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    Obama to Meet with Congressional Leaders as Debt Deadline Threatens

    U.S. President Barack Obama has invited congressional leaders for talks as the United States moves closer to a default that could damage the world economy.

    Democrat and Republican leaders from both houses are to meet Monday with the president and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House, during the 14th day of a partial federal government shutdown.

    Lawmakers are trying to resolve a fight over government spending before the Thursday deadline for extending the country's borrowing authority. Failure could result in the United States exhausting its ability to pay its bills.

    Republicans want a small hike in the debt ceiling and more spending cuts, while Democrats want higher rise in the ceiling and a short-term spending bill to reopen the government.

    After weekend talks, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell say prospects are good for resolving the issues before Thursday.



    International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde told NBC-TV's Meet the Press Sunday that failing to increase the debt ceiling would mean "massive disruption the world over" and could increase the risk of another global recession.



    "You have to honor your signature, you have to give certainty to the rest of the world and you have to make sure that your own economy is consolidating that welcome economy that we have seen in the last few days, because it impacts the entire economy."



    Lawmakers are holding their meetings on the federal holiday known as Columbus Day, which marks the anniversary of the arrival of explorer Christopher Columbus to the Americas. In the past 20 years, both the House and Senate have only been in session on that date once, in 1998, while the Senate met one other time in 2004.

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    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
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    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
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    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

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