Obama's challenges: crises at home and abroad
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As Barack Obama steps into the Oval Office for his first day in the job he will face a host of crises abroad – wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a fragile truce in Gaza – as well as a faltering economy at home.
How will Obama handle the economy?
President Barack Obama said economic reform would be his top priority. Timothy Geitner, the former chairman of the New York Federal Reserve, will be his new Treasury secretary, while Larry Summers will head the White House Economic Council. The two face the daunting task of creating 2.5 million new jobs, as promised by Obama following his election. The president has said he will “jolt the economy back into shape” with a new $825 billion stimulus plan.
Barack Obama will have to tackle pressing foreign policy issues, including rising tensions in Pakistan, ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the fallout of the deadly Israeli assault on Gaza. How will he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handle these burning issues?
Healing the healthcare system
Providing easier access to healthcare for all Americans was one of Barack Obama’s key campaign promises. A report from the Cook County public hospital in Chicago, where the number of uninsured patients continues to rise, reveals the immense challenge of healing America’s healthcare system.
Inheriting the war in Iraq
The 44th president of the United States inherits, among other things, the prickly issue of Iraq. Throughout the campaign Barack Obama repeatedly called for the withdrawal of US troops from the war-torn country. But just how will the new president “begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people” – as he reiterated during his inauguration speech?