June 26 - President Barack Obama arrives in Senegal at the start of eight-day trip to Africa aimed at reviving U.S. engagement with the continent. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Senegal at the start of an eight-day trip to Africa that is aimed at reviving U.S. engagement with the continent but that will be overshadowed by the uncertain health of South Africa hero Nelson Mandela. Obama's trip, his second to the continent as president, will take him to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. While the president hopes to spotlight trade and economic development themes, his visit would be dwarfed if Mandela's condition takes a turn for the worse. The 94-year old former South African president remained hospitalized in critical condition after being admitted more than two weeks ago with a lung infection, the government said on Tuesday. Air Force One carried Obama, his wife Michelle, their daughters Sasha and Malia, as well as the first lady's mother, Marian Robinson, and an Obama niece, Leslie Robinson. Africans feel a special bond with Obama, the first African American U.S. president, and have been impatient for him to make an extended visit to the continent. Africans are also disappointed that the Obama administration has not engaged with the continent as much as the administrations of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Administration officials say the trip is an opportunity to jump-start the relationship. Obama's first stop will be Senegal, where he will visit Goree Island, the site of a monument to Africans who were sent to slavery in the Americas. His next stop will be in South Africa, where aides say he will be available to visit Mandela but will defer to the wishes of the Mandela family to determine whether the former South African leader is up to such an encounter.