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Action being urged on 'economic events'

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg News) -- U.S. lawmakers must take steps to address $7 trillion in "economic events" next year or the economy may go into recession, the co-chairmen of President Obama's fiscal commission said Saturday on CNN.

Automatic tax changes and cutbacks to federal spending mandated by Congress as part of last year's agreement to raise the federal debt limit may affect as much as 2 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product next year, co-chairman Erskine Bowles said on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS."

"If we have a negative effect on 2 percent of GDP, we'll be right back in recession," Bowles said.

Without congressional action, inflation and higher interest rates will hurt the middle class, said former Rep. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and co-chairman of the committee. The Simpson-Bowles plan advocated a series of spending cuts and tax increases to balance the budget. It was never adopted.



CIA honors dead in espionage world

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The CIA is remembering those lost in the hidden, often dangerous world of espionage, adding a new star to the intelligence agency's memorial wall and more than a dozen names to its hallowed Book of Honor.

The new star carved into the wall is for Jeffrey Patneau, a young officer killed in a car crash in Yemen in September 2008. "Jeff proved that he had boundless talent, courage and innovativeness to offer to our country in its fight against terrorism," said CIA Director David Petraeus at a private ceremony at CIA headquarters this past week. Petraeus' tribute was the first public identification of Patneau.

With the addition of the star for Patneau, the wall now commemorates the lives of 103 Americans who died in service of the CIA, "never for acclaim, always for country," Petraeus said.



School bus driver held on drugs prior to trip

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- An alert police officer who boarded a bus full of recent Utah high school graduates headed to Disneyland averted what could have been a deadly road trip after arresting the driver for suspicion of being under the influence of drugs, authorities said Friday.

About 100 students from Canyon View High School in southern Utah had just graduated Thursday night and boarded the charter bus for their senior trip, Adams said. Parents and faculty members had asked police to bring a K-9 to the scene to check students' bags for drugs. The dog found suspected cocaine in driver Brandon Gillman's backpack.