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Fiscal cliff deal at the 11th hour

THE US has avoided economic calamity after a budget deal was approved.

IT prevents $600m (€452m) worth of spending cuts and tax rises that would have pushed the country off a 'fiscal cliff' into recession.By a vote of 257 to 167, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved a bill that fulfils President Obama's re-election promise to raise taxes on top earners.

The Senate had passed the measure in a rare New Year's Day session and Mr Obama (right) said he will sign it into law shortly.

The vote was a reversal for House Republicans, who were in disarray despite winning deep cuts in budget fights.

However, the President faces more budget battles in the weeks and months to come.