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President Barack Obama lit his last tree at the 94th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting.

The event was hosted by actress Eva Longoria and included performances by James Taylor, The Lumineers, Chance the Rapper and more.

Video by Sara Bugaighis

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Local artists gathered at the White House to participate in a “I Want a President” reading – a public art project to challenge the expectations society holds for politicians.

The text participants read was developed in writing workshops in New York and D.C.

“I Want a President” is the culminating event of the Creative Time Summit D.C. held in partnership with the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design this weekend.

“All of us have a right to be respected and our representatives should represent the full breadth of we the people,” Saisha Grayson, I Want a President Co-Organizer, said. “That’s what this project is about.”

Video by Kellie Bancalari

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015 3:22 p.m.

‘Snowden’ stars spotted at White House

Photo courtesy of Open Road Films.

Photo courtesy of Open Road Films.

Tourists seeking cherry blossoms in peak bloom weren’t the only ones headed to the District this week.

Actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, along with director Oliver Stone, were spotted filming “Snowden” outside the White House on Tuesday. The crew also filmed at Tryst coffee shop in Adams Morgan on Monday, the Washington Post reported.

“Snowden” is scheduled to be released on Christmas Day in 2015. Gordon-Levitt plays whistleblower Edward Snowden and Woodley plays his girlfriend, Lindsay Mills. In real life, the couple also went on dates to Tryst, the Post reported.

Woodley is best known as the star of “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and for her role as George Clooney’s daughter in Academy-Award winner “The Descendants.” Gordon-Levitt starred in “(500) Days of Summer,” “Inception” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” Stone is best known for directing “Midnight Express.”

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Monday, April 6, 2015 5:28 p.m.

First Family hosts 137th Easter Egg Roll

This post was written by culture editor Jeanine Marie.

By noon on Monday, President Barack Obama had unveiled a new family portrait, addressed the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program in the New York Times and hosted a backyard bash at the White House.

President Barack Obama waves to the press at the 2015 Easter egg roll on the South Lawn of the White House. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

President Barack Obama waves to the press at the Easter egg roll on the South Lawn of the White House. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

About 35,000 people attended the 137th Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn, according to White House officials. The event was also a fifth birthday party For First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” health campaign, the president said, flanked by the First Lady and the Easter Bunny.

To celebrate the occasion, the First Lady asked Americans to share five ways they’re committed to healthier lifestyles on social media. Beyoncé and Ryan Seacrest have already shared #GimmeFive posts on Instagram, she said.

Children and families gathered on the South Lawn of the White House Monday for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

Children and families gathered on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday for the annual Easter egg roll. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

After their remarks, the Obamas joined about a dozen children and their families in the egg roll. Each child pushed a colorful egg across the finish line, and the prizes were high-fives, hugs and warm smiles from the Obamas.

Notable guests included television hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, chef Bobby Flay, and football players Ryan Kerrigan, Chris Baker and Robert Griffin III (better known as RG3). Sasha and Malia Obama could not attend the event because they had “a little school stuff” to take care of, the president said. But Bo and Sunny, the first family’s Portuguese water dogs, made an appearance.

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The stress of applying for the perfect summer internship is particularly hard to handle with one more carefree week ahead.

To ease the process, we’ve compiled nine internships that are still accepting summer applicants, from Marvel Entertainment to Procter & Gamble to the White House.

Northeast

Time Inc. (New York)
Deadline: Jan. 16

Photo by Flickr user Tia International Photography under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Photo by Flickr user Tia International Photography under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

This prestigious publishing company offers summer internships that last eight to 10 weeks across 20 departments, from advertising sales, editorial and human resources to book publishing and marketing. You’ll have the opportunity to work within one of the company’s 75-plus brands, like Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated or People. And it gets better: All positions are paid.

The Kennedy Center (D.C.)
Deadline: March 13

As an intern at the iconic performing arts center, you’ll participate in weekly seminars, score free tickets to performances and train with experts in one of nine departments. The internship is unpaid, but the center offers academic credit and allows interns to determine their own schedules based on availability. The application is open to juniors, seniors and master’s candidates.

White House Internship Program (D.C.)
Deadline: Jan. 11

While many of the deadlines to be a “hilltern” have passed, there’s still an opportunity to have the president as your boss. Undergrads in the White House Internship Program work full-time (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday) with duties like attending meetings, writing memos and staffing events across 16 presidential departments.

West Coast

Marvel Entertainment (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
Deadline: Rolling, applications reviewed Feb. 28 through April 29.

Photo by Flickr user JD Hancock under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Photo by Flickr user JD Hancock under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Not only will you work at a company known for hits like “Spider-Man” and “X-Men” at this internship, but you’ll also spend the summer in Manhattan Beach. Interns gain experience in film, animation and marketing and other departments, and must be available two to three days per week.

