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It was two hours after the midnight deadline but the US Senate finally approved legislation to avoid the “fiscal cliff”.

The overwhelming vote stops most of the tax hikes and across-the-board spending cuts that were due to begin with the new year. No effects will be felt as Tuesday is a US public holiday.

The eleventh-hour deal was negotiated by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Republicans. The measure now moves to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives which is expected to consider it later on Tuesday where analysts believe it could still face stiff challenges.

Without a deal around 600 billion dollars worth of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts will be triggered in the first days of the new year, threatening a new recession in the United States.

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