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Global stock meltdown: Is another recession on its way?

Stocks around the world tumbled Friday ahead of crucial U.S. jobs figures, continuing a losing streak reminiscent of the aftermath of the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008. Growing panic about the debts of big eurozone countries like Italy and Spain, paired with fears the U.S. may be heading back into recession. Jobs figures later could well go a long way to determining whether the U.S. economy is indeed on the point of shrinking again. The biggest one-day points decline on Wall Street since the 2008 financial crisis Thursday carried into Asian and European markets Friday, taking
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Senate set to break FAA deadlock

The Senate is poised to pass legislation ending a two-week partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration that has cost the government about $400 million in uncollected airline ticket taxes and idled thousands of workers. A bipartisan compromise reached Thursday cleared the way for the Senate to approve a House bill extending the FAA’s operating authority through mid-September, including a provision that eliminates $16.5 million in air service subsidies to 13 rural communities. Senators have scattered for their August recess, but the measure can be approved Friday if leaders from both parties agree to adopt it by “unanimous consent.” FAA
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American public thinks the debt deal sucks

President Barack Obama and Congress may have a debt deal that averted financial disaster — for now — but many Americans think the deal will make the economy worse, not better. Only 17 percent of those questioned in a USA/Gallup Poll taken right after Obama signed legislation raising the debt limit think the deal that emerged after months of rancorous debate and gridlock in Washington think the agreement will improve the economy. Some 41 percent believe the entire debacle will make things worse. The rest said they don’t know what will happen. And more of those polled said they didn’t
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Obama can talk jobs but he can’t fix the problem

The United States has a jobs problem and there’s not a lot President Barack Obama or Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke can do about it. In the face of rising risks of a recession that could imperil his re-election chances next year, Democrat Obama wants Congress to extend a payroll tax cut and emergency unemployment benefits that are due to expire in December. But the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is emboldened by budget concessions it made Obama swallow to lift the country’s debt limit this week and he has little political leverage to win significant fresh spending to aid growth.
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With debt deal done, Obama hits campaign trail

President Barack Obama will take a three-day campaign-style bus tour through the American Midwest this month, as he tries to refocus attention on jobs seen as vital to his chances of winning re-election in 2012. The president will be on the road between August 15 and August 17 “listening” to the American people about jobs and the economy, White House press secretary Jay Carney said. Obama’s approval ratings have been dented by persistently high U.S. unemployment and acrimonious negotiations in Washington to raise the country’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. These talks dragged on for months and hammered the stock market
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Tortured vet cleared to sue Rumsfeld over abuse

A judge is allowing an Army veteran who says he was imprisoned unjustly and tortured by the U.S. military in Iraq to sue former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld personally for damages. The veteran’s identity is withheld in court filings, but he worked for an American contracting company as a translator for the Marines in the volatile Anbar province before being detained for nine months at Camp Cropper, a U.S. military facility near the Baghdad airport dedicated to holding “high-value” detainees. The government says he was suspected of helping get classified information to the enemy and helping anti-coalition forces enter
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Did tea party win or lose in debt deal debacle?

The Tea Party stood at a political crossroads Tuesday, split by a vote on raising the US debt limit after fractious negotiations that saw them declared both the big winners and losers. At issue was the role that the young movement, born of anger at the sour US economy and stoked by establishment Republicans eager to harness its energy, could play in President Barack Obama‘s fight for reelection in November 2012. “I think nothing really changes. This is, to us, the beginning of the debate,” Republican Senator Rand Paul, one of the Tea Party’s champions in the polarized Congress, told
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Obama’s curse: The Bush tax cuts

Time and again during his presidential campaign, Barack Obama was unequivocal: “We are going to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.” But when the chips were down, now-President Obama blinked and backed away. Twice in less than nine months, Obama has shelved his pledge in deadline-pressing negotiations with congressional Republicans. Obama insists he still is determined to find new revenue by making taxpayers who make more than $200,000 and big corporations pay more, but frustrated liberals say he has already missed key opportunities. Inaction on taxes and his willingness to consider structural changes to Medicare and
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Obama’s debt-deal signature averts default

The Senate emphatically passed emergency legislation Tuesday to avoid a first-ever government default, rushing the legislation to President Barack Obama for his signature just hours before the deadline. The vote was 74-26. Obama signed the bill little more than an hour later. Tuesday’s vote capped an extraordinarily difficult Washington battle pitting tea party Republican forces in the House against Obama and Democrats controlling the Senate. The resulting compromise paired an essential increase in the government’s borrowing cap with promises of more than $2 trillion of budget cuts over the next decade. “It’s an important first step to ensuring that as
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Debt-limit bill passes Congress; Obama says more needed

President Barack Obama said on Tuesday a just-passed bill to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and cut spending was a first step toward ensuring the United States lives within its means but that more was needed to rebuild the world’s largest economy. Speaking at the White House, Obama made clear he expects tax reform to emerge from deliberations by a new committee of Democrats and Republicans to be established by the legislation and that a “balanced approach” in which the wealthier pay more taxes is needed for more deficit reduction. Obama, a Democrat, said uncertainty from the bitter debt debate
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