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Obama Announces News Conference on Twitter

The White House used the social networking site Twitter to announce that U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with reporters next week for his second full news conference in less than a month.

The note on Twitter started with the words "You heard it here first" - a question-and-answer session at the White House on Wednesday evening at 9:00 p.m. in Washington (0100 UTC Thursday).

Twitter is a free service that lets people broadcast brief messages up to 140 characters long to the Internet and to cell-phone networks.

Mr. Obama has been using social networking sites like Twitter, as well as Facebook, both in the United States and abroad to release statements and promote his policies.

Twitter allows users to include links to video and other material on the Internet, as long as the original note - known as a "Tweet" - meets the program's principal rule: no message can be longer than 140 characters. The last note from the White House note posted before Friday's news-conference announcement linked to a video of a statement by Mr. Obama on the need to reform the U.S. health-care system.

Mr. Obama's last full news conference with journalists at the White House was on June 23.

The White House "channel" on Twitter appears at