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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama presided Monday over the first meeting of his new-look Cabinet in a sobering climate of forced fiscal belt-tightening, urging humane management of spending cuts for communities and families that are “going to be hurting.”

Obama said he’s continuing to seek out Republican partners to reach a deal to end the so-called “sequester,” but there was no sign that a breakthrough was in the works to reverse the $85 billion in budget reductions that went into effect Friday.

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