U.S. Senate approves bill to avert 'fiscal cliff'

WASHINGTON Tue Jan 1, 2013 1:56am EST

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WASHINGTON Jan 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Tuesday, two hours after a Dec. 31 deadline had lapsed, approved legislation aimed at averting the "fiscal cliff" by stopping most tax hikes and across-the-board spending cuts that were due to begin with the new year.

The House of Representatives still must approve the measure, possibly on Tuesday.

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