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Obama hails US budget deal

Barack Obama has hailed a deal to avoid a "fiscal cliff" of stark tax hikes and spending cuts. The US House of Representatives backed the bill by 257 votes to 167.

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McConnell: 'Fiscal cliff tax talks successful'

Top US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell has said that all talks with Vice President Joe Biden have been "successful" and an agreement has been reached on all tax issues.

He said that an agreement is "very close" and the Senate should pass the tax portions of the plan but that spending reduction talks will continue.

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