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Last Updated: Wednesday November 05 2008 06:02 GMT

Barack Obama wins US election

Barack Obama at a park in Chicago

Barack Obama has been elected the first black president of the United States of America.

Obama was named president at around 4am UK time, and an hour after that spoke to hundreds of thousands of people at a park in Chicago.

He said: "It's been a long time coming, but tonight... change has come to America."

Earlier in the night, when it was sure Obama was going to win, his rival John McCain phoned him with congratulations.

Obama also said: "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."

John McCain
Republican candidate John McCain congratulated Barack Obama

He praised his rival for the presidency John McCain, calling the former soldier a "brave and selfless leader".

"He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine," Obama said.

McCain was captured and held prisoner by the enemy when he fought for America in a war in Vietnam.

Barack Obama

And there was some good news for Obama's two daughters: "Sasha and Malia, I love you both more than you can imagine, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House," the new president said.

Although he has now won the election Obama doesn't become the president straight away.

He has to wait until 20 January 2009 before he officially takes over from President George Bush, in a process called inauguration.