In the United States, President Barack Obama has signed an $858 billion tax bill he negotiated with Republicans, praising the new law as a boost for the middle class.
The package extends current tax cuts for two years, including tax rates for the wealthy that Obama had vowed to let expire.
The deal also includes a 13-month extension of jobless benefits.
The deal is widely seen as an example of the kind of bipartisan compromise Obama must engage in following this year's midterm elections.
compiled from agency reports