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Gov. Christie nails Republicans for failure to provide aid to hurricane victims

Gov. Chris Christie‘s blunt talk has long been one of his hallmarks. But Christie, who has verbally tangled with many, showed Wednesday he’s willing to aim his barbs at the highest echelons of his own party. In a State House news conference, Christie blasted Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio for delaying a vote on a $60 billion aid package for Superstorm Sandy recovery. “Do your job and come through for the people of this country,” Christie pointedly said about Boehner. Harsh criticism of Boehner by elected officials in New York and New Jersey turned into a bipartisan
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Al-Jazeera buys Current TV. Now what?

With its purchase of left-leaning Current TV, the Pan-Arab news channel Al-Jazeera has fulfilled a long-held quest to reach tens of millions of U.S. homes. But its new audience immediately got a little smaller. The nation’s second-largest TV operator, Time Warner Cable Inc., dropped Current after the deal was confirmed Wednesday, a sign that the channel will have an uphill climb to expand its reach. “Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service. We are removing the service as quickly as possible,” the company said in a statement. Still, the acquisition of
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House abandons political rhetoric, approves Senate bill averting ‘fiscal cliff’

Past its own New Year’s deadline, a weary Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation to avoid a national “fiscal cliff” of middle class tax increases and spending cuts late Tuesday night in the culmination of a struggle that strained America’s divided government to the limit. The bill’s passage on a 257-167 vote in the House sealed a hard-won political triumph for the president less than two months after he secured re-election while calling for higher taxes on the wealthy. In addition to neutralizing middle class tax increases and spending cuts taking effect with the new year, the legislation will raise
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Senate approves tax, spending deal 89-8

Hours past a self-imposed deadline for action, the Senate passed legislation early New Year’s Day to neutralize a fiscal cliff combination of across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts that kicked in at midnight. The pre-dawn vote was a lopsided 89-8. Senate passage set the stage for a final showdown in the House, where a vote was expected later Tuesday or perhaps Wednesday on the measure, which also raises tax rates on wealthy Americans. Even by the recent dysfunctional standards of government-by-gridlock, the activity at both ends of historic Pennsylvania Avenue was remarkable as the administration and lawmakers spent the final
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Under Senate deal, economy dodges bullet for now

A deal worked out by U.S. Senate leaders to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” was far from any “grand bargain” of deficit reduction measures. But if approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, it could help the country steer clear of recession, although enough austerity would remain in place to likely keep the economy growing at a lackluster pace. The Senate approved a last-minute deal early Tuesday morning to scale back $600 billion in scheduled tax hikes and government spending cuts that economists widely agree would tip the economy into recession. The deal would hike taxes permanently for household incomes over
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A sour end to 2012: Will 2013 be better?

Many Americans seem to be in a sour mood as 2013 begins, after Hurricane Sandy ravaged parts of the East Coast, a gunman massacred 20 school children in Connecticut and a long, contentious election campaign was followed by failure to resolve the “fiscal cliff” issue by year-end. Americans have not been very optimistic since the Great Recession of 2008-2009, but the gloom had begun to lift this year until the blast of bad news as 2012 ended, IPSOS pollster Cliff Young said on Monday. IPSOS polling showed that some angst set in as the year ended. Sixty-eight percent of respondents
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Docs use blood thinners to treat Hillary Clinton’s clot

Doctors treating Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for a blood clot in her head said blood thinners are being used to dissolve the clot and they are confident she will make a full recovery. Clinton didn’t suffer a stroke or neurological damage from the clot that formed after she suffered a concussion during a fainting spell at her home in early December, doctors said in a statement Monday. Clinton, 65, was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday when the clot turned up on a follow-up exam on the concussion, Clinton spokesman Phillipe Reines said. The clot is located
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Senate, White House reach tentative deal to avert fiscal cliff

Racing the clock, the White House reached a New Year’s Eve accord with Senate Republicans late Monday to block across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts in government programs due to take effect at midnight, according to administration and Senate Democratic officials. Under the deal, taxes would remain steady for the middle class and rise at incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples — levels higher than President Barack Obama had campaigned for in his successful drive for a second term in office. Spending cuts aimed at the Pentagon and domestic programs would be deferred for two months. That
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Details of the tentative fiscal cliff deal

Highlights of a tentative agreement Monday between the White House and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., aimed at averting wide tax increases and budget cuts scheduled to take effect in the new year. The measure would raise taxes by about $600 billion over 10 years compared with tax policies that expire at midnight Monday. It would also delay for two months across-the-board spending cuts otherwise set to begin slashing the budgets of the Pentagon and numerous domestic agencies. Highlights include: —Income tax rates: Extends decade-old tax cuts on incomes up to $400,000 for individuals, $450,000 for couples. Earnings above
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hospitalized with blood clot

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is under observation at a New York hospital after being treated for a blood clot stemming from the concussion she sustained earlier this month. Clinton’s doctors discovered the clot Sunday while performing a follow-up exam, her spokesman, Philippe Reines, said. He would not elaborate on the location of the clot but said Clinton was being treated with anti-coagulants and would remain at New York-Presbyterian Hospital for at least the next 48 hours so doctors can monitor the medication. “Her doctors will continue to assess her condition, including other issues associated with her concussion,” Reines
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