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Obama says Prince's death is a remarkable loss

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U.S President Barack Obama, right, and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron walk from 10 Downing Street, London after a meeting Friday, April, 22, 2016. U.S President Barack Obama, right, and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron walk from 10 Downing Street, London after a meeting Friday, April, 22, 2016.

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on President Barack Obama's visit to the United Kingdom (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

President Barack Obama says the death of Prince is a remarkable loss. He's calling Prince a great performer who put out great music.

Obama says he didn't know Prince well but recalls his performance at the White House last year as creative, original and full of energy.

Obama is speaking at a news conference after meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron. Obama says he listened to "Purple Rain" and "Delirious" at the U.S. ambassador's residence on Friday in tribute to Prince and "to get warmed up" before his meeting with Cameron.


1:10 p.m.

President Barack Obama says the United States has looked at other options if a fragile cease-fire in Syria falls apart and "none of them are great."

Obama says the cessation of hostilities has held together longer than he expected. But he says even if it collapses, the U.S. will try to put it back together.

The president says his phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday was intended to emphasize the importance of maintaining the ceasefire.

Obama has faced repeated questions about his "Plan B" if the cease-fire the U.S. and Russia brokered fails. Obama has accused Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime of violating that ceasefire amid renewed violence within the country. The Islamic State group and the al Qaida-linked Nusra Front are not part of the ceasefire.


1:00 p.m.

President Barack Obama says North Carolina's law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people is wrong should be overturned.

Obama is criticizing the state law and others targeting LGBT people during a news conference in London. He says they're in response to politics and strong emotions. Obama says some of the proponents are good people but that he disagrees with them.

Obama is commenting after the U.K. put out a travel advisory warning British citizens about possible discrimination if they travel to certain U.S. states. Obama says Americans in those states are "wonderful people" and that British citizens should feel free to come and enjoy themselves. He says they'll be treated with "extraordinary hospitality."

Obama says the U.S. isn't unique in having a federal system where states can make their own policies.


5:50 p.m.

President Barack Obama says he keeps a bust of Winston Churchill right outside the door of his private office on the second floor of the White House.

He says the primary image that he sees every day before entering what is referred to as the Treaty Room is the bust of Churchill. Obama says, "I love the guy."

Obama is responding to criticism from London's mayor. Boris Johnson said earlier that removing the bust of Churchill from the Oval Office was a symbol of the "part-Kenyan president's ancestral dislike of the British Empire."

Obama says that as the first African-American U.S. president, he thought it was important to have a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Oval Office. He says that's to remind him of the hard work of people who came before him that allowed him to have the privilege of serving as president.


5:45 p.m.

President Barack Obama says leaving the European Union would send Britain to the "back of the queue" for a trade deal with the United States.

Obama is answering questions after telling a news conference with Prime Minister David Cameron that he hopes Britain will stay in the EU. Obama says "I don't think the EU moderates U.K. influence in the world — it magnifies it."

Those who argue for an exit from the 28-nation bloc sometimes claim Britain could easily negotiate new trade deals if it leaves the EU's free-trade zone. But Obama says it would be at the back of the queue because the U.S. priority would be cutting a deal with the much bigger EU.


5:40 p.m.

President Barack Obama says that participation in alliances such as the United Nations and NATO means the U.S. doesn't get 100 percent of what it wants, but its participation helps make the world better off.

He says NATO formalizes the architecture that deters aggression and that participation in the International Monetary Fund helps produce an orderly financial system.

Cameron is making clear that the UK's participation in the European Union is "our choice, nobody else's." But he says as the U.K. makes that choice, it makes sense to hear from its friends.


5:35 p.m.

President Barack Obama says the United Kingdom is at its best when it is leading a strong Europe as part of the European Union.

Obama is giving a strong defense of arguments for the U.K. staying in the 28-nation bloc during a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron. He says the U.S. wants a strong U.K. as its partner.

Obama says EU allows the U.K. to spread British values across the continent. He says the single economic market brings "extraordinary economic benefits" to British citizens. Obama say that, in turn, is good for the U.S.

Obama says Americans want Britain's influence to grow, including within Europe. But he says ultimately the decision is up to the British people.


5:30 p.m.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says the U.K.-U.S. "special relationship" is strengthened by Britain's membership in the European Union.

Cameron is speaking in a joint news conference with President Barack Obama. The U.S. leader has stepped into Britain's debate about EU membership — and angered opponents of the bloc — by saying it is in U.S. interests for the U.K. to stay in.

The issue has overshadowed a trip on which Obama and Cameron discussed thorny topics including the fight against the Islamic State group, the European migrant crisis and global corruption.

Cameron is hailing the trans-Atlantic relationship and says "our collective power and reach is amplified by Britain's membership of the European Union."

He says EU membership is "a powerful tool to deliver on the prosperity and security our people need and to stand up for the values our countries share."


5:15 p.m.

President Barack Obama says Queen Elizabeth II is truly one of his favorite people and a "real jewel to the world," not just the United Kingdom.

Obama says he must confess that part of the reason for visiting the UK is to wish the queen a happy 90th birthday. He and first lady Michelle Obama met with the queen Friday and gave her a custom photo album.

