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UPDATE 1-Greek PM tells Germany making big efforts to reform

* Greek people making big sacrifices to overcome crisis, says PM * Germany's Merkel backs Samaras reforms * Merkel says EU must agree more reforms by June summit BERLIN, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Greece is making enormous efforts to get its economy back on track despite the pain this involves for its citizens, its prime minister Antonis Samaras said on Tuesday on a visit to Germany, chief champion of austerity in Europe.

ANALYSIS-'Fiscal cliff' deal sours U.S. tax reform outlook

* Hopes dim for 'grand bargain' on taxes, spending * Democrats want more revenue from tax code revamp * Republicans say "cliff" deal means tax debate over * Gridlock may mean corporate tax reform hopes dashed By Kim Dixon and Kevin Drawbaugh

Reuters People News Summary

Following is a summary of current people news briefs. Actor Depardieu denies leaving France for tax reasons

Reuters People News Summary

Following is a summary of current people news briefs. Actor Depardieu denies leaving France for tax reasons

Reuters World News Highlights at 0415 GMT, Jan 08

Jan 8 (Reuters) - TOP STORIES ----------- GUANGZHOU, China - Hundreds of supporters of one of China's most liberal newspapers demonstrated outside its headquarters on Monday, backing a strike by journalists against interference by the provincial propaganda chief. - - - -

REFILE-Israeli minister warms to choice of Hagel for Pentagon

* Former Republican senator's record on Iran worries Jewish state * Obama seen setting tone for relations with Netanyahu government By Dan Williams JERUSALEM, Jan 8 (Reuters) - A senior Israeli diplomat has given a positive view of Chuck Hagel's nomination as U.S. defense secretary, though some commentators in the Jewish state expressed worries that the choice could open a new fissure in bedrock ties with Washington.

UPDATE 1-Venezuela opposition furious over likely Chavez inauguration delay

* Chavez still recovering from cancer surgery in Cuba * President seen too ill to return for swearing-in * Government says he will take office when health allows By Brian Ellsworth CARACAS, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Venezuela's opposition has accused the government of violating the constitution by proposing to delay cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez's inauguration Thursday for a new term amid growing uncertainty over the polarized OPEC nation's political future.

UPDATE 1-Israel muted over Obama's Pentagon pick

* Hagel's record on Iran worries some supporters of Israel * Obama seen setting tone for relations with Netanyahu government By Dan Williams JERUSALEM, Jan 8 (Reuters) - The Israeli government kept clear on Tuesday of a brewing battle in Washington over U.S. President Barack Obama's choice for defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, whose record on Iran and Israel is under scrutiny.

ANALYSIS-Obama shows combativeness entering 2nd term but risks await

* Obama has shown toughness on Hagel, gun control, 'cliff' * "No more Mr. Nice Guy," former Obama aide says * Obama, Congress face another fiscal confrontation By Matt Spetalnick WASHINGTON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Just two weeks before his second inauguration, President Barack Obama is acting as if he believes he has a big mandate for his next term. The latest sign: his decision to defy a concerted campaign against his choice for defense secretary.

UPDATE 4-Obama picks Hagel for defense, Brennan for CIA

* Faces Senate battle on two fronts * Hagel faces questions on Israel, gays * Brennan's previous CIA tenure under scrutiny * Moves fill out reshuffled national security team By Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton
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