常振奋人心，称全球变暖对全世界都是个迫切问题 。但反对奥巴马政策的人表示不赞同，他们说减少使用石油和其他化石燃料会大大损害美国经济 。
演讲结束后，政界领袖们纷纷对仪式发表看法 。共和党参议院约翰尼·艾萨克森认为仪式很盛大 。
“仪式很隆重，很振奋人心，我觉得音乐很棒，诗歌也很棒，总统的演讲很有见地 。我想这再次证明了我们的宪法和民主 。”
奥巴马说，随着十年战争的结束，经济开始复苏，现在是美国团结起来的时候了 。但共和党参议院约翰·麦凯恩认为演讲内容还不够充分，他说演讲没能促进两党的团结合作 。但民主党参议员罗伯特·凯西说就职演讲很重要 。
“我知道总会有些愤世嫉俗者，他们认为演讲无关紧要，但没有什么能减少愤世嫉俗和党派之争 。我不这么认为，我认为我们内心深处有着作为美国人的一些基本价值观，我们需要提醒人们这一点 。”
奥巴马手按两本有历史意义的圣经宣誓就职，一本是1861年总统亚伯拉罕·林肯就职时所用，另一本属于民权领袖马丁·路德·金 。周一，全美国人庆祝了马丁·路德·金联邦假日 。