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Week In The News: Unions In Michigan, North Korea, Fiscal Cliff

A North Korean missile goes long range. Union defeat in Michigan. Will it be a fiscal cliff Christmas? Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

President Barack Obama walks out of Blair House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, before crossing Pennsylvania Avenue and returning to the White House after attending a holiday party for the National Security Council. (AP)

President Barack Obama walks out of Blair House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, before crossing Pennsylvania Avenue and returning to the White House after attending a holiday party for the National Security Council. (AP)President Barack Obama walks out of Blair House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, before crossing Pennsylvania Avenue and returning to the White House after attending a holiday party for the National Security Council. (AP)

Who’s serious about the fiscal cliff?  Who’s not?  There’s the debate in Washington this week as negotiations to avert big tax hikes and spending cuts appear to go… nowhere.  Stay tuned.  At the State Department, it will not be Secretary Susan Rice when Hillary Clinton steps down.  The president’s great ally has withdrawn.

Over the Pacific, North Korea successfully tests a long range rocket.  Michigan, cradle of American unions, goes ‘right to work.’  And the stars come out for Hurricane Sandy relief.

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

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jake Tapper, senior White House correspondent for ABC News. Author of “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor.”

Susan Davis, chief congressional correspondent for USA Today.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “The bleak appraisals — particularly from Russia, a steadfast strategic Syrian ally — amounted to a new level of pressure on the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, who has been resorting to increasingly desperate military measures, including the use of Scud ballistic missiles, to contain an armed insurgency that has encroached on the capital, Damascus.”

Politico “Biden’s new role is a product of President Barack Obama’s decision to streamline fiscal cliff negotiations between himself and House Speaker John Boehner, the two sides’ clear sticking points and Obama’s increased post-election political clout.”

The GuardianCIA agents tortured a German citizen, sodomising, shackling, and beating him, as Macedonian state police looked on, the European court of human rights said in a historic judgment released on Thursday.”

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