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18/01/2019
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House Republicans' "fiscal cliff" worries: When will we ever get spending cuts?

What riled House Republicans wasn't the taxes on the rich in the Senate's 'fiscal cliff' bill, it was the absence of significant spending cuts. But changes at this late date could have scuttled the bill. So they yielded to pressure

Washington, Jan. 1 (DP.net).─ At 11 p.m., this first day of the year after the "fiscal cliff" deadline had expired, the House voted with bipartisan support to pass the Senate's "fiscal cliff" bill, 257 to 167. The vote represented a bipartisan agreement with 172 Democrats and 85 Republicans supporting the measure. Among prominent Republicans voting in favor were House Speaker John Boehner (R, Ohio) and former VP candidate Rep Paul Ryan (R, Wis).

Congress broke a rancorous stalemate Tuesday to pass legislation designed to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. But the compromise bill, which blocked most impending tax increases and postponed spending cuts largely by raising taxes on upper-income Americans, left a host of issues unresolved and guaranteed continued budget clashes between the parties.

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UN chief condemns latest violence in Pakistan, calls for perpetrators to be brought to justice

Ban Ki-moon condemns violence in Pakistan Dec. 31 (UN).─ Appalled by the "escalating terrorist violence" in Pakistan, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has spoken out on the matter, calling for those responsible to be held accountable, according to his spokesperson.

In a statement issued on Sunday night, the spokesperson said that the UN chief condemns the "the continued violent targeting of religious minorities" – the latest such incident involving the bombing of three buses carrying pilgrims on Sunday – as well the killing of 21 members of a Government-backed tribal police force last week.

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US to become the world's top energy producer

World Energy Outlook 2012The US will overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world's largest global oil producer by the second half of this decade, according to the International Energy Agency, as the shale revolution redraws the global energy landscape

Nov. 15.─ The agency's latest World Energy Outlook said the US could be almost self-sufficient in energy by 2035, marking "a dramatic reversal of the trend seen in most other energy-importing countries". It said the US would overtake Russia as the largest gas producer by 2015.

The resurgence in US oil and gas production, it said, was spurring economic activity "with less expensive gas and electricity prices giving [US] industry a competitive edge". Last week, a Germany industry lobby group warned that US companies are enjoying a rising advantage in energy costs.

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What would the new US Federal Debt Limit be?

July 28 (DP.net).─ The US budgetary crisis is not about increasing the Debt Limit, which everybody knows on both sides of the dispute that cannot be avoided under the present circumstances, but about budgetary controls on excesive government expenses and waste and a possible bipartisan agreement about a tax code reform.

The problem is that the Federal Debt has shoot-up disproportionally as compared with Gross Domestic Product during the last three years or compared with the ability of the nation to cover the debt service and recover from recession.

Furthermore, the Federal Debt, as it stands now, is a heavy burden for taxpayers. Increasing the statutory limit on the debt from $14.294 trillion to $16.7 trillion would give the Treasury Department the additional money it needs to keep borrowing through the 2012 elections. It would be the fourth time the debt limit has been increased since February 2009.

 

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EGYPT: Hosni Mubarak resigns

  • Steps down after 18 days of demonstrations Egyptians celebrate Mubarak's fall
    VicePresident Suleiman reads on TV short statement on resignation

Cairo, Feb.11.─ Hosni Mubarak stepped down as president of Egypt and handed power to the military, bowing to the demands of protesters who have occupied central Cairo for the past three weeks demanding an end to his 30-year rule. Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement in a statement on state television today. Bloomberg's Margaret Brennan and Lara Setrakian report on Video.

The 30-second statement on state television was read by Vice President Omar Suleiman at 6:02 p.m. local time:

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