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Top ten news stories from US in 2009
Washington, Dec 17 (IANS):
Published on 17 Dec. 2009 11:39 PM IST
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The inauguration of America’s first black president Barack Obama, the economic slump that led to the collapse of the global financial system, the healthcare debate that Obama made the centrepiece of his presidency and the death of music icon Michael Jackson were among the defining events of 2009 in the US. Here are the top 10 news Stories: 1. Obama recognises India’s emergence with a state visit: Although critics debunked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Nov 24 state visit, the first hosted by the Obama administration, as high on symbolism and low on substance, it was a clear recognition of India as an emerging global power. Of particular import to India was the understanding on jointly taking on the scourge of terrorism. 2. America’s economic crisis sends shock waves across the world: The US went through the throes of the worst recession in seven decades with unemployment soaring to 10.2 percent, the highest in 26 years. But the worst seemed to be over by the end of the year thanks to a massive injection of close to $800 billion in bailout funds. 3. Obama scripts history at noon: Barack Obama made his tryst with destiny Jan 20 as the first black president of the United States, arguably the world’s most powerful office, outlining a vision of what America can become while the world watched the epochal event with fascination and admiration. 4. Indictment of Headley awakes the US to home grown terror: The indictment of Pakistani-American terror suspect David Coleman Headley, charged with helping plan the Mumbai terror attacks, brought the US face to face with danger from homegrown terrorists, many of them trained in Pakistan. President Barack Obama called it an “important day” in efforts to combat terrorism. 5. Swine flu hits US hard: As swine flu or the H1N1 virus swept around the globe, infecting people in Asia, Europe and the US, Obama declared a national emergency in October. Amid reports of a spotty vaccine-delivery system, the virus claimed about 4,000 American lives by mid-November, one of the highest tolls in the developed world. 6. India helps find water on the moon: US space agency NASA’s discovery of a “significant” quantity of water in the moon’s Cabeus crater, confirming the first indication of water on the moon by India’s maiden lunar mission Chandrayaan-I, rekindled dreams of setting up a human outpost there. 7. The death of Michael Jackson: The June 25 death of American pop star Michael Jackson with a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs triggered an outpouring of worldwide grief. Online, reactions to the event crippled several major websites and services, as the abundance of people accessing the web addresses pushed internet traffic to potentially unprecedented and historic levels. 8. Obama makes history again with surprise Nobel Peace prize: Just nine months after making history as America’s first black president, Barack Obama Oct 9 won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” Obama accepted the “stunning surprise” as a call to action. 9. Would Afghanistan become Obama’s Vietnam: After months of mulling, President Barack Obama announced that he would commit 30,000 additional troops to the Afghanistan war with plans to begin pulling out US forces in July 2011. But critics suggested the surge may not work as it did in Iraq and Afghanistan may turn out to be his Vietnam. 10. Obama smells victory on healthcare reform: Amid a divisive debate, Obama spent much of the first year of his presidency to sell his plans for healthcare reform and provide cover to some 46 million Americans without insurance. The House passed a sweeping 10-year, $848 bill by a razor-thin 220-215 margin, but its passage through the Senate remained uncertain.

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