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Newly re-elected US President Barack Obama is to make a major speech on the economy today and a historic visit to Myanmar later this month.

But the talking point of the moment is an emotional visit he paid to thank his campaign team at his Chicago headquarters.

“What you guys have done means that the work I’m doing is important. And I’m really proud of that. I’m really proud of all of you,” he said, unable to complete his message as the tears got the better of him, to sustained applause from staff.

He told them his work in running for office had come “full circle”, and praised them for being much more efficient than he had been as a young community organiser.

Obama also became emotional in his final campaign rally in Iowa on Monday night.

The surprise announcement that he is to become the first American president to visit Myanmar follows opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s trip to Washington in September.

It is the strongest endorsement yet of the southeast Asian country’s fragile democratic reforms after decades of military rule.

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