World News

    US Facing New Financial Deadlines

    The U.S. is facing crucial new financial deadlines in the coming weeks, needing to fund the government for the year starting in October and then increase the country's borrowing limit.

    The government said Monday that it will run out of borrowing authority in mid-October as it approaches its current $16.7 trillion debt ceiling. That would be about two weeks after Congress and the White House will have to agree on an annual spending plan for the fiscal year that begins October 1, although President Barack Obama and lawmakers could work toward a short-term agreement and push off final decisions until later in the year.

    If no accord is reached on the twin issues, the government could partially shut down and later not have enough money to pay its bills.

    Contentious political fights in Washington over taxes and spending have been a recurring theme during the four and a half years of Mr. Obama's presidency, essentially a debate over the size and role of the national government. The White House call for higher taxes on the wealthy has been adamantly opposed by Mr. Obama's Republican congressional opponents, who want steep spending cuts in domestic programs.

    The two sides have often negotiated till the last possible moments before reaching agreements to solve immediate funding issues. But Mr. Obama and congressional leaders have been unable to reach agreement on broader economic reforms, especially on tax law changes, spending on government pensions for older Americans and health care for the poor and retired workers.

    With the new deadlines approaching, the dean of the Hofstra University business school in New York, Patrick Socci, told VOA that Mr. Obama and his political opponents are likely to again reach a last-minute deal, but with neither side feeling like it won.



    "I think what happens here is when you have a myriad of issues, and I would even venture to say that immigration reform may even be thrown into the mix, that people will use different aspects of these issues as leverage for what they want in some of the other issues. I think they will come up with a deal, but it will be at the 11th hour, so that whatever deal is arranged, for sure, no one side will be completely happy."



    The leader of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, John Boehner, has called for a short-term spending agreement to keep the government running October 1, but he says any increase in the debt ceiling must be accompanied by further spending cuts to eventually trim the country's debt. Some Republicans have called for repealing Mr. Obama's signature health care law that takes full effect in October to save money, but Mr. Obama and Democratic lawmakers are opposed.

    White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that Mr. Obama would negotiate with Congress over the 2014 spending plan, but not on raising the debt ceiling.



    "Let me reiterate what our position is, and it is unequivocal. We will not negotiate with Republicans in Congress over Congress' responsibility to pay the bills that Congress has racked up. Period."



    Hofstra's Socci says whatever agreement might be reached will leave both Democrats and Republicans with campaign claims for next year's congressional elections and the next presidential contest in 2016.



    "Nothing has changed. There are no new political forces out there. And so it's just the same people digging in on their various sides, and so they'll somehow get by. No one will have enough power to score the knockout punch and to claim complete victory."

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora