Jamaican News

Obama to honour 17, including Streisand and, Spielberg, with top US civilian award

 (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON _ President Barack Obama will recognize 17 people on Tuesday with the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Entertainers receiving the award are Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Stephen Sondheim, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, James Taylor and Itzhak Perlman.

Posthumous recipients include Minoru Yasui, a Japanese-American civil rights advocate who challenged the forced incarceration of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps during World War II.

Politicians include three Democrats: Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, former Rep. Lee Hamilton from Indiana and the late Rep. Shirley Chisholm from New York, the first African-American woman elected to Congress.

Honorees from the sports world are baseball players Willie Mays and the late Yogi Berra.

Other honorees include former deputy attorney general William Ruckelshaus. He’s known for refusing to fire the special prosecutor during the Watergate scandal of the 1970s that brought down President Richard Nixon.

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