House Republicans Balk At Deal; Fiscal Cliff Coming

WASHINGTON — Last-minute efforts to step back from the “fiscal cliff” ran into trouble on Tuesday as Republicans in the House of Representatives balked at a deal that would prevent Washington from pushing the world’s biggest economy into a recession.

House Republicans complained that a bill passed by the Senate in a late-night show of unity to prevent a budget crisis contained tax hikes for the wealthiest Americans but no spending cuts.  Some conservatives sought to change the bill to add cuts.

That would set up a high-stakes showdown between the two chambers and risk a stinging rebuke from financial markets that are due to open in Asia in a few hours.

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Reports: Reid To Be Named Cardinals Coach

Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles' coach, after t...

Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles’ coach, after the Eagles’ training camp in Lehigh, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Andy Reid is reportedly on his way to becoming the Arizona Cardinals next coach.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday that “it is a done deal” and KTVK-TV in Arizona reported that Reid is “very close” to being named the Cardinals’ coach.  ESPN also reported that there is a “95 percent” chance that Reid will be hired by Arizona.

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Two Killed, Two Wounded In New Year’s Shootings In Reading

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two men were killed and another two were wounded in a series of overnight shootings in Reading, investigators said.

One man was shot to death and another grazed about 3:50 a.m., according to city police Sgt. John M. Solecki.

According to Solecki:

The pair and another man were driving around northeast Reading looking for a club where they were supposed to pick somebody up.  They stopped to ask directions from a man walking in the 900 block of Amity Street who fired several shots into the vehicle, fatally wounding the driver and grazing one of the passengers.

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Senate Approves “Fiscal Cliff” Deal, Crisis Eased

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate moved the U.S. economy back from the edge of a “fiscal cliff” on Tuesday, voting to avoid imminent tax hikes and spending cuts in a bipartisan deal that could still face stiff challenges in the House of Representatives.

In a rare New Year’s session at around 2 a.m. EST (0700 GMT), senators voted 89-8 to raise some taxes on the wealthy while making permanent low tax rates on the middle class that have been in place for a decade.

But the measure did little to rein in huge annual budget deficits that have helped push the U.S. debt to $16.4 trillion.

The agreement came too late for Congress to meet its own deadline of New Year’s Eve for passing laws to halt $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts which strictly speaking came into force on Tuesday.

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