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Originally published May 17, 2010 at 5:25 PM | Page modified May 17, 2010 at 8:08 PM

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Obamas' assets get boost from book sales, reports say

President Obama and Michelle Obama have assets totaling between $2.3 million and $7.7 million, not including their house in Chicago, according to financial-disclosure forms released Monday by the White House. A year ago, the first family posted assets of no less than $1.4 million and no more than $5.9 million.

WASHINGTON — President Obama and Michelle Obama have assets totaling between $2.3 million and $7.7 million, not including their house in Chicago, according to financial-disclosure forms released Monday by the White House. A year ago, the first family posted assets of no less than $1.4 million and no more than $5.9 million.

The disclosure reports, required under ethics laws, allow public officials to list income, assets and other financial information in broad dollar ranges, rather than specific amounts.

Obama's form, covering 2009, shows he received $225,000 for an abridged version of his book, "Dreams from My Father," which will be targeted at young readers.

The couple's joint checking account was shown to be flush, holding more than $250,000 and possibly as much as $500,000.

Gifts included the family's Portuguese water dog "Bo," whose value is given at $1,600. The dog was a present from the late Sen. Edward Kennedy and his wife, Victoria Reggie Kennedy.

The president's other gift was the Nobel Peace Prize medal and diploma, whose value is listed as "not readily ascertainable." Obama divided the $1.4 million Nobel cash prize among various charities.

With two young daughters, the Obamas are socking away tuition money. The form shows they have a total of $200,000 to $500,000 in college savings plans.

Obama's tax returns, released last month, attested to the family's improving financial condition. Propelled largely by sales of his two books, Obama's income rose to $5.5 million in his first year in office, up from $2.7 million the year before.

Before he became a national figure, Obama struggled to pay bills. He often tells a story about how his credit card was declined when he arrived in Los Angeles in 2000 for the Democratic presidential convention.

Obama's aunt

granted asylum

CLEVELAND — A U.S. immigration court has granted asylum to President Obama's African aunt, allowing her to stay in the country and setting her on the road to citizenship after years of legal wrangling, her attorneys announced Monday.

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The decision was made by a judge in U.S. Immigration Court in Boston and mailed Friday. It comes three months after Kenya native Zeituni Onyango, the half-sister of Obama's late father, testified at a closed hearing in Boston.

Her lawyer Margaret Wong said last year that Onyango first applied for asylum "due to violence in Kenya." The East African nation is fractured by cycles of electoral violence every five years.

In November, Onyango said she was disabled and was learning to walk again after being paralyzed from Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune disorder.

Obama spokesman Nick Shapiro said Monday that the White House had no involvement in the case at any point in the process.

Onyango, 57, initially came to the United States in 2000 just for a visit, Wong said. Her first request for political asylum in 2002 was rejected, and she was ordered deported in 2004. But she didn't leave the country and continued to live in public housing in Boston.

Onyango's status as an illegal immigrant was revealed just days before Obama was elected in November 2008. Obama said he did not know his aunt was living here illegally. In his memoir, Obama referred to Onyango as "Auntie Zeituni" and described meeting her during his 1988 trip to Kenya.

Onyango helped care for the president's half brothers and sister while living with Barack Obama Sr. in Kenya.

The Associated Press

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