Speed Reading — Level 6 — 200 wpm

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After more than ten days of stalemate in the U.S., things have finally begun to start moving. President Barack Obama and the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, sat down for talks on Thursday about the impasse over the partial U.S. government shutdown and the looming debt crisis. Their discussions didn't lead to any certain outcome, but analysts are taking a positive note that talks are happening. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the talks were "very useful" and "clarifying". Hopes are that the two sides will agree on a temporary increase to the $16.7 trillion U.S. debt limit. Failure to do so by October 17 could have dire consequences for the global economy.

A Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll found 53 per cent of those surveyed blamed Republicans for the government shutdown, while 31 per cent blamed President Obama. Observers from other countries are having trouble understanding what is going on in U.S. politics. The Times of India wrote: "What is chilling is that US politicians are willing to engage in a game of brinkmanship that is tantamount to detonating a nuclear device over their economy." A UAE businessman commented that: "There is something fundamentally wrong with a system that leaves a country without direction, in stagnation, without a budget and potentially without the wherewithal to settle its debts."

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