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US Senate Meets for Rare Sunday Session Amid Fiscal Impasse

The U.S. Senate has gathered for a rare Sunday session just days before a deadline to raise the country's debt ceiling, and nearly two weeks into a partial government shutdown.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said he and Republican leader Mitch McConnell held positive talks Saturday, but that the two sides still had a long way to go.

Reid criticized Senate Republicans who rejected a Democratic plan that would have raised the government's borrowing limit through next year. Republicans said they wanted any extension to include spending cuts.

The International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde told NBC'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."



On Saturday, the head of the World Bank (Jim Yong Kim) urged lawmakers to avert the crisis, warning "it could be a disastrous event for the developing world," and also greatly hurt developed countries.

President Barack Obama has warned that the economy could be hurt if Washington fails to pay its bills for the first time in history. The deadline to raise the debt ceiling is Thursday.

Democratic legislative leaders met with the president Saturday, searching for a way forward, but there was no apparent progress made toward a deal.



Meanwhile, the partial government shutdown entered its 13th day Sunday with no obvious end in sight as legislators continue to squabble.

However, officials at three of the most famous U.S. national parks - the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore - have announced they are reopening. The move comes after state governors agreed to provide the money needed to operate the parks.

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