Obama is speaking at a press conference with Prime Minister David Cameron. The president says that if he is fortunate enough to reach the age of 90, he hopes to be as vibrant as the queen.


3:20 p.m.

President Barack Obama has opened a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing St.

Obama arrived via motorcade after flying back to London via helicopter from Windsor Castle, where he had lunch with Queen Elizabeth II.

Cameron greeted the president and the two leaders exchanged small talk about sports and keeping their kids out of trouble.

The two leaders plan to discuss a range of pressing security and political issues, including the campaign against the Islamic State group and the U.K.'s deliberations about remaining in the European Union. Obama and Cameron will take questions from reporters together after their meeting.


3 p.m.

To commemorate her 90th birthday, The White House says President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have given Queen Elizabeth II a custom photo album chronicling her visits with U.S. presidents and first ladies.

The queen's first visit to the United States was in 1951 as Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh. She toured Mount Vernon and met with President Harry S. Truman.  Since then, the queen has met with nearly every U.S. president.

Her first visit to the United States as queen occurred in 1957 when she met with President Dwight D. Eisenhower and former President Herbert Hoover.

The White House says the collection of historical photos highlights the enduring close friendship between the United States and the United Kingdom.


2:45 p.m.

London Mayor Boris Johnson is drawing a storm of criticism for suggesting President Barack Obama may have an "ancestral dislike of the British Empire" because of his Kenyan roots.

Obama has urged Britain to stay in the European Union, angering Johnson and others who want the country to leave the bloc.

Writing in The Sun newspaper, Johnson recounted a claim that a bust of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was removed from the Oval Office after Obama was elected and returned to the British Embassy. Johnson wrote that some said removing the bust "was a symbol of the part-Kenyan president's ancestral dislike of the British Empire, of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender."

Former Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell says Johnson's comment are "an unacceptable smear," while Labour Party lawmaker Diane Abbott says that "Boris dismissing president Obama as 'half-Kenyan' reflects the worst Tea Party rhetoric."

The White House has said that the Churchill bust is still in a prominent place in the presidential residence.


2:00 p.m.

It's hard to make arriving via helicopter for lunch with the queen look like a casual affair, but Queen Elizabeth II nearly managed it.

Tying a scarf over her head, the queen and Prince Philip came out in light rain to meet President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama as Marine One landed outside Windsor Castle.

After quick but warm greetings, the four got into a black Range Rover. Philip drove and Obama joined him in the front seat. Britain's longest-serving monarch sat in the back.

At the castle, the 90-year-old queen got out of the SUV largely by herself, nearly before Obama could assist. Inside, she could be heard noting almost apologetically that "this room is full of mirrors" and asking Obama where he'd like to sit.

The first lady's office says her magenta and black floral print dress was made by Oscar de la Renta. She wore a black, Narciso Rodriguez overcoat.

The queen wore a smart, blue suit and black, square-heel pumps. Her head scarf was a small, floral print.


1:20 p.m.

After dinner with two princes on Friday, President Barack Obama will dine with an ambassador and a prime minister the following day.

The White House says U.S. Ambassador Matthew Barzun will host Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron for dinner Saturday at his London residence, Winfield House.

Set amid 12 acres (5 hectares) of grounds in London's Regent's Park, the 1930s neo-Georgian mansion is palatial. But it's not as historic as 300-year-old Kensington Palace. That's where the president and first lady Michelle Obama will dine Friday as guests of Prince William, his wife the Duchess of Cambridge and his younger brother Prince Harry.


1:00 p.m.

President Barack Obama has arrived in Windsor, England, for a royal lunch with Queen Elizabeth II.

The two heads of state were sitting down at Windsor Castle, just west of London, on Friday. It's the day after the queen and much of Britain celebrated her 90th birthday. First lady Michelle Obama and Prince Philip, the queen's husband, were joining the meal.

Obama says he'll wish the queen a happy birthday in person.

The queen and Prince Philip came out to greet Obama and the first lady in a light drizzling rain as they disembarked from Marine One at Windsor Castle.

Obama's socializing with the British royals was continuing later Friday over dinner with Prince William, his wife Kate and brother Prince Harry at Kensington Palace in London.

He was meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron in between the royal engagements.


9:00 a.m.

Campaigners for a British exit from the European Union are expressing anger at U.S. President Barack Obama's call for the U.K to stay in the bloc. U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage says Obama should "butt out."

Obama due to meet Prime Minister David Cameron later Friday.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, a leader of the exit campaign, says Americans "would never contemplate anything like the EU for themselves." Writing in The Sun newspaper, Johnson said Obama's stance "is a breathtaking example of the principle of do as I say, not as I do."


8:50 a.m.

President Barack Obama is urging Britons to vote to stay in the European Union, saying the challenges in the world require allies to "stick together."

In an op-ed published in the Telegraph newspaper, Obama says Great Britain's presence in the EU "magnifies" Britain's influence and helps spread "British values."

The piece was published Thursday evening as Obama arrived in London for a three-day visit. Some have speculated that the trip is timed to boost the campaign against the so-called "Brexit" ahead of a June referendum. Not all Britons are welcoming Obama's opinion.

Obama writes he's offering his view "with the candour of a friend" and notes the decision will affect U.S. interests.

He writes, "The U.S. and the world need your outsized influence to continue - including within Europe."

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