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Obama starts urban policy outreach with daylong summit at White House

Washington (AP) — President Barack Obama has invited political leaders, city advocates and policy experts to the White House to help his administration start writing a national policy on urban areas.

Obama planned to speak to urban leaders about his team’s first steps during a daylong summit Monday.

Senior members of the administration from the Housing and Urban Development, Labor, and Transportation departments planned to participate.

Obama in February created a White House Office of Urban Affairs, which has mostly remained out of public sight. Now, former Bronx New York Borough President Adolfo Carrion plans to take a prominent role as the office’s director.

Carrion and others plan to travel across the country to meet with urban leaders and hear their ideas in coming weeks.

Deere, Indian company form joint venture to manufacture construction equipment

Moline, IL (AP) — Deere & Co., the world’s largest agricultural-equipment maker, reported Monday it has completed legal requirements to establish a farm equipment manufacturing joint venture in India.
Financial terms were not disclosed.

The agreement between the Moline, Ill., company’s Worldwide Construction & Forestry Division and Ashok Leyland Ltd., the flagship of the Hinduja Group, will be named Ashok Leyland John Deere Construction Equipment Co. Private Ltd.

It will initially manufacture backhoes, loaders and other equipment to be sold in India and for export. The joint venture plans to eventually provide a full line of construction equipment.

Ashok Leyland has a dealer network in India and is the second-largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in the country, Deere reported.

Last week, Deere reported it is working to expand its agricultural-equipment manufacturing operations in Russia by early 2010. President and Chief Operating Officer Samuel Allen, who will become CEO Aug. 1, made the announcement in a statement ahead of a Russia-U.S. business forum.

Deere already has a network of agricultural and forestry-product dealers in Russia and a manufacturing operation in Orenburg that provides seeding and tillage equipment. It is developing a center for operations, training and parts near Kaluga.

Recession, drop in revenue push federal budget deficit above $1 trillion for first time

Washington (AP) — Nine months into the fiscal year, the federal deficit has topped $1 trillion for the first time in history.

The imbalance is intensifying fears about higher interest rates and inflation, and already pressuring the value of the dollar.

The Treasury Department reported the deficit in June totaled $94.3 billion, pushing the total since the budget year started in October to nearly $1.1 trillion.

The deficit has been propelled by the huge sum the government has spent to combat the recession and financial crisis, combined with a sharp decline in tax revenues. Paying for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is also a major factor.

The country’s soaring deficits are making some foreign buyers of U.S. debt nervous, and this could make them reluctant lenders down the road.

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