The Obama administration’s $838 billion economic stimulus plan has survived a key vote in the Senate, putting a compromise version of the bill on track for passage today. With the help of Republican Sens. Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter, the Democrats locked in the votes needed to end debate on the bill. The final vote The final vote was 61 in favor, 36 opposed.
The bill is expected to survive a full vote in the Senate today, setting up a battle with the House as the two chambers try to iron out differences between their versions of the bill. CNN
FBI agents Monday raided The Peanut Corporation of America plant in Blakely, Georgia, suspected as the source of a nationwide salmonella outbreak. The company is accused of knowingly shipping tainted products now linked to nearly 600 illnesses, including eight deaths, in 43 states. The recent outbreak has led to one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history, encompassing more than 1,000 products. CNN
Authorities searching for answers to the carnage from the worst wildfires in Australia’s history said Tuesday they would rethink policies that allow residents to decide for themselves whether to evacuate their homes. Authorities defended their preparation and actions during the fires that swept unchecked across southeastern Australia last weekend, saying the weather conditions were so extreme that it was almost impossible to avoid some level of catastrophe. The official death toll currently stands at 181. An official said he expected the death toll to exceed 200. ABC News
Israelis voted on Tuesday in a tight election race, with right-wing opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu bidding to oust the centrist party of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. The short campaign was overshadowed by Israel’s January war with Palestinian militants in Gaza. The key issue facing voters is which leader can best assure the security of the state while chances of a peace deal seem remote. ABC News