While we Philosophized

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Listed below are some of the headlines that made news this past week.

Following a weekend of accusations by both sides that the other was not serious about reaching a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, House Republicans on Monday offered President Barack Obama a counter-proposal to the Democrats’ plan, continuing to reject his call for higher tax rates on the wealthy. The proposal would result in $2.2 trillion in deficit savings over the next decade from spending cuts. -CNN

The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state – a move strongly opposed by Israel and the U.S. – BBC

Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi recently abrogated to himself unlimited authority. The Egyptian Judicial Courts have attempted to check Morsi’s power grab by threatening to disband the Egyptian Parliament, in which Morsi’s allies there seem to be gaining ascendancy in their effort to draft a new Egyptian Constitution in favor of the president’s broad executive powers. – AP

Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, are expecting their first child after 19 months of marriage, the palace announced Monday. – CNN

A federal appeals court last Wednesday granted a Catholic business owner an injunction against the Department of Health and Human Services mandate that he says violates his religious freedom by forcing him to provide insurance coverage for morally objectionable drugs and procedures. – Catholic News Agency

The House on Friday approved a Republican-sponsored measure, the STEM Jobs Act, by a margin of 245 to 139. The bill eliminates the Diversity Visa Program and reallocates up to 55,000 new green cards for foreign students who graduate from U.S. universities with advanced degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. – Fox News

Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto took office on Saturday, but corruption will likely be a constant challenge for Peña Nieto and his Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ruled Mexico for 71 years largely through graft before it lost the presidency in 2000. – Christian Science Monitor

In several appearances on Sunday talk shows, Secretary Geithner insisted that tax rates on the richest needed to go up in order to reach a deal on the budget and avoid the “fiscal cliff.” – Reuters

A new report has confirmed what some analysts have been warning about Windows 8: The latest version of Microsoft’s flagship product isn’t giving the PC market a much-needed lift. Windows-based devices have fallen 21 percent from the year-earlier period and sales of Windows 8-based tablets “have been almost nonexistent, with unit sales representing less than 1percent of all Windows 8 device sales to date,” the report says. – MarketWatch.com

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