President Barack Obama reacts as a fish he is holding releases milt while visiting with Commercial and Subsistence Fisher Kim Williams on Kanakanak Beach in Dillingham, Alaska, Sept. 2, 2015 (AP/Andrew Harnik)
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President Barack Obama crossed the Arctic Circle on Wednesday in a first by a sitting U.S. president, telling residents in a far-flung Alaska village that their plight should be the world's wake-up call on global warming.Obama's visit to Kotzebue, a town of some 3,000 people in the Alaska Arctic, was designed to snap the country to attention by illustrating the ways warmer temperatures have already threatened entire communities and ways of life in Alaska. "I've been trying to make the rest of the country more aware of a changing climate, but you're already living it," Obama told a crowd of more than 1,000 in this rough-and-tumble town on Alaska's western coast. As he closed out a three-day tour of the state focused almost entirely on climate change, the president sought to show solidarity with Alaska Natives and rural Alaskans whose immense challenges are rarely in the national spotlight. Obama came to Alaska with no grand policy pronouncements or promises of massive federal aid.
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