House passes slimmed-down spending bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives Wednesday approved a slimmed-down spending bill that funds many of President Barack Obama’s top priorities but denies him billions of additional dollars he had sought for government operations. Read more

Food-safety overhaul rides on funding bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The biggest overhaul of the U.S. food safety system in decades took a major step toward becoming law on Wednesday when House Democratic leaders folded it into a must-pass bill to fund the U.S. government. Read more

Bloomberg comments stir more political speculation

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest critique of the U.S. political system on Wednesday stirred renewed debate whether the independent billionaire may mount a third-party run for the White House. Read more

Tax deal moves forward despite doubts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A plan by President Barack Obama to broadly extend tax cuts moved forward on Wednesday despite opposition from his own Democrats and fear in bond markets of long-term damage to the economy. Read more

Canada and U.S. to sign border, security deal: report

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada and the United States are working on a new security and trade deal that would allow people and goods to flow more easily between the two major trading partners, the National Post said on Wednesday. Read more

Senate removes Louisiana judge from office

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to convict Federal District Court Judge G. Thomas Porteous of impeachment charges and remove him from the bench, the first such action in 21 years. Read more

Gates says Afghanistan strategy on right track

KABUL (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Wednesday he was convinced the war in Afghanistan was on the right track as he toured the country to assess Washington’s strategy for reversing the Taliban’s momentum. Read more