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Obama: 'We will continue to hunt down terrorists'

President Obama has said in his State of the Union speech that the US reserves the "right to act unilaterally" against terrorists:

We stand united with people around the world who’ve been targeted by terrorists – from a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris.

We will continue to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks, and we reserve the right to act unilaterally, as we’ve done relentlessly since I took office to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to us and our allies.

– president obama

Obama hails success of 'middle class economics'

President Obama is laying out the tenets of what he has dubbed "middle class economics".

He is talking about the need for childcare, maternity and paternity leave, seven days' paid sick leave, equal pay for women and the minimum wage.

"These ideas will make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of families," he said.

President Obama: 'The shadow of crisis has passed'

President Obama gives his State of the Union speech Credit: APTN

President Obama has started his State of the Union speech saying that America is both economically and militarily stronger than it has been for years.

"It has been and still is a hard time for many, but tonight we turn the page," he said.

He added: "The shadow of crisis has passed and the state of the union is strong".

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Freed aid worker gets prime seat at State of the Union speech

(L-R) Dr. Pranav Shetty, Judy Gross, Alan Gross and Scott Kelly Credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing

An aid worker who spent five years in a Cuban prison has been invited to watch the State of the Union speech in the first lady's box.

Alan Gross, who was freed by the Cuban government last year as part of a prisoner swap with Washington, was joined by his wife Judy.

Other guests included Ebola aid worker Dr. Pranav Shetty and astronaut Scott Kelly.

Barack Obama to deliver State of the Union address

US President Barack Obama will use his State of the Union address in a few hours to lay out his agenda for his final two years in office.

President Obama will speak from the US Capitol Credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

In excerpts of his speech released to the press, President Obama says that the US must "turn the page" after years of recession and war.

He is also expected to call for Congress to authorise military force against Islamic State and to pass legislation protecting the US from cyber attacks.

The address begins just after 2am UK time.

Cameron and Obama take 'a walk on the colonnade'

After David Cameron arrived to meet US President Barack Obama for a "working dinner", the White House tweeted:

Obama 'so proud' of US free climbers' triumph

US President Barack Obama has said he is "proud" of free climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson after they became the first people to free climb to El Capitan's summit.

Obama tweeted a congratulatory message to the pair:

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