Optimism growing on deal to avoid federal shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The endgame at hand, both Democratic and Republican congressional leaders expressed optimism Thursday at prospects for swift compromise to extend Social Security tax cuts, keep long-term jobless benefits flowing and avoid a threatened partial government shutdown at midnight Friday.Still another year-end bill, setting new rules for the handling of terror suspects in U.S. custody, won final congressional approval and headed to President Barack Obama's desk for his signature.\Right now

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