WASHINGTON (AP) — The $1.1 trillion spending bill on its way to President Barack Obama exposed fissures within both political parties in both houses, but passed in the end. The Senate gave final approval yesterday after a largely symbolic Republican bid to confront Obama's immigration policies. In addition to funding the government, the measure charts a new course for selected shaky pension plans covering more than 1 million retirees, including the possibility of benefit cuts.
BANJARNEGARA, Indonesia (AP) — Hopes faded today in central Indonesia for finding any of the 88 missing people alive after a landslide triggered by torrential rain. At least 20 bodies have been recovered and more than 100 houses were buried.
TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears to be headed for a strong majority in a parliamentary election today. It's viewed more as an acquiescence to the ruling party's growing power. Despite weakening popularity ratings, a recession and messy campaign finance scandals, Abe looks to carry the day thanks to Japan's tendency toward a one-party political system, voter apathy and a lack of viable alternatives.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani presented a defiant tone to insurgents in his country in a speech today condemning a wave of militant attacks. He declared Afghanistan "will never surrender." He called on all religious, political and social leaders to condemn the violence. At one point, he even shouted: "Enough! No more!" Ghani calls the violence "un-Islamic" and "inhuman."
BEIJING (AP) — China state media report the deaths of three kindergarten children in a northern Chinese where a classroom building collapsed. The state broadcaster China Central Television said one other child was injured at the private kindergarten and that police detained the person in charge of the facility while investigating the cause of the collapse.