Royalty and statesmen

The new President, who made frequent use of a BlackBerry during his campaign, had been reluctant to give it up after taking office
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Mr Obama wins BlackBerry battle to keep e-mail access in White House

23 JANUARY 2009
Successful in his bid for the White House, new president Barack Obama has scored another victory in persuading officials who wanted to take his BlackBerry away into allowing him to keep it.

Hacking concerns had made security bosses reluctant to let the new leader hang onto the telecommunication device. But following enhanced security measures and "compromise", Mr Obama will be able to "stay in touch with senior staff and a small group of personal friends", confirms a White House spokesman.

The decision means he will be the first US president to have e-mail access in the White House.

He explained in a pre-inauguration interview on US TV that the BlackBerry allowed anyone who needed to contact him to do so, no matter where he was. "If I'm doing something stupid in Chicago, somebody can send me an e-mail and say, 'What are you doing?'," he said.

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