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New Congress Sworn In Today; National News Briefs

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Out with the old, in with the new. A new 113th Congress will be sworn in today at noon with pomp, pageantry and politics. There are 12 newly elected senators — eight Democrats, three Republicans and one independent. The speaker of the Republican-controlled House also will be chosen.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers are expected to vote on aid for Superstorm Sandy victims tomorrow, after a vote was scrapped earlier this week by House Speaker John Boehner. Boehner was pressured to schedule the vote after some fellow Republicans blasted him, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Congressman Peter King. Tomorrow’s vote covers a portion of a $60 billion aid package.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The “fiscal cliff” compromise on taxes leaves a big part of the nation’s budget crisis still dangling. The deal put off dealing with the nearly $110 billion in automatic spending cuts set for this year that are set to sweep through all federal agencies after March 1. Around the same time, the government will lose its ability to borrow money to pay its debts, unless Congress acts.

MONROE, Conn. (AP) — Students attending Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., return to class today for the first time since a gunman killed 20 fellow students and 6 educators. They’ll be going to school in another building in the neighboring town of Monroe, and the schools superintendent says school officials are preparing for a “normal day.”

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — A 15-year-old is suing the Icelandic state for the right to legally use the name given to her by her mother. She was named Blaer, which means “light breeze” in Icelandic. But it’s not on a list of names approved by the government. Iceland and a handful of other countries have official rules about what a baby can be named.

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