Nation & World

February 11, 2014

First Watch: Shirley Temple the diplomat, Tonight's State Dinner, Obamacare delay

Top video headlines in one morning minute.

New now: Shirley Temple Black has died at the age of 85. The former child actress became involved in international politics as a UN delegate and an ambassador under Presidents Ford and Bush. When she was given a lifetime achievement award in 2006 by the Screen Actors Guild, they detailed her political career:

Her role as a diplomat evolved from her desire to assist her brother George, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1952. Active on the local and national boards of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, she co-founded the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis Societies, building its membership to 19 countries and intensifying her interest in world affairs. She ran for Congress in 1967, but was not elected.

In 1969, Hollywood’s former emissary of goodwill to the world was given her first opportunity to serve her country in an official capacity, when President Richard M. Nixon appointed her United States Delegate to the 24th United Nations General Assembly.

In 1974, President Gerald Ford appointed her U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana, after she had served as deputy chair of the U.S. Delegation to the U.N. Conference on Human Environment in Stockholm in 1970-1972, U.S. Delegate on the Joint Commission of the U.S.S.R-U.S.A. Cooperative Treaty on the Environment in Moscow in 1972-73 and Special Assistant to the Chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality from 1972-1974.

Returning from Ghana, she was named White House Chief of Protocol by President Ford in 1976, the first woman to hold that post.

From 1981 to 1988, during President Ronald Reagan’s administration, Ambassador Black served as a Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Department of State and conducted Ambassadorial seminars for first time Ambassadors and their spouses.

In 1989, President George Bush appointed her U.S. Ambassador to the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic. Two decades earlier, she had been in Czechoslovakia as a volunteer soliciting the country’s membership in the Foundation of Multiple Sclerosis Societies when, on August 21, 1968, Soviet and Warsaw Pact tanks rolled into Prague. She served as Ambassador from 1989 to 1992, pivotal years in the Czech development of economic and political reforms.

The White House is preparing for some pomp and circumstance tonight as President Obama and the First Lady will welcome France’s president Francois Hollande with a rare state dinner. The event will be held in a tent on the South Lawn of the White House, and it will be only the seventh state visit for the Obama administration.

Mid-size employers will now have until 2016 to fully implement the Affordable Care Act. The Obama Administration has once again delayed the health care law’s employer mandate. Companies will have to report on the status of their employees’ healthcare, but penalties for noncompliance won’t kick in until 2016. And finally, the Olympics are in full swing at Sochi, snowboard halfpipe and speed skating continues today. Bill Douglas reports from Sochi on what’s coming next.

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