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    Obama to Get First Intelligence Briefing Thursday

    U.S. officials say the new president-elect of the United States, Barack Obama, will have his first classified intelligence briefing this week.

    Top officials from the Central Intelligence Agency will deliver the briefing Thursday, giving Mr. Obama information he never had access to as a senator.

    When he takes office in January, Mr. Obama will face the daunting challenges of two wars and an economy sliding toward recession.

    Mr. Obama has pledged to end the war in Iraq, and defeat al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    At home, he must lead the effort to reform a broken financial system and revive an economy that has experienced some of the worst shocks since the Great Depression.

    Mr. Obama also faces the challenge of curbing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, as well as addressing climate change and a problematic health care system.

    On foreign policy, he will have to address Pakistan's protest against U.S. military strikes in that country, Iran's nuclear ambitions and the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison where terrorist suspects are held.

    Mr. Obama acknowledged the enormity of the task that lies ahead during his acceptance speech Tuesday in Chicago, Illinois.

    He said the "road ahead will be long" and the climb "steep." But he said he has never been more hopeful that the United States as "a people will get there."

    Mr. Obama also assured the world community that "a new dawn of American leadership is at hand."

    Global opinion polls show Obama is hugely popular around the world, with an international community hungry for greater U.S. diplomacy and a change to the unpopular foreign policies of outgoing U.S. President George Bush.  

     

    Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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