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MID-DAY UPDATE: Obama’s budget cuts, protests in Bahrain, and billable hours

Katharine Crnko Feb 14, 2011

President Obama has released his budget proposal for the 2012 federal spending plan. A growing national deficit has prompted the White House to propose $1.1 trillion in budget cuts. Obama has even announced potential cuts to programs that promote energy innovation. But republicans already say the proposal doesn’t cut enough, and additional measures are needed to reduce the deficit. Julia Coronado, chief economist at the investment bank BNP Paribas, says there’s a lot of talk about deficit reduction, “but there’s not a lot of meat on those bones.”

Economic, political and social discontent continues to sweep the Middle East. Protesters in Bahrain have taken to the streets. As Stephen Beard reports from Amman, Jordan, the protests in Bahrain are different from those in Egypt — in Bahrain the protests are more political than economic. The protesters belong to a different Islamic sect than the ruling elite, and they are protesting for fairer representation.

Finally — has the clock struck midnight on the billable hour? The American Bar Association just finished a conference in Atlanta where lawyers discussed the question “Should clients continue to pay hourly wages, or is a new system of value-based billing on the horizon?” Jeremy Hobson spoke with the president of the American Bar Association, Steve Zack, to see if the clock has run out on hourly-billing.

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