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Monday, September 30, 2013

Government Shut-Down Increasingly Likely

The Senate struck down the House Republicans’ inclusion of an amendment stripping funding from the Affordable Care Act. If House Republicans actually voted on the Senate’s version of the bill, it would pass due to the support of Democrats and moderate Republicans, and a government shutdown would be avoided.

Ignoring the evidence of the past six years, President Obama said, “There’s a pretty straightforward solution to this…it simply requires… everybody to act responsibly.

Instead, House Republicans inserted a ‘compromise’: they would pass the budget if implementing Obamacare was delayed for a year. If this were to happen, it would create “economic chaos,” but fortunately, it’s impossible – government shutdown or no, the act goes into effect Tuesday.

The threat of a shutdown has caused stocks to drop worldwide, with investors particularly worried that it could result on the U.S. defaulting on its debt when it reaches its borrowing limit in two weeks.

US Justice Department to Sue North Carolina

Invoking the remains of the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department will file a lawsuit today challenging four parts of the North Carolina’s new voter suppression law. Among other measures, the North Carolina law cuts early voting days, requires a photo ID to vote and ends same-day registration for early voters.

The DOJ will argue that this law demonstrates that North Carolina has a recent record of race-based voter suppression, which should make it subject to federal supervision through preclearance. While the law will inarguably make it more difficult to vote, the Justice Department will have to prove that the lawmakers specifically intended to suppress minority votes.

New Australian PM Visits Indonesia Amid Asylum Controversy

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott flew to Indonesia today to begin high-level talks with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono amid tensions surrounding Abbott’s asylum ‘policy,’ which includes turning boats of refugees around and escorting them back to the country they had been fleeing.

Earlier this week, Indonesia’s foreign minister, Marty Natalegawa, warned that such a move could infringe on his country’s sovereignty, but both Abbott and Yudhoyono stressed that the meeting would be focus on improving the countries’ economic ties.

On Friday, at least 36 would-be asylum seekers died when their boat capsized, and another 20 are missing. Survivors told journalists they had sent their GPS coordinates to Australian rescuers, but no one came to their aid.

The Past Three Days in Violence: From Armed Clashes to Massacres

The Sudanese government said it will not reverse its decision to nearly double fuel prices as protests against the government, which have left at least 50 dead, continue through their 8th day.

Tuareg separatists and Malian soldiers clashed in the northtoday, the latest incidence of violence since the separatists walked out of peace talks on Thursday, dealing a major blow to hopes of a durable peace in the short term. In the south, former rebel officers fired guns in the air to protest not getting promoted. Multiple suicide bombers targeted areas around Timbuktu this weekend.

A car bomb exploded in a Peshawar market, killing at least 40; this is the third bombing this week in northwestern Pakistan. Attackers have prevented humanitarian aid from reaching the victims of the two earthquakes that struck the region in the past week.

Suspected members of Boko Haram murdered at least 50 students while they slept in their dormitory at an agricultural college on Sunday.

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