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President Obama made a passionate defence of his health-care reforms to a joint meeting of Congress, saying that he was “determined to be the last president to take up this cause”.

He made some concessions to critics of the draft Bill but its prospects of becoming law later in the year remain uncertain.
While President Chavez of Venezuela was in Russia and Iran, tens of thousands of demonstrators protested in the capital Caracas against an education law that they say will lead to political indoctrination in schools.

On a visit to Brazil, French President Sarkozy signed a deal by which France will supply Brazil with 36 fighter jets; an similar earlier contract provided for five submarines and 50 helicopters.

In response to a Downing Street online petition, Gordon Brown made a posthumous apology to Alan Turing who played a key role in breaking German codes in World War Two but was later arrested and convicted of homosexuality before committing suicide.