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Week In The News: North Korea, Payroll Tax, Trouble In Iraq

A new leader in North Korea. Payroll tax gridlock and movement. A wave of bombings in the new Iraq. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio walks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011. Republicans in the House of Representatives are set to block a Senate proposal to extend a popular tax cut for working Americans for two months, setting up a showdown between Boehner and his own party in the Senate plus President Obama and the Democrats.(AP)

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio walks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011. Republicans in the House of Representatives are set to block a Senate proposal to extend a popular tax cut for working Americans for two months, setting up a showdown between Boehner and his own party in the Senate plus President Obama and the Democrats.(AP)

Holidays on ice for the GOP this week, slip-sliding on the payroll tax cut issue on Capitol Hill. Hoping to nail a tough triple axel. Democrats are cheered, but it will all be back in February. On the campaign trail, Newt bemoans negative ads, but they keep coming. Romney bumps up. So does Ron Paul.

In North Korea, the sudden death of a leader and the public mourning is in a class of its own. US troops are out of Iraq, and an ominous wave of bombings comes right behind.

This hour, On Point: our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

John Harwood, Chief Washington Correspondent, CNBC. Political writer for the New York Times.

Gail Chaddock, congressional correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Christian Science Monitor “House Speaker John Boehner agreed to let the Senate’s payroll-tax deal come to the floor for a vote, where it is expected to pass Friday. It was a rare win in a tough year for Democrats.”

USA Today “The apparently coordinated attacks struck days after the last American forces left Iraq and in the midst of a major government crisis between the country’s top Shiite and Sunni political leaders that has sent sectarian tensions soaring.”

Washington Post “KABUL — The U.S. military acknowledged Thursday that commanders in Afghanistan made serious mistakes during a cross-border raid last month in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed.”

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