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Obama bus tour to head to North Carolina, Virginia

A White House official confirms that the president will make his way through North Carolina and Virginia on a three-day bus tour later this month. It's scheduled for October 17-19.

AP reported and the official confirms: “The trip will be similar to a three-day bus tour through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois the president went on in August. Obama is intent on keeping up the pressure on Congress over his jobs proposal, a message the White House believes can resonate with the public, and he often picks states that could be important for his 2012 re-election chances. North Carolina and Virginia are both traditionally Republican states that Obama won in 2008.”

Obama was the first Democrat to win Virginia since 1964 and the first to win North Carolina since 1976. But his job approval has declined considerably in those states since he was elected.

Obama appoints Shakira to Hispanic education commission
In other news, President Obama appointed Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, otherwise known simply as Shakira, to his “President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

“In addition to her career in music, Ms. Mebarak Ripoll has been involved in a number of global educational efforts,” the White House said in a press release. “She founded the Barefoot Foundation in 1995, which operates schools and educational projects in Colombia, South Africa, and Haiti, feeding and educating approximately 6,000 children.  In 2010, she collaborated with the World Bank and the Barefoot Foundation to establish an initiative that distributes educational and developmental programs for children across Latin America.  In 2008, Ms. Mebarak Ripoll served as the Honorary Chair of the Global Campaign for Education's Global Action Week.  In 2005, she became a founding member of Latin America in Solidarity Action, a coalition of artists and business leaders seeking to promote integrated early childhood public policies.  Ms. Mebarak Ripoll became a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund in 2003, where she promotes the expansion and improvement of comprehensive early childhood care and education across the world.”