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Economy and war on Obama's agenda

Barack Obama is beginning his first working day as president of the United States by meeting his economic advisers and top military commanders.

The financial crisis and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq top the agenda of the man inaugurated as America's 44th president on Tuesday.

Most of his cabinet is in place but several are still to be confirmed.

His administration has announced it is seeking a temporary halt to trials of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay.

Late on Tuesday President Obama and his Secretary of Defence Robert Gates issued the request, which will be presented by prosecution lawyers to military judges.

Hearings had been due to take place on Wednesday in the case of the five men accused of plotting the 11 September attacks.

A delay of 120 days is being sought "in the interests of justice", the administration request says.

Ready to lead

In his inaugural address, President Obama promised a "new era of responsibility" in a time of crisis at home and abroad.

He also spoke of his desire to usher in a new era of   It will be these tonal changes that make Obama's America much more palatable to Europeans

Justin WebbBBC North America editor

Justin Webb's America peace and of America's readiness to lead once more.

After a parade through Washington, Mr Obama and his wife Michelle attended official balls around the city on Tuesday evening, dancing before delighted guests.

Stars such as Rihanna, Mary J Blige and Queen Latifah were billed to perform at various venues.

Correspondents say the whole capital seems to have been partying with at least a dozen unofficial balls.

Outside America, Antigua announced it would rename its highest peak after Mr Obama while a village in the Irish Republic with ancestral links to the mixed-race new president was turning out commemorative cakes.

 Source of this news is from bbc website  www.bbc.co.uk

Posted on Wednesday 21st January 2009

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