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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, has tentatively signed off on the budget deal being negotiated with top Republicans by the White House.. moving Congress closer to taking up a measure that could pass both the House and Senate with bipartisan support and be signed by President Obama, averting a fiscal calamity.. A fragile compromise agreement, reached by a handful of senior negotiators during late-night talks at the White House, must now be returned to the turbulent US Congress for approval before it can be enacted..
Democrats warned that the scale of the concessions granted by the White House meant that some liberal Congressmen were likely to join colleagues on the conservative wing of the Republican Party in voting to block the deal, which must be passed before the federal government runs out of money at 11.59pm tomorrow night..
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the two sides were “really, really close” to a deal after months of partisan fighting..
A deal contemplated in talks that McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden were negotiating, the federal debt limit would rise in two stages by at least $2.2-trillion, enough to tide the Treasury over until after the 2012 elections..
Big cuts in government spending would be phased in over a decade..
Thousands of programs.. the Park Service.. Internal Revenue Service and Labor Department accounts among them.. could be trimmed to levels last seen years ago..
Without legislation in place by Tuesday, the Treasury will not be able to pay all its bills, raising the threat of a default that administration officials say could inflict catastrophic damage on the economy..
If approved, though, a compromise would presumably preserve America's sterling credit rating, reassure investors in financial markets across the globe and possibly reverse the losses that spread across Wall Street in recent days as the threat of a default grew..
Meanwhile.. Barack's top ally in the Senate has signed on to a long-delayed agreement to raise the government's borrowing cap and cut spending.. subject to approval by his fellow Senate Democrats..

Thailand's new parliament is to officially open on Monday, faced with the daunting challenge of bringing stability to the kingdom after five years of political turmoil..
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will preside over the opening ceremony in the capital Bangkok in late afternoon, the palace has said, allowing the 500-seat lower house chamber to set to work later in the week..
Within days, MPs are expected to vote in the country's first female prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra of the Puea Thai party, which on July 3 won a crushing electoral victory to take power from the pro-establishment Democrats..
Yingluck will take to the helm almost five years after her brother, the deeply divisive Thaksin Shinawatra, was ousted as premier in a military coup. He now lives abroad to escape a jail term for corruption..

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