Nordstrom Merchandising Group (Seattle)
Deadline: Jan. 15

There’s still time to apply to Nordstrom’s merchandising and planning internship, which made Business Insider’s list of the top 25 internships of 2014. The program offers student trendsetters a “behind-the-scenes” look at the fashion industry: They work on projects alongside professionals and learn the decision-making process behind what appears on the clothing rack.

NBCUniversal, Inc. (Universal City and Los Angeles, Calif.)
Deadline: May 1

Spend the summer sharpening your skills in any of over a dozen departments from casting to marketing at NBCUniversal, which offers internships across leading television networks like Bravo, E! and NBC News. The company’s “Campus 2 Career” program is catered specially to college students and offers interview tips, former intern testimonials and extensive descriptions of the ideal candidate for each department.

South and Midwest

Procter & Gamble (Cincinnati)
Rolling

Clocking in at No. 17 on Business Insider’s list is product manufacturer Procter & Gamble, known for brands like Bounty, Crest and Tide. The company is offering a 10 to 12-week summer human resources internship to juniors at its headquarters in Cincinnati, where interns will receive managerial training as part of their experience in the consumer packaged goods industry.

GameStop (Grapevine, Texas)
Rolling

Gamers, you’re in luck: GameStop, the mecca of video games and other consumer electronics, will offer a summer marketing internship in 2015. Marketing interns maintain promotional rollout documents, manage weekly title reservation reports and work closely with the creative team, among other responsibilities.

Verizon Wireless (Alpharetta, Ga.)
Rolling

Score an information technology internship at Verizon Wireless, which boasts “hands-on” experience for students enrolled in computer science, computer engineering, IT or MIS programs. The company lists “enthusiasm” as a requirement along with knowledge of web and software development, and places interns in departments like technical support and IT project management.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Rachael Paul.

Over 10,000 gathered in front of the White House on Thursday evening, but they weren’t motivated by politics. Instead, they pushed to the front of the crowd for a view of a towering Christmas tree that twinkled with more than 60,000 LED lights on the lawn.

President Barack Obama told the crowd that the annual National Christmas Tree Lighting began with President Calvin Coolidge in 1923.

“School kids here in Washington wrote a letter to the White House asking if they could put a Christmas tree on the South Lawn,” Obama said. “More than 90 years and a few different evergreens later, the National Christmas Tree still stands as a symbol of hope and holiday spirit.”

Spectators, who had won their spots through an online lottery, danced, cheered and huddled in the cold to watch the lighting from several jumbotrons.

R&B singer Patti Labelle opened the evening with a soulful rendition of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” accompanied by the U.S. Marine Band.

Other musical performances included Fifth Harmony’s sultry “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and a classical “Oh Holy Night” by The Tenors. Artists from Ne-Yo to Rita Wilson also gave performances.

Nico and Vinz, two singers from Norway, gave a spirited rendition of “This Christmas” with fancy footwork to accompany it, and members of the crowd – including Sasha and Malia Obama themselves – clapped and sang along to the lyrics.

Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

President Barack Obama stands on stage with Santa Claus during the annual National Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Husband and wife Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson joined the Obamas onstage to host the event, offering short, comical anecdotes and even taking selfies with the crowd in between introductions.

When the audience heard Hanks discussing basketball as he sat next to the president, interrupting Wilson’s performance, Hanks said, “I know [Obama] will be free in a couple of years, so I figured I would discuss possibly shooting a movie together.”

Finally, it was time for the historic moment that 13,000 people came to view.

When Obama stepped on stage to begin the countdown, the excitement was palpable in the audience. As soon as time ran out, the tree burst to life and spectators grabbed their smartphones to snap pictures of the massive structure of green, yellow and white twinkling lights wrapped in red ribbon and topped with snowflake ornaments.

This year, the White House departed from the usual GE Lighting for a more environmentally friendly route. The lights that envelope this year’s tree require 80 percent less energy. The design was by female students from across the country as part of Google’s Made with Code campaign, which encourages women to break into technology fields.

“Thanks to those wonderful students. It is incredibly impressive and actually one of the few things Tom Hanks cannot do,” Obama said, laughing.

But no holiday soiree is complete without a visit from the North Pole. To close, all the entertainers (including the Obamas) joined together to sing “Jingle Bells” with Santa Claus, with the president singing mini solos and offering Santa high-fives.

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Looking for that post-happy hour chow? Popular DIY pizza chain &pizza opened its sixth location on K Street on Friday.

Pizza chain &pizza serves up custom, made-to-order slices and pies. Photo by Flicker user "Jing" under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Pizza chain &pizza serves custom, made-to-order slices and pies. Photo by Flicker user “Jing” under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

The pizza joint, which opened its first location in D.C. on H Street in 2012, lets foodies customize personal, baked-to-order pizzas in a conveyor belt setup.

