White House and Republicans strike an agreement on fiscal cliff – but midnight comes without a vote

White House and Republicans strike an agreement on fiscal cliff – but midnight comes with NO VOTE | UPDATED: 05:36 GMT, 1 January 2013 With just three hours to go before the start of 2013, the White House and congressional Republicans have struck a deal to avoid falling over the looming fiscal cliff, but 2013 came and went without a vote on the plan. There was no immediate confirmation from aides to the top Republicans in Congress, Sen Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner. The measure would extend Bush-era tax cuts for family incomes below $450,000 and briefly avert across-the-board spending cuts set to strike the Pentagon and domestic agencies this week, according to a Democratic aide.

White House and Republicans strike an agreement on fiscal cliff – but will it come to a vote before midnight?

We have a deal! White House and Republicans strike an agreement on fiscal cliff – but will it come to a vote before midnight | UPDATED: 03:53 GMT, 1 January 2013 With just three hours to go before the start of 2013, the White House and congressional Republicans have struck a deal to avoid falling over the looming fiscal cliff. These officials said a New Year's Eve vote in the Senate to ratify the deal was possible later in the evening, barring opposition from majority Democrats. There was no immediate confirmation from aides to the top Republicans in Congress, Sen Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner.

Australia"s sex, drugs and rock "n" roll boom! How a strong economy Down Under has led to ilicit sidelines

Australia's sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll boom! How a strong economy Down Under has led to illicit sidelines Average yearly wage in Australia has hit 47,000Heroin and ecstasy sell for eight times more than in Britain and the U.S.

Iran sacks first woman minister Marziyeh Vahid Dastjerdi after she dared to criticise health policies

Iran sacks first woman minister after she dared to criticise health policies Sacking linked to criticism of poor medicine budgetShe said luxury cars were bigger importation priority UPDATED: 18:06 GMT, 27 December 2012 Dastjerdi questioned whereabouts of dollars allocated for importing medicine The first woman minister in the 30-year history of Iran's Islamic republic has been sacked by its president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. No official reason has been given for the sacking of health minister Marziyeh Vahid Dastjerdi, but the dismissal is being linked to her criticism of the government for failing to budget fairly for the importation of vital medicines.

Soldiers hunt killer elephant in Nepal after it pulls elderly couple from bed and tramples them to death

Army hunts 'mad' killer elephant in Nepal: 'Wild beast' pulls couple from bed then tramples them to death Elephant kills four people in three months in NepalSoldiers told to find and kill it | UPDATED: 18:42 GMT, 17 December 2012 A killer elephant is being hunted by Nepalese soldiers today after it strayed into villages and killed four people in three months. The rogue wild elephant walked into a thatched house in Gardi village adjoining Chitwan National Park, 50 miles south of Kathmandu, pulled a couple in their 60s from their bed and trampled them to death, said Shiva Ram Gelal, assistant district administrator from Bharatpur, the nearest city. Nepal has about 300 elephants, including around 100 domesticated adults which take tourists on jungle rides in the country's many safari resorts.

"She would often go target shooting with her kids:" Nancy Lanza, mother of "murderer" Adam Lanza was "avid gun…

PICTURED: The mother of massacre gunman Adam Lanza who taught son how to shoot before he went on killing rampage Nancy Lanza, 52, was killed by her son, Adam Lanza, before he massacred 26 people and killed himself at Sandy Hook Elementary in ConnecticutNancy Lanza once showed off a 'high-end rifle' to family friend Dan Holmes and recalled 'she was proud of it… she loved her guns' The mother had five guns registered to her name, two of which Adam Lanza used to carry out the execution-style killingsA third gun belonging to Nancy Lanza was found in the back of the car that Adam Lanza drove to Sandy Hook Elementary Peers remember Adam Lanza as a quiet and extremely intelligent student who kept to himself and carried black briefcase to class Brother Ryan, 24, an accountant at Ernst and Young, said Adam had personality disorder Reporters broke the news of the massacre to Adam's father, Peter, who is divorced from the mother and lives in Stamford, Connecticut with new wife | UPDATED: 20:43 GMT, 15 December 2012 Adam Lanza, a troubled 20-year-old loner with a history of autistic behavior, is the monster behind a horrific shooting at a Connecticut elementary school Nancy Lanza took her son, Adam, to a shooting range and taught him how to use a firearm before he turned a gun on her and shot her dead, then executed more than two dozen terrified children and teachers at an elementary school.