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Dec. 6, 2012 at 8:09 AM   |   Comments

GOP to Boehner: Stop fighting tax hikes

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Republicans urged U.S. House Speaker John Boehner stop fighting tax increases for the rich as President Barack Obama insisted rates rise for the top 2 percent.

The GOP lawmakers said they were willing to discuss raising rates on taxable income above $250,000 because they saw that concession as clearing the way for a broad deal that would also rein in the cost of Social Security and Medicare, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

"I and some others are advocating giving the president what he wants," Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, told the newspaper.

He stressed this concession must be part of a package that slows federal borrowing and reduces the debt $4 trillion to $5 trillion.

"Quite frankly, some people in this 2 percent who call me, they're more worried about the fiscal cliff than about the rates going up a couple points. That has bigger risk for them," said LaTourette, who is retiring in January.

LaTourette is a close ally of Boehner, a fellow Ohio Republican.


Tanks deployed at Morsi's palace

CAIRO, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Tanks and armored personnel carriers were deployed outside the presidential palace in Cairo Thursday, where violent clashes claimed at least five lives.

Facing the largest conflict since Hosni Mubarak's ouster, a tense calm prevailed in Cairo's streets after a night of violence between opponents and supporters of President Mohamed Morsi.

Five protesters were killed by gunfire, the state news agency MENA said. The Interior Ministry said some 3,000 security personnel were deployed around the presidential palace late Wednesday and fired tear gas at protesters to disperse them, Egyptian Independent said.

Four Morsi senior advisers, including the chief of the constitutional committee, resigned during the clashes, blaming Morsi for the bloodshed.

Morsi didn't immediately respond to the situation.


Clinton, Lavrov to discuss Syrian conflict

DUBLIN, Ireland, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Russian counterpart will discuss Syria amid reports of activity at chemical weapons sites, officials said.

The meeting between Clinton and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Thursday, hosted by the U.N.-Arab League special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, will occur in the sidelines of a meeting on European security, The New York Times reported.

"Secretary Clinton has accepted an invitation by U.N. Special Envoy Brahimi for a trilateral meeting on Syria this afternoon with Mr. Brahimi and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov," a senior State Department official said in a terse announcement Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, the German Cabinet agreed to send Patriot air defense missiles and troops to Turkey to help protect the NATO ally from possible Syrian attacks, Voice of America reported. The deployment also must be approved by the German Parliament, which is expected to endorse the measure.

The Netherlands and the United States also are expected to send Patriot missiles to Turkey.


Report: U.S. OKd arming Libyan rebels

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. officials secretly approved arm shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar but grew concerned when they learned militants got some of the arms, officials said.

While nothing has emerged that links the Qatari-provided weapons to the Sept. 11 attack that killed four Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, the Obama administration was worried about the consequences of its covert help in arming Libyan militants, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The United States provided little oversight for the arms shipments, and soon after the shipments began in the spring of 2011, the White House began receiving reports the arms were going to Islamic militant groups, a former Defense Department official told the Times.

The Obama administration never determined where all of the weapons went once they reached Libya, officials said.


Bodies may be 2 missing girls in Iowa

EVANSDALE, Iowa, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A hunter discovered two bodies in woods in Evansdale, Iowa, where two young girls vanished five months ago, police said.

Black Hawk County Sheriff's Capt. Rick Abben gave few details about the find, The Des Moines Register reported. He said the identities need to be confirmed.

But he said the families of Lyric Cook-Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins were told of the discovery.

"It's definitely not the outcome that we wanted, obviously," Abben said.

The cousins have not been seen since they went on a bicycle ride July 13. Their bikes were found near Meyers Lake, but an extensive search through the countryside and examination of car trunks and seats found no sign of them.


John McAfee detained in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- John McAfee, the software designer turned homicide suspect, says he fled to Guatemala, where he has been arrested, to escape persecution in Belize.

His attorney in Guatemala told ABC News McAfee, 67, was arrested by immigration police on charges of entering the country illegally.

McAfee before his arrest told ABC Guatemala is a place with "some sanity." He said Guatemalans believe him when he says police in Belize are trying to kill him.

"Instead of going, 'You're crazy,' they go, 'Yeah, of course they are,'" he said. "It's like, finally, I understand people who understand the system here."

Greg Faull, who moved to Guatemala from Florida, was found dead in his beachfront house in Belize shortly after McAfee's dogs were poisoned. Faull had led a neighborhood petition drive against the dogs, describing them as a dangerous nuisance.

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