Obama, Economy, War, Swine Flu, Iran Election Crack Alamanac's Top 10 News Topics of 2009

Here are The World Almanac and Book of Facts Top Ten News Topics of 2009:

1. Obama Presidency Begins. With the U.S. at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and facing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Barack Obama swearing in as the nation's 44th president Jan. 20 in Washington, DC.heralded a major political as well as cultural shift, with Obama becoming the nation's first black president. Pres. Obama assembled a cabinet that included Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, his principal 2008 Democratic campaign rival; Sec. of Defense Robert Gates, a Bush administration holdover; Eric Holder Jr., the first African American attorney general; and Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner. Later, Obama filled his first Supreme Court vacancy when Associate Justice David Souter stepped down in late June. Sonia Sotomayor, an experienced prosecutor and litigator with a long judicial record, was confirmed Aug. 6 by the Senate, becoming the first Hispanic to join the court.
The list continues after the jump . . .
2. Recession in U.S. Ends, but Jobless Rate Rises. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a $787 bil stimulus measure that became law Feb. 17, was the largest legislative piece of the year-long effort to revive the ailing U.S. economy. Federal programs eased credit markets, aided first-time home buyers, and helped some mortgage holders avert foreclosure. Two of Detroit's "Big 3" automakers, General Motors and Chrysler, were restructured through government-managed bankruptcies, and "cash for clunkers" tax credits subsidized trade-ins of gas-guzzling vehicles. Results were mixed. The economy emerged from recession as indicated by the U.S. gross domestic product, which grew at an annual rate of 3.5% during July-Sept., and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which closed above the 10,000 mark Oct. 14 for the first time in a year. But the annual U.S. budget deficit soared to a record $1.4 tril, and employers continued to slash jobs. The unemployment rate rose to 10.2% in Oct., and 17.5% of Americans were either unemployed or underemployed.

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