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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday signed a nearly $8 billion stopgap budget, whose deadline was extended to Sept. 30 because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Murphy described the budget as “bare bones” during a news conference in Trenton. The three-month spending plan runs from Tuesday through Sept.

30, the new deadline Murphy and the Democrat-led Legislature enacted because of falling state revenues stemming from the outbreak.

The budget cuts $1.2 billion authorized earlier this year, and leaves out $850 million in new spending Murphy had sought earlier this year. Murphy said it amounts to a 5% across-the-board cut for non-salary operating costs, and a 10% cut in discretionary grants.

The budget includes a nearly $1 billion surplus through Sept. 30. That reflects an improved revenue forecast, compared with a recent revenue estimate from May. The better-than-expected revenue reflects higher sales tax revenues, which is the result of the state's reopening from the outbreak, according to the governor.

Lawmakers and Murphy now must enact a nine-month budget that will run from Oct. 1 through June 30, 2021.

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Philippine President Signs Anti-Terrorism Bill Into Law -Spokesman

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday signed into law a tough new anti-terrorism act, his spokesman said, pushing ahead with controversial legislation that critics fear will be used to target his opponents and stifle free speech.

The law grants police and military sweeping powers to tackle security threats, but legal experts had warned its overly broad articles could open the door to discriminatory enforcement, privacy infringements and suppression of peaceful dissent.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque confirmed the bill has been signed when asked by reporters on Friday.

The anti-terrorism act, which Duterte, 75, fast-tracked through both houses of Congress during the coronavirus outbreak, has been widely condemned by human rights groups. The United Nations' human rights chief earlier this week urged Duterte not to pass it in its current form.

(Reporting by Karen Lema; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Ed Davies)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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