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Obama Calls on Congress to Stop 'Farce,' End Shutdown

President Barack Obama on Saturday called on the lower chamber of Congress to "stop this farce" and end the U.S. government shutdown by unconditionally approving a federal budget.

"Take that vote. Stop this farce. End this shutdown now," Obama said in his weekly radio and video address.

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Key Test for Brazil as it Readies Major Oil Auction

After almost six years of waiting, Brazil's energy giant Petrobras is readying a major auction this month of its deep-water "pre-salt" oil reserves, despite fears of excessive state meddling.

The October 21 Libra oil field auction in Rio de Janeiro -- which experts say could put 12 billion barrels of oil up for grabs -- has been highly anticipated as the start of the sell-off of the total deep-water reserves.

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Twitter's Evan Williams May be Worth $1B after IPO

The personal fortune of Twitter co-founder Evan Williams probably will take up 10 characters once the online communications company goes public.

Williams, who was Twitter's CEO for two years until Dick Costolo took over in 2010, owns a 12 percent stake that makes him the company's largest shareholder. If Twitter turns out to be worth at least $17.60 per share, the initial public offering will make Williams a billionaire at 41 years old.

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Shutdown Forces EU, U.S. to Cancel Trade Deal Talks

The second round of scheduled talks between top European Union and American officials to clinch the world's largest trade deal have been cancelled because of the U.S. government shutdown.

The discussions were meant to start on Monday but European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman had said Washington would be unable to send its delegation.

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Oil Prices Slip Further on U.S. Budget Stand-Off

Oil prices retreated in Asian trade Friday as traders grow increasingly concerned at the lack of a breakthrough in the U.S. budget stand-off that has closed parts of the government down.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in November, eased 15 cents to $103.16 in mid-morning trade while Brent North Sea crude for November dipped 28 cents to $108.72.

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U.S. Intensifies Effort to Shape Asia-Pacific Trade

U.S. efforts to shape far-reaching new trade rules for the Asia-Pacific are set to dominate a leaders' summit in Bali starting Monday, amid concerns they are too ambitious and risk adding to regional tensions.

U.S. President Barack Obama's administration is planning to use the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) gathering on the Indonesian resort island to try to secure a year-end agreement for a giant free-trade pact, which would include 12 diverse countries but significantly not China.

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Bank of Japan Holds off New Monetary Easing Measures

The Bank of Japan on Friday held off fresh monetary easing measures despite fears about the impact of a sales tax hike on the country's economic recovery and a Washington budget crisis that could see a U.S. default.

After a two-day policy meeting, BoJ officials issued an upbeat statement that said the economy was still "recovering moderately" while overseas economies were "heading toward a pick-up".

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Frozen by Shutdown, U.S. Warns of 'Catastrophic' Default

President Barack Obama demanded an end Thursday to a three-day government shutdown he decried as a reckless "farce," piling pressure on Republicans to climb down first on a budget impasse.

The U.S. Treasury meanwhile warned of "catastrophic" consequences if there is no deal within weeks to raise the country's debt ceiling, and the IMF's chief said navigating a way out of that next crisis was "mission critical."

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Obama Directly Attacks Republican Speaker over 'Reckless' Shutdown

President Barack Obama on Thursday directly attacked Republican Speaker John Boehner, saying he could end a "reckless" U.S. government shutdown in just five minutes.

"Take a vote, stop this farce and end this shutdown right now," Obama said during a fiery speech in the Washington DC suburbs.

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Qatar in Labor Rights Storm amid FIFA Talks

Claims that migrant workers are treated like slaves in 2022 World Cup host Qatar were center stage on Thursday as global football's governing body FIFA met behind closed doors.

Already scheduled to debate shifting the 2022 edition from the World Cup's traditional June and July slot in order to escape the stifling Gulf heat -- a plan which has angered European leagues that fear mid-season havoc -- FIFA found the spotlight shifting to alleged human rights abuses against the workers paving the pay for the tournament.

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