President Obama gestures to Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner before giving his 2013 State of the Union address.
Credit Charles Dharapak / AP
As President Obama prepares to deliver his State of the Union speech Tuesday evening, he does it against a backdrop of some of the lowest voter-approval ratings of his presidency, with a divided Congress that has largely stalled his second-term agenda and with Washington's collective focus starting to shift toward the midterm elections and beyond.
Here are five things to expect from the president in his fifth State of the Union speech:
In June 2008, Marine Cpl. Anthony Villarreal was driving back from a mission in Afghanistan when his truck was hit by a roadside bomb. He was 22 at the time and recently married to Jessica, who was just 21.
Villarreal suffered third-degree burns over most of his face and body and was very severely disfigured. His right arm and the fingers on his left hand eventually had to be amputated.
It's 8 a.m. on a recent day at Forward Operating Base Nolay, a small Marine outpost in Taliban-infested Sangin District of southern Afghanistan's Helmand province. The Marines are in the process of caffeinating and preparing for the day.
Suddenly, explosions and gunfire ring out. The Marines don't run for their weapons or bunkers for that matter. They don't even flinch.
"We can sit here and we can have a cup of coffee when there's booms going on, we're not concerned about it," says Lt. Col. Jonathan Loney.
Protesters in Pakistan shout anti-U.S. slogans during a protest in July against drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas.
Credit Arif Ali / AFP/Getty Images
A senior leader of the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network — considered one of the most dangerous factions fighting American troops in Afghanistan — has been killed in a U.S. drone strike over northwestern Pakistan, officials say.
Sangeen Zadran was among five people killed at a compound in the North Waziristan tribal region when a missile fired from a U.S. drone hit the building, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
Sadiqullah (center), who was shot by Staff Sgt. Robert Bales and was a witness in the trial, stands with some of the Afghan civilians who traveled from Kandahar to the U.S. for Bales' trial. Translator Ahmad Shafi is at left, in the blue shirt.
Credit Martin Kaste / NPR
It was jarring for survivors and witnesses of the 2012 attack by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales on two villages in Afghanistan to come to the U.S. to testify at his trial this month, translator Ahmad Shafi tells Morning Edition.
They were at Washington State's Joint Base Lewis-McChord — a place much different than their homes in Kandahar. What's more, the U.S. military's system of justice was strange to them.