America

Tax Deal Draws Fire; Obama Says It's Needed

Good morning.

Before dawn in the U.S. there was breaking news from London, as we reported earlier, about the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. He's wanted in Sweden for questioning about an alleged rape. Now, it's expected he'll fight extradition. Assange denies the accusation and says he's being persecuted because of his website's disclosure of U.S. government secrets.

There's other news to pass along as the day begins, of course, including these stories:

Morning Edition — "Obama, GOP Reach Tentative Deal On Tax Cuts": "Tax rates, even for America's wealthiest families, would remain unchanged next year under a tentative deal worked out between President Obama and congressional Republicans. In exchange for extending Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, Obama won Republican backing for additional unemployment benefits, as well as other tax breaks directed at the middle class." The president said he's not happy with some of the details, but that "the American people didn't send us here to wage symbolic battles or win symbolic victories":

President Obama

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President Obama

From a related story by The Wall Street Journal: "Other elements of the deal include a temporary reinstatement of the estate tax at 35% — the level favored by most Republican lawmakers. ... In reaching the deal, whose details still need to be worked out, Mr. Obama brushed past the demands of many in his own party to curb tax cuts for the wealthy. Some liberal lawmakers and activists were left seething, particularly over last-minute concessions to Republicans on the estate tax."

And a related headline from Politico: "Liberal Dems To Obama: Fight Harder."

The Wall Street Journal's Deal Journal blog — "Taxpayers' Profit On Citigroup? $9.4 Billion": "Many taxpayers can still taste the bile from the $45 billion government lifeline to Citigroup. But Linus Wilson, a finance professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette who has kept close tabs on the bank bailouts, estimates Uncle Sam will turn a profit of roughly $9.4 billion on its investment in Citi."

— From a related story by the Associated Press: "After all is said and done, taxpayers will make a $12 billion profit on the government's $45 billion bailout of Citigroup.

From a related story by Bloomberg News: "The sale raises the profit for taxpayers on the government’s stake to about $6.85 billion."

The News & Observer (of Raleigh, N.C.) — Friends, family gather as Elizabeth Edwards stops cancer treatment: "Elizabeth Edwards is facing her final fight against cancer. Doctors advised Edwards, 61, that further treatment would be futile, according to a statement from the family released Monday afternoon."

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