An agreement to avert theÂ "fiscal cliff" of automatic tax increases and spending cuts appears to be "within sight," President Barack Obama said Monday.
The deal would prevent a tax increase for the overwhelming majority of Americans, extend the child tax and tuition credits for families as well as those for clean-energy companies and extend unemployment benefits for two million people, Obama said.
"There are still issues left to resolve, but we are hopeful Congress can get it done," Obama said.
Nevertheless, he did not sound hopeful a deal was imminent, saying he expected to remain at the White House for New Year's Eve while lawmakers used up every last second available to them.FULL STORY
[Update at 11:27 a.m.] Kim Kardashian formally announced the news herself in a post on her website Monday: "Itâ€™s true!!Â KanyeÂ and I areÂ expecting aÂ baby. We feel so blessed and lucky and wish that in addition toÂ both of our families,Â his mom and my dad could be here to celebrate this special time with us. Looking forward to great newÂ beginnings in 2013 and to starting a family. Happy New Year!!! Xo"
The Twitterverse exploded early this morning after everyoneâ€™s favorite bad boy rapper Kanye West announced that his girlfriend â€“ the famous-for-being-famous Kim Kardashian Â - was pregnant.
A spokesman for Kardashian then confirmed the news to CNN, but provided no other detail other than to say that West announced it at a show Sunday in Atlantic City in New Jersey.
The two have been dating for about eight months and have denied pregnancy rumors in the past.
Kardashian, for her part, is still legally married toÂ Kris Humphries Â - although she filed for divorce from the NBA player 72 days after tying the knot in October 2011.
Soon after this morning's announcement, Kardashian family members took to Twitter to share the news with the world.
Keeping secrets is hard with so many family members! Especially when you are so freaking excited!!!!! LOVE is everything!!!!
â€” KhloÃ©KardashianOdom (@KhloeKardashian) December 31, 2012
Been wanting to shout from the rooftops with joy and now I can! Another angel to welcome to our family. Overwhelmed with excitement!
â€” Kourtney Kardashian (@KourtneyKardash) December 31, 2012
Oh BABY BABY BABY!!
â€” Kris Jenner (@KrisJenner) December 31, 2012
Khloe and Kourtney are Kardashian's sisters, and Kris Jenner is the new grandma-to-be.
Within minutes, the hashtag #Kimye took off on Twitter - as did the inevitable ribbing.
Some poked fun at West's healthy ego, saying Kanye will name his baby "Kanye" - or perhaps "Babye."
Others alluded to West's infamous interruption of singer Taylor Swift's MTV Video Music Awards speech in 2009 when heÂ grabbed her microphone and let loose an outburst on behalf of singer Beyonce Knowles who had lost out in the Best Female Video category to Swift.
"Taylor, I'm really happy for you, and I'm gonna let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time," West said that night.
Judging from the tweets this morning, that incident is still fresh on many minds.
I donâ€™t mean to interrupt Kanyeâ€™s special announcement, but Beyonceâ€™s was much better.
â€” Steve (@FSUSteve) December 31, 2012
With only hours left Monday to avert what economists predict will be a one-two punch to the U.S. economy, Senate Democrats and Republicans were trying to negotiate a last-minute deal aimed at heading off a year-end combination of spending cuts and tax increases that could trigger a new recession.
The Senate was scheduled to reconvene at 11 a.m. ET, when Majority Leader Harry Reid said he hoped to have an announcement despite acknowledging Sunday that there was "still significant distance between the two sides."
The negotiations hit a stumbling block Sunday over a Republican demand that a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" include changes to Social Security benefits, even as the two sides appeared close to agreeing on who would be required to pay more taxes once the Bush-era tax cuts expire.FULL STORY