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Q&A: A look at President Barack Obama's travels in office

President Barack Obama was in China last week, where he met with President Hu Jintao.

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President Barack Obama was in China last week, where he met with President Hu Jintao.

The peripatetic president

In the 10 months that President Barack Obama has been in office, he does not seem to have spent much time in the White House. How many countries has he visited in his first six months, compared to other presidents?

Obama has taken more trips than his five predecessors, according to research by Brendan J. Doherty, an assistant professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, on the first six months of presidential travel. Obama traveled to Canada, England, France (twice), Germany (twice), the Czech Republic, Turkey, Iraq, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

President George H.W. Bush traveled to Canada, Japan, China, South Korea, Italy, Vatican City, Belgium, Germany and England, and President George W. Bush visited Mexico, Canada, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Poland and Slovenia. President Jimmy Carter went to England and Switzerland, and Reagan traveled to Canada, but he was also recovering from the 1981 shooting at the same time. President Clinton traveled to Canada.

TV closed-captioning time lag

Why is there such a long delay of the closed-captioning during live TV broadcasts? Surely voice recognition software or someone typing could keep up better than what we see.

With preproduced programs, closed-captioning can be imbedded early. Since many news stories are either done "live" or are finished seconds before they hit the air, even a court stenographer couldn't keep up with that pace, said David Hazinski, associate professor and head of the broadcast news department in the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is not aware of voice recognition software that can keep up without a delay.

A dozen Republicans voted no

Which 12 U.S. House members voted against extending unemployment benefits?

The members of the House who voted against the legislation to extend jobless benefits by 14 weeks in all states and up to 20 weeks in states with 8.5 percent of higher unemployment were: Paul Broun, R-Ga.; Tom Price, R-Ga.; John Linder, R-Ga.; Michael C. Burgess, R-Texas; Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.; Trent Franks, R-Ariz.; Scott Garrett, R-N.J.; Tom McClintock, R-Calif.; Ron Paul, R-Texas; George Radanovich, R-Calif.; Steve Scalise, R-La.; and John Shadegg, R-Ariz.

Update

A reader has pointed out an omission in an answer from the Oct. 27 Ask the Times column about congressional nominations being required for acceptance into the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md; the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colo.; and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

In addition to those three, the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N.Y., also requires a congressional nomination.

Q&A: A look at President Barack Obama's travels in office 11/22/09 [Last modified: Sunday, November 22, 2009 3:30am]
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