Political notebook

President Obama to honor Boston pediatrician

President Obama next week will present a pediatrician from Boston with the nation’s second-highest civilian honor.
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
President Obama next week will present a pediatrician from Boston with the nation’s second-highest civilian honor.

WASHINGTON — President Obama next week will present a pediatrician from Boston with the nation’s second-highest civilian honor, honoring a man who spent his career researching babies and educating new parents about them.

Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, a 94-year-old physician, will be among other Americans who will receive the Presidential Citizens Medal on Feb. 15 at the White House.

“It is my distinguished honor to award these individuals the 2012 Citizens Medal for their commitment to public service,” Obama said in a statement. “Their selflessness and courage inspire us all to look for opportunities to better serve our communities and our country.”


The medal, created in 1969, honors those who have “performed exemplary deeds of service.” Nearly 6,000 people were nominated to receive the medal this year, and Brazelton is one of a handful to be given the honor.

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Brazelton is best known for developing the Neonatal Behavior Assessment Scale, which is used to measure physical and neurological responses of newborns. Brazelton has also hosted the cable television program “What Every Baby Knows,” and written books and a syndicated newspaper column.

He is on the faculty at the Brazelton Institute, a research and education facility at Children’s Hospital in Boston, and is professor of pediatrics Emeritus at Harvard Medical School. — MATT VISER

Kerry warns Iran to take upcoming talks seriously

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John F. Kerry warned Iran on Friday to come to upcoming nuclear talks prepared to talk seriously with world powers about addressing concerns over its nuclear program.

Speaking to reporters at the State Department, Kerry said in his first public comments on the matter since taking office last week that Iran knows full well what it needs to do to prove its nuclear intentions are peaceful as it says.


If it does, Kerry said the international community is prepared to respond positively. If not, he said Iran will only face increased international isolation. He reminded the Iranian leadership that President Obama has taken no options off the table, including military force, to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

‘‘We are prepared to let diplomacy be the victor in this confrontation over their nuclear program,’’ Kerry said after meeting with Foreign Minister John Baird of Canada. ‘‘The president has made it clear that he is prepared to talk about a peaceful nuclear program.’’

Kerry also said, ‘‘Iran has a choice: they have to prove to the world that it is peaceful and we are prepared to sit responsibly and negotiate how they can do that and how we can all be satisfied.’’

His comments came ahead of a meeting between Iran and senior officials from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany. That meeting is set for Feb. 26 in Kazakhstan.

Kerry also said that Iran’s recent revelation that it would vastly increase its pace of uranium enrichment, which can make both reactor fuel and the fissile core of warheads, is ‘‘concerning’’ and ‘‘disturbing.’’


‘‘The president has made it clear that his preference is to have a diplomatic solution, but if he cannot get there, he is prepared to do whatever is necessary to make certain that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon,’’ he said. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hacker posts private Bush family photos from e-mails

HOUSTON — A hacker apparently accessed private photos and e-mails sent between members of the Bush family, including both former presidents, and the Secret Service is investigating.

The Smoking Gun website said the hacker, who went by the online moniker ‘‘Guccifer,’’ gained access to e-mails, photos, private telephone numbers, and addresses of Bush family members and friends.

The website displayed photos it said came from the hacker, including one that purported to show the elder Bush during his recent stay in a Houston hospital, where the 88-year-old spent almost two months being treated for complications from a bronchial infection.

The authenticity of the photos and other details on the website could not immediately be confirmed. A spokesman for President George H.W. Bush declined to comment on the reports. ‘‘There’s a criminal investigation and, as such, there’s nothing else we can say,’’ Jim McGrath said Friday.

Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie said the agency was investigating. He would not elaborate. In Dallas, where Bush’s son President George W. Bush has a home, Bush spokesman Freddy Ford declined to make a statement. The FBI in Houston, where the elder Bush lives, would not confirm or deny any investigation.

George H.W. Bush’s son Jeb, the former governor of Florida, when reached by e-mail, said the hacking was ‘‘outrageous’’ and the decision to publish the material showed ‘‘total disregard for privacy.’’

The word ‘‘Guccifer’’ was plastered across the photos published on the website, which quotes ‘‘Guccifer’’ describing himself as a veteran hacker. — ASSOCIATED PRESS