President Obama says US and Europe must help refugees

HANNOVER, Germany (AP) — The Latest on President Barack Obama's visit to Germany (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

President Barack Obama says "we can't turn our backs on fellow human beings who are here now and need our help now."

Obama is speaking in Hannover, Germany. He is crediting German Chancellor Angela Merkel for setting that tone and he is calling for every nation to step up and share responsibility for helping those fleeing violence in the Middle East, including the United States.

Obama says Europe and the U.S. are more secure when welcoming people of all backgrounds and faiths, including Muslims.


12:00 p.m.

President Barack Obama says Europe has sometimes been complacent in its own defense.

Obama is urging European countries to step up their spending on defense during a speech in Hannover, Germany.

Obama says he wants good relations with Russia. But he says the global community must keep up sanctions on Russia until it fully implements its commitments under a Ukraine deal struck in Minsk.


11:55 a.m.

President Barack Obama says a united Europe is vital to the world, saying it promotes peace and prosperity.

Obama is making the case that a strong Europe is needed to enhance the world's security, and he says that Europe and NATO can still do more, particularly in Syria and Iraq.

Obama says all NATO members should be contributing at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product to defense.


11:50 a.m.

President Barack Obama says he's sending up to 250 more troops to Syria to "keep up this momentum" against Islamic State group.

Obama is speaking at a trade fair in Hannover, Germany. He says the additional troops won't be leading the fight on the ground, but they'll be "essential." He says their goal will be to drive IS back from territory.

Obama says existing U.S. special forces in Syria have been critical in lending expertise to local forces. Obama says some of the additional troops he's sending will be special forces.

The president's announcement brings to 300 the number of U.S. forces battling extremists in war-torn Syria.


11:40 a.m.

President Barack Obama says when it comes to demonizing minorities, loud voices get attention.

Obama is alluding to American presidential candidate Donald Trump in a speech in Hannover, Germany. He says this is a defining moment.

Obama says inequality and other trends have created concerns and anxieties in the U.S. and Europe that are legitimate and mustn't be ignored. But Obama says they shouldn't lead to a mentality where people blame their problems on each other.

Obama is decrying a mindset of singling out people who look or pray differently, whether it's immigrants or Muslims. Obama says that's the kind of politics that the European system was set up to work against.


11:30 a.m.

President Barack Obama says that there's never been a better time for the world. He says if someone had to choose a moment in time to be born, it would be today.

Obama is speaking at a trade fair in Hannover, Germany. He says there is still enormous suffering and tragedy, but people are fortunate to be living in the most peaceful and prosperous era in human history.

He notes that people are living longer and are better educated. He says it has been decades since the last war between major powers and that the economy has lifted billions out of poverty globally.

In the end, he says, people should take confidence "in our ability to shape our own destiny."


11:20 a.m.

As President Barack Obama tours the Hannover trade fair, hundreds of people are demonstrating outside against job cuts at the American technology and consulting company IBM.

Some 200 IBM workers staged a noisy rally on the edge of the fairground Monday to protest against the measures they say will cost 900 jobs in Germany.

Demonstrators held up placards reading "Profit, profit, profit, where's the human?" and "We are family? One IBM. Find the mistake."

A union leader called on protesters to "be loud — maybe the president will hear you." Obama is in Hannover to promote American business at the world's largest industrial trade fair.

IBM Germany didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.


9:30 a.m.

President Barack Obama is putting in a few good words for the "spirit of innovation" that he says turns ideas into jobs and growth.

He commented Monday before setting out on a tour of the Hannover Messe, the world's largest industrial technology trade show, taking place in Hannover, Germany.

The U.S. is sponsoring this year's show and Obama says it's another chance to urge people to buy "Made in America."

Obama is touring exhibits with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of their dual push for a U.S.-European free trade pact.

The tour opens Obama's final day of a six-day, three-country trip.

He's also due to deliver a speech in Hannover and meet with European leaders before returning to Washington.

9:45 a.m.

President Barack Obama is something of a technology geek and he is in his element at the Hannover Messe.

Obama and his host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, are checking out high-tech inventions and chatting with developers at the massive industrial technology trade show.

The leaders are learning about minicomputers that send data from a car to the cloud, a sensor that mimics a gecko's feet to pick up objects and ultra-light prosthetics created for para-Olympian cyclists.

They've checked out an electric vehicle battery charger that maker Phoenix Contact says can give an car battery 100 kilometers worth of charge in just five minutes.

And Obama has tried on virtual reality glasses made with what developer Ifm Stiftung dubs the smallest 3D camera in the world.

With the glasses on his face and cameras snapping photos, Obama reached out as if shaking an invisible hand.

He says, "It's a brave new world."