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By Richard Cowan and David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bipartisan budget deal announced in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, while modest in its spending cuts, would end nearly three years of partisan stand-offs between Democrats and Republicans that culminated in October with a partial government shutdown. Democratic Senator Patty Murray and Republican Representative Paul Ryan appeared before reporters to announce the $85 billion budget accord, which still must be approved by the full Senate and House of Representatives. "For far too long compromise has been considered a dirty word," Murray said, adding that the uncertainties created by three solid years of Washington bickering "was devastating to our economic recovery." Ryan, the Republican Party's 2012 failed vice presidential candidate who has his eye on either a 2016 presidential campaign or potentially a House leadership job, wasted no time in trying to blunt criticisms of the pact, especially from fellow conservatives. This agreement makes sure that we don't have a government shutdown scenario in January.
By Helen Murphy and Julia Symmes Cobb BOGOTA (Reuters) - Waving banners and chanting his name, thousands of supporters of Colombia's leftist Bogota mayor converged on the capital's central plaza on Tuesday to express outrage at his ouster and 15-year ban from holding political office. Protesters filled Plaza Bolivar in front of the presidential palace and mayor's office in a sign of solidarity with Gustavo Petro, the former guerrilla politician removed on Monday from Colombia's second-most powerful post. Petro, 53, claims his ouster is a politically motivated coup by the right-wing Inspector General Alejandro Ordonez and a sign that Marxist FARC rebels would not easily be incorporated into the political system if current peace talks are successful. Petro's 2011 election as Bogota mayor was seen as proof that politics was the way forward for rebel movements.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Shedding gridlock, key members of Congress reached a modest budget agreement Tuesday to restore about $63 billion in automatic spending cuts from programs ranging from parks to the Pentagon and eliminate the threat of another partial government shutdown early next year.