Fresh warnings as US default deadline looms

Fresh warnings as US default deadline looms
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Despite a deal to reopen a number of iconic tourist sites, the US government remains closed with a default deadline looming.

The debt ceiling must be raised by Thursday.

With no breakthrough in the budget battle between Republicans and Democrats despite fresh talks, Arizona has used its own cash to reopen the Grand Canyon.

“This Arizona landmark attraction draws millions of visitors every year and I just refuse to let wrong-headed federal policy deprive tourists worldwide the opportunity to see this magnificent landscape,” said Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

But alarm bells are ringing. The World Bank fears a default could be devastating globally. In his weekly address, Barack Obama laid the blame for the impasse at the Republicans’ door.

Obama told Americans: “Our government is closed for the first time in 17 years. A political party is risking default for the first time since the 1700s. This is not normal. That is why we have to put a stop to it. Not only because it is dangerous but because it saps everyone’s faith in our extraordinary system of self-government. And that hurts us all.”

A row over the President’s healthcare reforms is at the centre of the crisis. If it continues, plane-maker Boeing says it may have to send some staff home without pay.

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