US President Barack Obama's proposed budget, unveiled on Thursday, anticipates an economic contraction of 1.2% in 2009, though his projections were more optimistic than those of the Congressional Budget Office.
Today on the Web: after a three-week protest, Martinique turns violent to obtain salary increases from the French government, the blogosphere reacts; Kurdish net users mobilise after a Turkish representative speaks Kurdish in parliament.
The Pentagon on Thursday ended a controversial policy preventing media coverage of coffins of dead soldiers returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Families will decide whether to allow media to film or photograph coffins.
The US State Department released its annual human rights survey, spotlighting dire conditions in North Korea, China, Zimbabwe, and the former USSR. The US vowed to heed international concerns about its own record.
In an address to Congress on Tuesday, US President Barack Obama pledged to act "swiftly and aggressively" to restore the flow of credit to US households and businesses, calling it the "lifeblood" of the nation's economy.
President Barack Obama nominated Gary Locke (pictured), the first Chinese-American US governor, as commerce secretary. Two earlier candidates for the post were forced to withdraw from consideration amid controversy.