World News

    Obama: US Has Always Paid Its Bills

    President Barack Obama tried to reassure the world Tuesday that the United States has always paid its bills, as the country faces a deadline to raise the debt ceiling.

    Mr. Obama told journalists Tuesday that remarks from Congress indicating a debt default may not damage the world economic recovery make investors nervous. He called on Congress to hold a clean vote on raising the debt ceiling -- a vote with no other issues attached.

    Mr. Obama also appealed to Congress to pass a clean spending bill and reopen the government -- now in its second week of a shutdown.

    Republican House Speaker John Boehner said he is disappointed the president is refusing to negotiate on the debt limit or a spending bill. He said this is not the American system of government.

    Boehner said the debt limit has always been fair game for bargaining, and he said the United States cannot keep spending money it does not have.



    Mr. Obama said again he will not negotiate under threat.

    The president said the economic consequences of defaulting on the debt would be "dramatically worse" than the government shutdown. He said it would disrupt markets and undermine the world's confidence in the United States as the bedrock of the global economy.

    The U.S. Treasury expects to exhaust its remaining borrowing capacity under the current $16.7 trillion limit by October 17.

    The U.S. government shut down all but essential services on October 1 when Congress could not pass a funding bill. House Republicans insist on defunding the president's signature health care initiative. Hundreds of thousands of government workers are still furloughed and many important services remain unavailable.

    OPTIONAL SOUNDBITES:

    PRESIDENT OBAMA:
    "The point is I think not only the White House, but also Democrats in the Senate and Democrats in the House, have shown more than ample willingness to talk about any issues that the Republicans are concerned about. But we can not do it if the entire basis of the Republican strategy is, 'we're going to shut down the government or cause economic chaos if we don't get 100 percent of what we want.'"

    JOHN BOEHNER, REPUBLICAN, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE

    "So the president's position that 'Listen, we're not going to sit down and talk to you until you surrender' is just not sustainable. It's just not our system of government. When it comes to the debt limit, I agree with the president. We should pay our bills. I didn't come here to shut down the government. I certainly didn't come here to default on our debt."

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora