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After months of wrangling, the California Assembly approved a new state budget Thursday, shortly after it won approval by a single vote in the Senate after late-night negotiations to win over a final Republican lawmaker. The budget is expected to receive the governor's signature. It includes spending cuts and tax increases designed to close a projected $42 billion deficit.

Sen. Roland Burris (D) of Illinois, whose selection to take President Obama's former Senate seat is wrapped in controversy, has had more contacts with ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich's staff than he disclosed on his most recent affidavit, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday.

Swiss banking giant UBS has agreed to pay $780 million in US fines, penalties, interest, and restitution for conspiring to help hide the assets of about 17,000 American clients, it was announced Wednesday. The practice kept the US government from taxing roughly $20 billion in total assets.


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