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Paulson pushes economic stimulus

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson pushed on Sunday for the Senate to back a $150 billion economic stimulus plan and to pass it quickly in order to have an impact on the slowing U.S. economy this year.

He also said Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd has “assured” Paulson he will look into reforming the mortgage industry, including reviewing the origination process, how loans are securitized, and the role of ratings agencies.

“The Senate shouldn’t slow down this deal,” Paulson said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

The White House and House leaders last week reached an agreement on a plan calling for nearly $150 billion in tax relief to juice economic growth this year. Paulson said Sunday that if Congress shoots down the bill, it would be sending a negative signal to markets and urged the Senate to keep the deal simple.


Soldiers deployed after gunmen kill 11

Guyana deployed hundreds of soldiers and police in villages near where rampaging gunmen killed 11 people, including five children, and authorities on Sunday launched a manhunt for the gang leader they blame for the slaughter.

Security forces with high-powered rifles searched the forests surrounding Lusignan for gang members following Saturday’s attack, in which gunmen stormed the coastal village apparently because their leader, Rondell Rawlins, was enraged by the abduction of his pregnant girlfriend.

In the neighboring village of Mon Repos, President Bharrat Jagdeo met with a thousand angry residents who demanded guns to form community policing groups to counter the government’s seeming inability to stem gang violence.

“It is better to die trying to protect the village in the streets than to die hiding beneath your bed,” said Sharmila Ramcharran, a mother of five.

SOLO, Indonesia

Thousands mourn as Suharto buried

Former Indonesian dictator Suharto, a U.S. Cold War ally whose military regime killed hundreds of thousands of left-wing opponents, was buried today at a state funeral with full military honors as tens of thousands mourned.

Suharto died Sunday of multiple organ failure after more than three weeks on life support at a Jakarta hospital.

As mourners watched a motorcade carry the former dictator’s body to the Suharto family mausoleum, many sobbed and called out the name of the man whose rule, though harsh, brought economic growth and stability to Indonesia.

Suharto loyalists, who run the courts, called for forgiveness and a clearing of his name. But survivors want those responsible for atrocities to be held accountable.

“I cannot understand why I have to forgive Suharto because he never admitted his mistakes,” said Putu Oka Sukanta, who spent a decade in prison because of his left-wing sympathies.


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