Tearful Obama calls for ‘meaningful action’

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An emotional President Barack Obama has said America’s leaders must “take meaningful action” regardless of politics in response to the mass shooting at the Connecticut elementary school.

At times using an index finger to wipe the corners of his eyes, Mr Obama addressed the nation from the White House, saying he had reacted first as a parent and spoke of his overwhelming grief.

He also paused repeatedly as he struggled to keep his composure while speaking of the children – aged between five and 10 – who were killed and the life milestones they now would miss.

“Our hearts are broken,” he said.

Shortly before speaking, the president ordered that US flags be flown at half-mast on public grounds until next Tuesday.