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Obama News Conference Addresses Japan Tsunami, Rising Oil & Gas Prices

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OBAMA NEWS CONFERENCE

The White House says President Barack Obama will address rising oil and gasoline prices at a news conference on Friday.

Fuel prices have been rising amid continued turmoil in Libya, an oil-producing country. News that police opened fire to break up a protest Thursday afternoon in Saudi Arabia also has sparked fears that the unrest could spread to that country. Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter.

Oil prices soared $3 per barrel in just 12 minutes after the news broke in Saudi Arabia.

At the pump, gasoline is averaging $3.52 a gallon -- 41 cents more than last month.

The president was expected to discuss the situation in Japan and on the West Coast at the news conference. In advance of the media event, Obama talked by telephone to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Later, the president and first lady will welcome their hometown, Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks to the White House.

Following that get-together, first lady Michelle Obama, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and USA Hockey Executive Director Dave Ogrean will preside over a street hockey workout and clinic on a rink set up on the South Lawn.

The clinic for local youngsters is part of a new collaboration between Mrs. Obama's Let's Move! initiative, the NHL and USA Hockey to encourage kids to lead active and healthy lives.