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Chris Christie announces US presidential campaign

Mr Christie is not an especially popular choice for president amongst Republicans. Credit: Reuters

The Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, has entered the race for the US presidency.

Mr Christie announced his decision to supporters via a conference call before a political rally at his hometown high school in Livingston, New Jersey, NBC News reports.

His decision is likely to be an unpopular one with voters: An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released last week found that 55 percent of Republican primary voters said they could not see themselves supporting Christie.

Obama 'not resigned' to shutdown as deadline looms

US President Barack Obama has said he is "not at all resigned" to the prospect of government agencies shutting down for the first time in 17 years over a funding dispute.

US Representative Tim Griffin leads a Republican rally calling for the Senate to "play ball" and avert a shutdown Credit: REUTERS/Mike Theiler

The Senate has until midnight local time (5am UK time) to decide whether to accept a funding bill, and thereby prevent a temporary shutdown when the new fiscal year starts on Tuesday.

The bill - essentially a stopgap measure that would keep money flowing until mid-November - includes controversial amendments on healhcare added by the Republican-dominated House of Representatives.

Either the Senate can choose to accept it with amendments, or send a "clean" funding bill back to the House for further negotiation.

Both Democrats and Republicans have tried to pin blame on each other for a looming shutdown.


Republican House Leader: I do not support Senate bill

The Republican leader in the US House of Representatives Eric Cantor has said he does not support the bill passed by the Senate to avert steep tax rises and spending cuts.

He said he was concerned about a "lack of spending cuts in the bill" and that Republicans in the House are searching for a way forward.

Mr Cantor expressed his unhappiness with the measure to reporters as he left a closed-door meeting with fellow House Republicans.

Republican representatives to discuss 'fiscal cliff' bill

Republican members of the US House of Representatives will meet at 1pm local time (1800 GMT) to discuss "a path forward" in the debate over the "fiscal cliff," a senior aide said.

Earlier today, the Senate voted in favour of a bipartisan bill to avert steep tax rises and spending cuts.

The meeting could help Republicans leaders decide when to begin consideration of the White House-backed measure, and a vote could come as soon as later in the day.

US Senate candidate: Controversial rape comments were 'twisted'

Richard Mourdock, who is standing to represent Indiana in the Senate, said his words had been "twisted" Credit: REUTERS/Reuters Staff

The Republican candidate for the Senate in the state of Indiana has said that his comments about rape victims' right to abortion had been taken out of context.

Speaking at a debate last night, Richard Mourdock said that when women become pregnant as a result of rape “that’s something God intended.”

He clarified his remarks today saying he "absolutely abhors" violence against women, but that he doesn't believe rape constitutes grounds for an abortion because "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape ... it is something God intended to happen."

The Romney campaign has reiterated its support for Mourdock's candidacy but emphasised that Mitt Romney does not share his views on abortion.

A spokeswoman for the Obama campaign said the comments were indicative of the "extreme positions" espoused by "many Republicans who are running for office" including Mitt Romney.

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