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U.S. budget gap shrinks for fourth month running

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WASHINGTON — The United States notched up a fourth straight month of declining deficits in July compared with a year ago, according to official data released Wednesday.

The US government’s budget shortfall for the month was $129.4 billion, a decline of 22 percent from July 2010, the Treasury Department said.

The July gap was smaller than the average analyst forecast of $132 billion, but still marked the 34th consecutive month the US budget was mired in red.

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In the first 10 months of fiscal 2011 that began on October 1, the US deficit was $1.1 trillion, a decline of 6.0 percent from the same period in fiscal 2010.

Revenues in the year to date were 8.0 percent higher, while spending rose a more modest 2.4 percent.

The 2011 budget deficit appears on track to come in below the record $1.29 trillion shortfall set in fiscal 2010, mainly due to bigger-than-expected revenues.

On Friday, rating agency Standard & Poor’s took the unprecedented action of downgrading US credit from the top-notch AAA rating to AA-plus, citing a dangerously rising debt burden and the inability of battling politicians to forge a credible long-term deficit reduction plan.


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Rosh Hashanah services interrupted by death of the first Jewish woman on the Supreme Court

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The death of the first Jewish woman on the U.S. Supreme Court interrupted Rosh Hashanah services on Friday evening.

"On Friday, Jewish people around the country celebrating Rosh Hashanah were stunned to learn that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a prominent member of their own tribe, had died," the HuffPost reported. "People received alerts, Zoom messages and announcements from their rabbis about Ginsburg Friday night."

While many people were saddened by the passing of the iconic jurist, Twitter user Leora Horwitz noted a silver lining.

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2020 Election

‘Big mistake’: Trump’s favorite pollster tells Fox News why Republicans shouldn’t push nomination before the election

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Fox News on Friday examined why it would be a "big mistake" for Republicans to attempt to force through a nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

Following Ginsburg's death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) vowed that Trump's nominee would receive a vote, but did not specify whether it would occur before the election or during the "lame duck" session of Congress that occurs before the 2020 election victors are sworn in.

But conservative pollster Scott Rasmussen warned Republicans it would be a bad idea during an appearance with Fox News personality Laura Ingraham.

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LISTEN: Mourners sing ‘Amazing Grace’ outside the Supreme Court to celebrate Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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Heartwarming videos were shared on social media on Friday night showing the spontaneous gathering at the Supreme Court following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The large crowd, with many people wearing masks, sang the hymn "Amazing Grace."

Here are some of the videos of the scene:

A moving moments as dozens join in to sing “Amazing Grace” on the steps of the Supreme Court. pic.twitter.com/NGZyZi4YR4

— Mike Balsamo (@MikeBalsamo1) September 19, 2020

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