Barack Obama made an impromptu visit to Stonehenge on his return home from the NATO summit in Newport, Wales.
As the president toured the ancient site, he chatted to a local family and posed for photos with them.
Barack Obama made an impromptu visit to Stonehenge on his return home from the NATO summit in Newport
Janice Raffle, who lives near Stonehenge, had come down to the monument with her husband and three sons after hearing Barack Obama was there.
She said Barack Obama’s photographer took a photo with her phone.
“He sort of photobombed us, really,” Janice Raffle said.
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NATO leaders are meeting in Chicago in a summit dominated by the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
They want to forge a common stance as they prepare to hand over security to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.
Some members have pledged aid to help Afghan forces tackle the Taliban insurgency on their own.
President Barack Obama warned of “hard days ahead”, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his country was fully aware of the responsibilities.
Barack Obama urged leaders to “pool resources”, and vowed to stand united to complete the Afghan withdrawal.
A number of NATO leaders have arrived from Washington, where they attended G8 talks that focused on the euro crisis.
The G8 group of leading industrial nations promised to promote growth alongside fiscal responsibility and insisted on the need for Greece to stay in the eurozone.
US President Barack Obama said there was an “emerging consensus” that European countries must now focus on jobs and growth.
The statements represented a shift away from Germany’s pro-austerity stance.
More than 50 leaders are attending the NATO meeting in Chicago.
Among them are heads of state and government from the 28 NATO countries, as well as Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari.
NATO leaders are meeting in Chicago in a summit dominated by the withdrawal from Afghanistan
As talks began President Obama spoke of a “transformational decade” in Afghanistan and the enormous sacrifices of the American people on the road to peace, stability and development.
The summit comes as several NATO leaders are under domestic pressure to withdraw troops from Afghanistan before 2014.
The new French President, Francois Hollande, has promised to pull out the country’s forces by the end of this year.
However, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said such moves were part of the plan.
“We are now in a process of gradually handing over lead responsibility for security to the Afghans and that process will be completed by the end of 2014 and during that process you will see withdrawal of troops, a shift from combat to support,” he said.
“It’s not a contradiction of our strategy, it’s a part of our strategy,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen added.
Some nations – including the US, Australia, Britain, and Germany – have made pledged to an international fund set to help Afghan forces after the NATO pullout.
The US is expected to pay half of an estimated $4 billion needed every year.
More than 10 years after the US toppled the Taliban regime, violence is continuing unabated in Afghanistan. According to UN figures, the number of deaths reached a record 3,031 in 2011 – the great majority caused by militants.
Earlier this month the Taliban announced the start of their annual spring offensive. On Saturday a suicide bomber killed at least 10 people, a number of them children, at a checkpoint in the eastern province of Khost.
The Obama administration is hoping that President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan will agree to reopen key NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, which were closed in November after US air strikes killed Pakistani troops.
Pakistan’s co-operation is regarded as key to the success of the international mission in Afghanistan, as 130,000 US-led troops fight a Taliban insurgency.
Also on the agenda at the NATO summit are plans for a US-led missile defense system for Europe, aimed at countering a possible threat from Iran.
The leaders are expected to announce the first phase of the scheme, with the deployment of US warships armed with interceptors in the Mediterranean and a radar system based in Turkey.
Russia has voiced strong opposition to the plan, saying it undermines the value of its nuclear deterrent.
The summit is taking place amid heavy security in Chicago.
Leaders from the Occupy movement have said they will join forces with anti-war demonstrators which have held protests ahead of the NATO meeting.
Thousands of protesters were expected to march in downtown Chicago today to the lakeside McCormick Place convention center where President Barack Obama and dozens of other world leaders will meet for the NATO summit.
Newlyweds Tim and Beth Alberts left the church in the city centre on Saturday after exchanging their vows and found themselves in the middle of a mass demonstration.
With her mouth open aghast at the sight of the anti-capitalist activists, a furious Beth Alberts was caught on video telling the wedding party: “Let’s get out of here.”
Newlyweds Tim and Beth Alberts left the church in the city centre on Saturday after exchanging their vows and found themselves in the middle of a mass demonstration
Both Chicago residents, Tim Alberts is a law clerk at Brady, Connolly & Masuda and Beth Alberts is a medical aesthetician at Cellular Intelligence Med Spa.
Hundreds of protestors paid little heed to the newlyweds on their march through the city. The anti-NATO protests were also aimed at Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s budget cuts.
There were high tensions and frequent clashes between protesters and police today as violence broke out in pockets around the city.
Police in riot gear surrounded the downtown areas of Grant Park and the Loop and also patrolled train stations.
Protesters began arriving at 6.30 a.m. at the park and set up under the trees to shade themselves from the sun.
Following the rally in the park, protesters planned to march to the convention center at McCormick Place. Around the NATO summit, concrete barriers have been set up along with black, anti-scale fencing. Some businesses and homes in the area have taken the precaution of boarding up their windows.
Chris Geovanis of the Chicago and New Media Collective told the thousands gathered in the park that police had interfere with the march and hurt some protesters, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson also appeared and said the protests must remain non-violent.
He said: “We learned from Dr. King in Birmingham. We march in a disciplined, non-violent way. We cannot afford to have our message hijacked by acts of provocation.”
There have been 18 arrested over the past week – not including the five people arrested on suspicion of two separate terrorist plots to use Molotov cocktails during the summit.