**Obama Speech to Focus on Income Inequality, Immigration**
U.S. President Barack Obama will address the huge income gap between the poorest and wealthiest Americans when he delivers the annual State of the Union address Tuesday night before a joint session of the U.S. Congress.
The president has been unsuccessful in urging lawmakers to approve an increase in the U.S. minimum wage rate since raising the issue in last year's State of the Union speech. Mr. Obama will repeat the call in Tuesday's speech, and will announce plans to sign an executive order increasing the minimum wage for employees of companies signing new contracts with the federal government.
The order -- which will increase contractors' minimum wages from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour -- is one of the many Mr. Obama plans to issue this year in his strategy to enact his priorities without seeking approval of Congress, which is bitterly divided between a Republican-led House of Representatives and the Democratic-led Senate.
Mr. Obama will also urge the full Congress to pass an immigration reform measure that passed in the Senate last year. The bill stalled in the House under intense opposition from conservative lawmakers, but there are signs of growing support for the bill among House Republican leaders.
**Ukraine Parliament Repeals Anti-Protest Laws**
Ukraine's parliament has repealed a controversial set of laws restricting public protests, while Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has offered his resignation in what the government says is an effort to encourage political compromise.
Ukraine's government website announced the news of the resignation Tuesday, publishing a statement by Mr. Azarov that says he wants to encourage "social-political compromise," after two months of protests that have recently culminated with violent clashes between demonstrators and police.
He said he hoped his resignation, which still must be accepted by President Viktor Yanukovych, will create an opportunity for the peaceful settlement of the country's political crisis.
Hours later, parliament approved the repeal of the anti-protest laws, which had sparked some violent anti-government protests in Kyiv and elsewhere. But President Yanukovych said amnesty for dozens of protesters arrested at the demonstrations will only be implemented if activists take down their barricades and leave the streets.