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Page last updated at 17:42 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Obama answers internet questions

A computer screen showing US President Barack Obama answering questions during his "Internet Town Hall", 26 March 2009
Barack Obama answered questions about unemployment and healthcare

US President Barack Obama has answered questions submitted to the White House website by members of the public.

The "Internet Town Hall" was streamed live on the website.

More than 100,000 questions, on subjects ranging from the economy to the legalisation of marijuana, were sent in for consideration.

The event is the latest in a series of recent public appearances made by Mr Obama as he seeks to promote his plans to kick-start the US economy.

Last week, Mr Obama appeared on Jay Leno's chat show, and this week he staged a news conference which was shown live on all the American TV networks.

Popular questions

Members of the public who had signed up to the White House Town Hall website were able to vote for the questions they wanted the president to answer.

Asked about job losses, Mr Obama warned that the unemployment rate could continue to rise.

"We are going to have to be patient and persistent about job creation because I don't think that we have lost all the jobs we are going to lose in this recession," he said.

"We're still going to be in a difficult time for much of this year."

Many of the most popular questions submitted to the website concerned the legalisation of marijuana.

"I don't know what this says about the online audience," Mr Obama joked, before arguing that legalising marijuana would not be an effective way to stimulate the economy.

In the course of the event, Mr Obama revealed that he would be unveiling his plans to overhaul the US car industry.

He also answered questions about healthcare reform, education policy and national service for college students.



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