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US govt shuts down for second time

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US govt shuts down

Washington, Feb 9: The US federal government officially shut down on Friday for the second time in three weeks after a single senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, held up a vote on a far-reaching budget deal that would have staved it off.

Senators are still expected to vote in favour of the deal in a series of votes that will most likely begin around 1 a.m., reports The New York Times.

If the House approves the deal, the government would have reopened before the workday begins.

Angered at the huge spending increases at the centre of the deal, Paul, a Republican, delayed passage for hours with a demand to vote on an amendment that would keep in place strict caps on spending that the deal would raise.

“The reason I’m here tonight is to put people on the spot,” Paul said.

“I want people to feel uncomfortable. I want them to have to answer people at home who said, ‘How come you were against President Obama’s deficits and then how come you’re for Republican deficits?'”

The shutdown comes on the heels of a three-day closure brought about by Senate Democrats last month, The New York Times reported.

As midnight approached, Paul did not relent, bemoaning from the Senate floor what he saw as out-of-control government spending and repeatedly rebuffing attempts by his fellow senators to move ahead with a vote.

The text of the deal, stretching more than 600 pages, was released late Wednesday night, revealing provisions large and small that would go far beyond the basic budget numbers.

The accord would raise strict spending caps on domestic and military spending in this fiscal year and the next one by about $300 billion in total. It would also lift the federal debt limit until March 2019 and includes almost $90 billion in disaster relief in response to last year’s hurricanes and wildfires.

The deal had been expected to sail through the Senate, and the House had planned to vote on it later Thursday, until Paul took his stand.

In last month’s closure, the vast majority of Senate Democrats voted to block a bill that would have kept the government open, only to retreat a few days later and agree to end the closure.

IANS

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Protests over Putin’s plans to hike retirement age

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Russia protest over pension age

Moscow, Sep 22 (IANS) Members and supporters of Russia’s Communist Party took to the streets of the capital on Saturday to protest unpopular pension reforms planned by President Vladimir Putin.

Putin took measures to soften his proposed hike in retirement age in August by limiting the increase for women to 60 — up from 55 — instead of the initial suggestion of 63, Efe news reported.

But the change of plan has so far failed to quell protests against it. He stood by plans to raise men’s retirement age from 60 to 65.

Protesters held signs emblazoned with slogans such as “Putin Lies”. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov also spoke at the rally.

The changes have been given a preliminary green-light by the State Duma, Russia’s lower parliament, but have provoked widespread outrage. An opinion poll showed that about 90 per cent of Russians were against increasing the retirement age.

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Ready to boost anti-terror cooperation with Iran: Putin

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Vladimir Putin

Moscow, Sep 23 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, over a deadly terrorist attack and reaffirmed readiness to intensify counter-terror cooperation, the Kremlin said on Saturday.

“We are outraged by this bloody crime. Hopefully, everyone involved will be held liable,” Putin said in his telegram to Rouhani, which was published by the Kremlin, Xinhua news agency.

At least 24 people were killed in a terror attack in a military parade in the southern Iranian Ahvaz city on Saturday, official IRNA news agency reported.

This incident is another proof of the need for “uncompromising war on any manifestations of terrorism,” Putin said.

“I would like to confirm our readiness to further enhance cooperation with our Iranian partners in the fight against this evil,” he said.

The President offered condolences to the relatives and friends of those killed in the attack and wished a speedy recovery to those injured, according to the Kremlin.

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Watch Prince Harry stealing samosa at Meghan Markle’s event

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New Delhi, Sep 22: Prince Harry was caught on camera sneaking samosas from her wife’s Meghan Markle’s cookbook event. 

The Duke of Sussex had hosted an event at Kensington Palace to mark the launch her book “Together: Our Community Cookbook” on
Thursday and in the quirkiest way her husband was seen stealing Indian Snack ‘Samosas’.

The British television network, ITV shared a video on the @itvnews Twitter account on September 20.

In the video, Harry can be seen trying to hide the samosa as he caught red-handed. Later, he smiled and casually walked away checking his surroundings.

Meghan’s book features recipes from a group of women whose community was affected by the Grenfell Tower fire that claimed more than 70 lives.

As the video went viral, Twitterati’s just can’t stop laughing at the Royal Prince’s cheeky act.

WeForNews 

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