World News Brief, Tuesday October 1

US government on verge of shutdown over healthcare reform; US won't cut force in Korea; Tony Abbott to meet with Indonesia's president over asylum seekers; Italian PM seeks vote of confidence; protesters take to streets in Sudan; and more

Top of the Agenda: U.S. Government on Brink of Shutdown

The U.S. government is on the brink of its first partial shutdown in seventeen years after a weekend of negotiations between the House and Senate over passing a clean budget ended in stalemate (Bloomberg). Republicans in the House, along with some Democrats, voted to delay the implementation of President Obama's landmark healthcare overhaul law for a year as a compromise to keep the government open, a position that was quickly rejected by Senate leaders (AP). Stock markets in Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, and South Korea declined over concerns about the shutdown (BBC).


"Mr. Obama also refuses to bend on any part of ObamaCare—except when he unilaterally announces bending in his own political interest. He decided on his own, and contrary to the plain text of the law, to delay for a year the business mandate to provide insurance for employees. He also unilaterally delayed verifying the income of Americans seeking subsidies," the Wall Street Journal writes in an editorial.

"Delaying the health law by a year, supported by all but two House Republicans, would prevent 11 million uninsured people from getting coverage in 2014 and raise premiums for those buying coverage in the individual insurance market. The real goal is not to delay but to destroy health reform by making it appear unworkable," the New York Times writes in an editorial.

"And so we have arrived at the bizarre juncture where it makes more sense for Mr. Obama to talk to the leader of Iran than to talk to Congress. Republicans will soon face the choice of climbing down from their demands or pressing the fiscal equivalent of the nuclear button. Either route will bring them defeat. Everyone must hope that they opt for the less glorious version this time," writes Edward Luce in the Financial Times.



Hagel Says U.S. Won't Cut Force in Korea

U.S. defense secretary Chuck Hagel toured the Korean demilitarized zone and said the United States didn't plan to reduce its 28,500-member force in South Korea (Reuters). "This is probably the only place in the world where we have always a risk of confrontation," he said.

AUSTRALIA: Prime Minister Tony Abbott will meet with Indonesia's president as tensions between the two countries mount over Abbott's tough policy on asylum seekers (SMH).


Italian PM seeks vote of confidence

Protesters take to streets in Sudan


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