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Obama to push tax policy

WASHINGTON, July 10 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama planned to push his tax cut message Tuesday in a trip to Iowa.

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Obama Monday replayed his message that Bush-era tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 -- 98 percent of taxpayers -- be extended but those for the wealthiest Americans, "like me," be allowed to lapse.

If Congress fails to act, all tax rate reductions enacted when George W. Bush was president would expire and would revert to rates in effect during Bill Clinton's administration.

Obama said "millions of American families" could see their taxes rise by as much as $2,200 a year beginning Jan. 1 if nothing happens.

"It would be a big blow to working families and a drag on the economy," Obama said.

To those who oppose ending the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, Obama said the country tried top-down economics and "it didn't work."

CNNMoney asked 15 economists to rank the proposed steps Congress could take to help spur on the recovery, and nine endorsed extending the Bush cuts.

There was some difference of opinion on whether all or just some of the cuts should survive. CNNMoney said five economists favored extension of all cuts, but four liked the idea of allowing breaks for upper-income taxpayers to expire.

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Former Israeli PM acquitted of corruption

JERUSALEM, July 10 (UPI) -- A Jerusalem court acquitted former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of corruption Tuesday but found him guilty of breach of trust.

In one of the most significant trials in Israeli history involving a former prime minister, Olmert was tried on charges of corruption stemming from his tenure as mayor of Jerusalem and minister of Trade and Industry.

Justice Moussia Arad spent an hour reading the executive summary of a 700-page ruling, Ynetnews.com said.

Olmert was accused of allegedly double-billing non-profit organizations for overseas flights and using the extra money to pay for private trips for himself and his family, receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from U.S. businessman Morris Talansky and granting illegal favors to Uri Messer, a former partner and longtime friend.

The three-judge panel acquitted Olmert on the first two sets of charges but found him guilty of breach of trust on the third.


Court-dissolved Egyptian Parliament meets

CAIRO, July 10 (UPI) -- Egyptian lawmakers Tuesday defied the court and military by having a meeting of the dissolved Parliament, observing an order by President Mohamed Morsi.

During the minutes-long session, lawmakers approved a proposal by Speaker Saad el-Katatni, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, to appeal to the Court of Cassation a ruling Morsi's effort to revive Parliament was contrary to the rule of law, The New York Times reported.

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In the battle of wills, the generals, with the court's backing, argued the new president must respect precedents and state institutions while Morsi called on the generals to respect results of the recent free elections, observers said.

The generals dissolved Parliament last month based on a court order, seizing lawmaking and executive authority.


Congolese warlord sentenced to 14 years

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, July 10 (UPI) -- Congolese war lord Thomas Lubanga was sentenced to 14 years in prison Tuesday by the International Criminal Court sitting in The Hague, Netherlands.

In March, Lubanga was found guilty of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 and using them in internal hostilities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the ICC said in a release.

In delivering the decision, Judge Adrian Fulford said the court considered the gravity of the crimes, the circumstances and the damage caused, particularly "the harm caused to the victims and their families, the nature of the unlawful behavior and the means employed to execute the crime; the degree of participation of the convicted person; the degree of intent; the circumstances of manner, time and location; and the age, education, social and economic condition of the convicted person."

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Body of alleged police shooter found

CLACTON-ON-SEA, England, July 10 (UPI) -- The body of the man suspected of fatally shooting an off-duty British police officer was found in a church cemetery in Writtle Tuesday, police said.

Peter Reeve's body was found with head wounds and a weapon nearby, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Police had been searching for Reeve after Constable Ian Dibell was shot and killed in the street in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex Monday.

Jim Barker-McCardle, Essex Police chief constable, said police were alerted to the body and its location by a citizen.

"I can confirm Peter Reeve, the man wanted for the murder of a serving police officer, was found dead, with a weapon in a Writtle churchyard and no shots were fired by the police," Barker-McCardle said during a briefing.

Reeve, 64, was "largely unknown" to the police before Monday and did not have a gun permit, police said.

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