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GOP talks of limiting tax breaks to reach deficit deal

WASHINGTON — Republican members of a congressional panel seeking ways to cut the federal budget deficit indicated Monday that they might allow some additional tax revenue as part of a deal with Democrats.

The Republicans met Monday to consider a proposal that would raise additional revenue by limiting some income tax deductions that primarily benefit higher-income households.

Republicans cited the proposal as evidence that they were open to ideas that would raise revenue and thus help reduce the federal budget deficit, which has exceeded $1.2 trillion in each of the past three years.

Democrats, however, said the proposal was unlikely to lead to an agreement.

Under the proposal, Republicans would agree to limit certain itemized tax deductions in return for a permanent reduction in marginal tax rates. This would not just extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts but reduce the rates that apply to each additional dollar of a taxpayer’s income.

—Robert Pear, The New York Times

On eve of election, Liberia protests turn violent

MONROVIA, Liberia — Hundreds of protesters clashed with the police and U.N. peacekeepers in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, on Monday afternoon, leaving at least one person dead the day before a presidential runoff that the opposition has vowed to boycott.

Businesses shuttered and pedestrians fled the streets as U.S. armored vehicles roared down Tubman Boulevard, Monrovia’s main artery. A running battle developed outside the headquarters of the chief opposition party, pitting its supporters against peacekeepers and Liberian security forces, who fired tear gas and live rounds.

Claiming fraud in the first round of elections last month, the opposition candidate, Winston Tubman, has vowed not to take part in Tuesday’s runoff against President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in the midst of a heated re-election campaign.

Liberia’s justice minister, Christiana Tah, said the elections would go ahead Tuesday, as scheduled. She confirmed one person dead and three injured. But at the city’s Catholic Hospital, there were at least seven people injured from the clashes, five with gunshot wounds.

The presidential election is a crucial bellwether of the country’s recovery from civil war, and the campaign season has been one of both triumphs and pitfalls for Johnson Sirleaf.

—Simon Akam and Emily Schmall, The New York Times