The new location at 1400 K St. NW will include a new, all-white decor, inspired by the location’s close neighbor, the White House. The new look also features a mural of John F. Kennedy clad in Ray-Bans.

The K Street location is the beginning of a major expansion for &pizza, which plans to open up to nine additional locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia over the next year.

Plus, like &pizza’s other locations, the K Street joint will stay open until 2 a.m. on Thursdays and 3:30 a.m. Friday through Saturday.

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This post was written by assistant culture editor Olivia Kantor.

the white house

The White House. Photo courtesy of Oarabile Mudongo under the Creative Commons License.

When junior Megan Shah earned an internship at the White House, she knew she would soon be roaming the same hallways a top government officials. But nothing could have prepared her for her first run-in with Vice President Joe Biden.

“I nearly stopped in my tracks,” she said.

The fast-paced White House experience – the Narnia of D.C. internships – is  shared by four other GW students this spring.

While plenty of students intern on the Hill, snagging a White House internship isn’t as simple as sending an email to your representative’s intern coordinator. In fact, the process is more akin to a college application, with essays and recommendations as major components.

But the application could be the easiest part of the process, as the packed and unpredictable workload only increases once an intern is accepted. To graduate student Moshtayeen Ahmad, the demanding environment can both inspire and stress.

“If you’ve previously had another internship at a federal agency, which from my own experiences have been pretty substantive and amazing internships, multiply the stress level of that internship by two or three,” Ahmad said in an email interview because the White House does not allow interns to conduct interviews on the phone or in person.

Because this schedule can easily become overwhelming, interns need to work well under pressure – and prove it if they’re going to nab the gig.

To manage the serious time commitment the internship requires, with the minimum time commitment 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, some students graduated early to begin their internships, while others opted to take night classes or applied for continuous enrollment status.

“I try my best to still meet up with friends during the week, but it is difficult, because once you finish work you really don’t want to do anything but go to bed,” said Remi Anne Yamamoto, a 2013 alumni who serves as a communications intern. “That being said, I really make an effort on the weekends. All and all though, it is manageable to maintain your social life, but it will require some adjustments.”

Yamamoto starts her day collecting morning press clips and monitoring White House communications. In exchange for little sleep and early mornings, her internship provides her the chance to develop skills in the high stakes world of political communication.

The internships don’t guarantee a job in the West Wing or provide a shortcut to political power. But for students who are passionate about politics, policy and public service, it’s chance to learn what it takes.

“My job is pretty demanding because I’m expected to execute tasks on the fly, quickly, and most importantly, correctly. It’s a lot of work and it’s long hours, but I love every second I’m here,” Yamamoto said.

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Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 2:19 p.m.

What does the White House fox say?

A fox – but not the one at the White House. Photo used under the Creative Commons License.

A fox. Photo used under the Creative Commons License.


This post was written by Hatchet reporter Lianna Rana.

Federal workers have cleared out, the gates are blocking the entrances to the national monuments and the panda cam has gone offline. But the grounds of the White House are more alive than ever.

Due to the government shutdown, now 18 days old (but which could be coming to an end soon), the White House groundskeepers have not been able to tend to the upkeep of the various gardens that span the 18 acres of the White House’s grounds.

In the early morning and late evening for the past two weeks, a fox has been spotted roaming the lawn – and he brought his friends. Groundskeepers have given up on trying to catch him because of the limited amount of work they can do during the shutdown.

With the government no longer functioning, the White House’s furry residents – including a hungry pack of squirrels – have infested Michelle Obama’s kitchen garden, now overflowing with unpicked vegetables.

They are devouring the tomatoes and peppers that have fallen from the vine and – much like our government – were once ripe and thriving, but now just kind of sit there.

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The United State Capitol Building, where legislation is rarely passed. Photo used under the Creative Commons License.

The United State Capitol Building, where legislation is rarely passed. Photo used under the Creative Commons License.

It’s the end of the world as we know it. 

Okay, probably not, especially because budget fights in Congress have been pretty much run-of-the-mill for a half-century.

Maybe there won’t be balls of fire and giant sinkholes, but the shutdown would have serious effects on the District if Congress is still in a stalemate after tonight.

For one, about 6,400 federal employees will be furloughed. The city is estimated too lose about $200 million dollars a day during the shut down.

What else will hurt?

As part of the National Park System, the monuments on the National Mall could be barricaded off in the event of a shut down. Fountains will also be turned off, disappointing monument tour-goers everywhere. They won’t like it either that the Capitol will be closed for visits.

Even the 24 weddings planned to take place on the National Mall will be canceled.

White House interns won’t get to come in anymore.

Worst yet, the Panda Cam at the National Zoo will turn off.

A ray of hope: D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is determined to keep the city open, meaning essential city services will likely continue.

But unfortunately the government shutdown is not the same as a snow day. Classes will continue as scheduled.

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