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Obama leaves tonight as 2-week vacation ends

By Associated Press

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jan 04, 2014

President Barack Obama is planning his return to Washington after two weeks in Hawaii for a holiday vacation.

White House officials say that the president and his family expect to depart Hawaii tonight.

The president's vacation, spanning Christmas and New Year's, is his longest to the islands during his presidency. He was born in Honolulu.

Obama has spent most of his vacation playing golf and staying in a rented home in Kailua.

He has taken his daughters to the zoo and for shave ice, and watched Oregon State play in the first round of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic basketball tournament at the University of Hawaii Stan Sheriff Center. First Lady Michelle Obama's brother Craig Robinson is Oregon State's head coach.

On Christmas Day, he visited with troops at Marine Corp. Base Kaneohe, paying tribute to members who serve in the military and their families.

Obama also has done some official business, signing a defense bill and a budget deal easing spending cuts.

Obama spent most of Friday in his family's vacation home. The day was even more low-key than previous days with outings of gym and golf.

The Obama administration did announced a pair of executive actions aimed at strengthening federal background checks for gun purchasers, with a particular focus on limiting firearm access for those with mental health issues. One proposed rule change aims to clarify terminology used by federal law to prohibit people from purchasing a firearm for mental health reasons. A second proposed change would give hospitals and other entities covered by patient privacy provisions more flexibility in the information they provide to the background check system.

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