Obama awards Merkel highest US civilian honor
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is among 15 people named by President Barack Obama to receive America's highest civilian award, dpa reported.
Obama will present Merkel with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a ceremony early next year, the White House said Wednesday.
Also slated to receive the award is former president George Bush, who served as president 1989-93, billionaire investor and philanthropist Warren Buffet, as well as civil rights activists, athletes and members of the culture and arts community.
These outstanding honorees come from a broad range of backgrounds, and they've excelled in a broad range of fields, but all of them have lived extraordinary lives that have inspired us, enriched our culture and made our country and our world a better place," Obama said in a statement.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors, the White House said.
Others notables receiving the award are cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Congressman John Lewis, an icon of the black civil rights movement of the 1960s, and author and poet Maya Angelou.