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In June 2010 Obama confronted a different kind of criticism when the commander of NATO-U. It was believed that the devices may have been intended to explode while still in flight.

Later in November 2010 the administration was stung by the third major release that year of classified documents by the Web site , had published secret documents related to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, collectively known as the “Afghan War Diary” and the “Iraq War Log,” respectively.

In the spring of 2010, one of the Obama administration’s big economic initiatives, the financial rescue of General Motors, bore fruit as the automaker recorded its first profits in three years. Responding to the banking and finance meltdown that had precipitated the economic downturn, Congress in July enacted comprehensive financial regulations.

However, the headlines in spring and summer were dominated by another event, a massive oil spill some 40 miles (60 km) off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico (Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010).

Although there was also strong opposition to various aspects of the plan within the Democratic Party, the House of Representatives passed a sweeping reform bill in November 2009.

The perpetrator, a young Nigerian, had been trained for his mission by extremists in Yemen. David Petraeus, the architect of the surge strategy in Iraq. The weekend before voters went to the polls, the election had been replaced in the headlines by the foiling of another terrorist bombing attempt, this time involving explosive devices that were intercepted en route via air from Yemen to two Chicago-area synagogues.

The crisis worked against Mc Cain, whom many voters associated with the unpopular policies of the administration, and worked for the highly charismatic Obama, whose campaign from its outset had been based on the theme of sweeping political change.

Obama defeated Mc Cain, becoming the first African American elected to the presidency.

There were accusations that it had infused too much money into large banks without placing adequate conditions on them, rather than purchasing “toxic” assets as it had promised.

In the lead-up to the inauguration, Obama and his transition team, working with Bush, persuaded the Senate to release the last half of the TARP funds, promising that they would be targeted at relief for home owners and at stimulating the credit markets.

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