CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Freshly greased plantain leaves, a kitchen splattered with corn meal, and festive music accompanied by generous amounts of alcohol all make up one of Venezuela's most-enduring Christmas traditions: the gathering of family to prepare a corn dough tamale known as the hallaca.
US President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address -- his annual showpiece speech -- on January 28, at the start of a mid-term election year. By tradition, the speaker of the House of Representatives must invite the president to make the address to a joint session of the US Congress and a national televised audience. Republican Speaker John Boehner sent a letter of invitation to Obama on Friday, and White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president had accepted. Boehner's office said the joint session was set for 9:00 pm (0200 GMT).