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Top 4 Political Stories of the Day

Egypt increased pressure on the Muslim Brotherhood on Thursday, detaining dozens of its supporters on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organization the day after it was declared one by the government, security officials said. A bomb blast in a Cairo suburb wounded five people. This marks the second attack this week after a suicide bomber killed 16 people north of the capital on Tuesday. Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the overthrow of President Mohamed Mursi in July, said Egypt would be "steadfast" in the face of terrorism. President Barack Obama on Thursday signed the two-year U.S. budget agreement negotiated by Congress earlier this month. The bill was among seven pieces of legislation signed by Obama, who is vacationing with his family in Hawaii. The U.S. Senate passed a budget deal on December 18 that will ease automatic spending cuts and reduce the risk of a government shutdown. With the next budget deadline just weeks away, top lawmakers said this week that they had made significant progress negotiating a huge governmentwide spending bill that gives the once mighty congressional appropriations committees a chance to reassert control over the flow of federal dollars. While most members of Congress have scattered for the holidays, the panels’ bipartisan leadership and senior staff members have been assembling a $1 trillion measure that splits an extra $45 billion between military and domestic needs under the terms of the budget deal reached this month. Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom said African mediators trying to broker a peace deal in South Sudan after 12 days of fighting that has killed thousands, held constructive talks with President Salva Kiir. "The meeting with the president was very constructive and very candid," Adhanom, told reporters on Thursday. "The issues that we discussed were among others the cessation of hostilities, an immediate start of dialogue to settle the issue politically, the detainees who were suspects of the coup, and the fourth is the humanitarian crisis."

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