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US scrambles to avoid shutdown

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US scrambles to avoid shutdown

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In Washington, Democrats and Republicans are scrambling for a deal on the US government’s spending before the current funding budget runs out at midnight.

The US president, Barack Obama, said: “We made some progress today. Those differences have been narrowed, and so once again the staff is going to be working tonight around the clock in order to see if we can finally close a deal.”

The deadlock appears to centre on Republican reluctance to fund family planning and environmental programmes. But both sides are keen to avoid the political fallout that would result from a failure to agree a budget for the next six months.