World News

Automatic US Budget Cuts to Begin Friday


U.S. lawmakers are at a standstill on avoiding $85 billion in automatic budget cuts that are to hit the federal government on Friday.

President Barack Obama plans to meet with congressional leaders Friday in their first face-to-face talks since his inauguration in January.

The White House says the talks are meant to be a "constructive discussion" on doing something about the automatic cuts.

The sequester cuts are the result of a failure among lawmakers and the White House to arrive at a compromise U.S. government budget.

Observers say the meeting will look past the cuts to the next looming fiscal crisis, a possible government shutdown at the end of March. The annual congressional process of passing agency spending bills collapsed entirely last year, and lawmakers must act by March 27 to prevent a partial government shutdown.

Feature Story

South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, center, enters a police van after his sentencing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, Oct. 21, 2014.

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

Special Reports