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Obama pardons national turkey before Thanksgiving

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-11-27 09:26

Obama pardons national turkey before Thanksgiving

US President Barack Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey "Cheese" at the White House in Washington November 26, 2014. Gary (C) and Cole (L) Cooper of Cooper Farms in Fort Recovery, Ohio, provided "Cheese" the turkey. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON - It is an annual formal tradition for the past 25 years that the US president pardons a turkey at the White House on the eve of Thanksgiving. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama pardoned this year's lucky turkeys at a short ceremony.

"I am here to announce what I'm sure will be the most talked about executive action this month," Obama said, referring to the executive actions he issued last week on immigration that are opposed by Republicans.

"Today I'm taking an action fully within my legal authority -- the same kind of action taken by Democrats and Republican presidents before me -- to spare the lives of two turkeys, Mac and Cheese, from a terrible and delicious fate," he added.

Cheese was voted online to become the official National Thanksgiving Turkey this year, Obama said. Only Cheese was on hand for the ceremony.

Both Cheese and its alternate named Mac were raised at Cooper Farms in US State of Ohio. The birds will get to live out the rest of their days on a Virginia estate, Obama said.

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