US President Barack Obama
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US President Barack Obama hopeful of 'fiscal cliff' deal

US President Barack Obama says he is "modestly optimistic" that a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" is possible, after a last-ditch White House meeting.

Mr Obama said Senate leaders were working to craft a bill that could win approval in both chambers of Congress.

But if a compromise was not reached, the president said he would ask for a quick vote on preventing tax rises.

Ben Wright reports from Washington.

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