BBC News with David Austin
The White House has denounced as an exercising futility the Republican’s proposal for avoiding the looming with fiscal cliff. A set of budgetary constraints due to kick in by the end of the year, which unless averted could tip the US economy back into recession. The Republicans want to limit any tax rises to those Americans earning more than $1m a year. President Obama is seeking a much lower threshold. Correspondents say the Republican proposal, which has been put to a vote in the House of Representatives, is almost guaranteed to die in the Senate and will be vetoed by Mr Obama if it didn’t. The Republican speaker in the US House of Representatives, John Boehner, urged the Senate to act.
“I am not convinced at all that when the bill passes the House today that it will die in the Senate. At some point, the Senate has to act. We have a bill sitting at the desk in the Senate that projects all Americans from an increase of taxes. They could take up that bill sitting at the desk, they could pass it, they could amend it and they could help move the process. But to date they’ve done nothing.”
The company that owns the New York Stock Exchange has been sold to a rival—the American firm Intercontinental Exchange for more than $8bn dollars. Our business reporter is Mark Gregory.
One of the symbols of American capitalism, the two-centuries-old New York Stock Exchange, is giving up its independence to a rival that’s only been in business 12 years. However, the new owner intends to make few changes in how the New York market operates. This is intended to smooth the path to approval for the deal by financial regulators. Exchanges are keen to merge as a way of cutting costs.
The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved the deployment of an African-led military force to northern Mali now under the control of Islamist militants and separatist rebels. The resolution authorizes the force to use all necessary measures to help Mali’s government recover the north from the rebels. But it first requires progress to be made on political reconciliation.
The United Nations says 55 Somalis and Ethiopians are feared dead after their boat capsized off the coast of Somalia. Tens of thousands of people from the Horn of Africa cross the gulf every year fleeing violence and economic hardship. Mary Harper has the details.
The United Nations says the over-crowded boat ran into trouble almost as soon as it left the port of Bossaso in north-eastern Somalia. It’s common for boats to capsize and migrants to drown in the stretch of sea between Somalia and Yemen. But it’s the scale of this accident that’s striking. The UN says this is the biggest loss of life in the Gulf of Aden since February last year when 57 Somali migrants drowned.
In Somalia itself, there have been fierce clashes in the port town of Kismayo, which in September was seized from the Islamist group al-Shabab by Kenyan and Somali forces. A number of people are said to have been killed.
World News from the BBC
President Putin has expressed support for retaliatory legislation against a US move to blacklist Russian officials suspected of human rights abuses. The controversial bill bans adoptions of Russian children by Americans, about 1,000 of which take place every year. Mr Putin described the bill as emotional but appropriate, although he did not commit to signing it until he’d seen the final version.
The Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said his organization will release a million more secret documents. He was speaking from a balcony at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he claimed asylum six months ago to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault.
“Next year we will be equally busy. Wikileaks has already over a million documents being prepared to be released, documents that affect every country in the world, every country in this world.”
Mr Assange said an investigation by the US authorities over the publication of secret documents posed a continued threat to his life and work.
A woman in the Canadian province of Ontario has gone to court to regain custody of her monkey after the animal was found on its own at an IKEA furniture store. Lee Carter has more.
Millions of people have viewed the video of Darwin, the young Japanese macaque running loose shortly after he apparently escaped from a locked vehicle in an IKEA car park. After being seized by city of Toronto animal control officials, he was moved to a primate sanctuary where he is reported to be settling in. It is illegal to have this kind of exotic pet in Toronto. But in court today the former owner Yasmin Nakhuda argued that the seizure was not legal because she claimed she was made to hand over ownership of the monkey under threats of criminal prosecution.
And that’s the BBC News.
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