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CNN Radio News Day: January 3, 2013

CNN on January 03, 2013 21:22

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    Welcome to CNN Radio News Day.

    The 113th Congress was sworn-in today. The ceremonies included Harry Reid re-elected as Senate Majority Leader, and John Boehner given another term as Speaker of the House. The day also was filled with excitement for many freshman lawmakers. Dr. Ahmi Bera is one of the new kids on the Hill, representing California's 7th Congressional District. He says this day has special meaning:

    "My dad is out here, my mom's watching at home on television. They're immigrants from India who came here in the 1950's. So to watch their son get sworn into the House of Representatives one generation removed is really the story of America."

    A United Nations report out this week concluded more than 60,000 people have died in Syria during the country's civil war. Since it began nearly two years ago, CNN's Nick Payton Walsh and Nic Robertson have been reporting on the bloody conflict. In offering his assessment of where things stand, Walsh says it's unlikely the regime will be able to hang on:

    "There have been weeks of consistent bad news for the regime. It's beginning to nip around the capital, and I don't think any observer at this point thinks that the Assad government really has a chance in terms of retaining long-term power over the country."

    Gerard Depardieu has been granted Russian citizenship. The veteran French actor's threat to leave his home country is in response to President Francois Hollande's call for big tax hikes on the rich. Hollande's push to raise rates from 41% to 75% has been struck down by France's constitutional court. But CNN's Jim Bittermann in Paris says Hollande isn't done yet:

    "Hollande says he's going to restructure the tax bill and send it back to the National Assembly and get it passed he believes so he can increase taxes on the extremely rich."

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