Boehner: Fiscal cliff offer bad for economy
WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Speaker John Boehner says President Barack Obama’s proposal to avoid the fiscal cliff by boosting revenue by $1.6 trillion over the next decade would be a "crippling blow" to the economy and leave the nation’s debt problems unresolved.
He says bargaining between administration officials and congressional leaders has gone "almost nowhere."
Even so, the Ohio Republican said Friday that he wants to continue working with the president to avoid hundreds of billions in tax increases and spending cuts that will begin in January unless negotiators find a way to head them off.
In visits on Thursday to congressional leaders, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner presented the administration proposal. Besides tax boosts, it also called for fresh spending to help the jobless, and savings next year from benefit programs.
Blood diamonds restrictions eased
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The international body charged with monitoring and preventing the sale of blood diamonds is making it easier for Zimbabwe to export diamonds that are certified as "conflict-free."
Meeting in Washington, the members of the so-called "Kimberley Process" on Friday let lapse a requirement that mining at Zimbabwe’s notorious Marange diamond fields be monitored. Allegations of violence and worker mistreatment at Marange led the group to impose monitoring on operations at the field last year.