Today’s Top World News from The Washington Post
-In Pakistan, new focus on rape after a string of deadly attacks on children- In a rural village in Pakistan’s eastern rice belt, two teenage sisters left for school one recent day on a muddy path far too narrow for cars. Within hours, they were dead, their bodies left facedown along a swampy canal after they were raped and shot multiple times, the medical examiner reported. By the next morning, their deaths were news across Pakistan, the latest in a grisly stream of sexual attacks on minors, reports Tim Craig.
-U.S., Afghanistan reach agreement on outline of post-2014 security deal- The United States and Afghanistan agreed Saturday on a draft deal that would keep some U.S. forces in Afghanistan past next year, but only if Afghan political and tribal leaders agree to a key U.S. demand that American troops not be subject to Afghan law, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the framework security agreement meets his demands regarding counterterrorism operations on Afghan soil and respects Afghan sovereignty. The U.S. demand to retain legal jurisdiction over all remaining U.S. forces will be put before a loya jirga, Karzai said. He plans to convene the Afghan tribal consultation body next month, reports Anne Gearan.
-Iran’s automakers stalled by sanctions- Iran has been making cars for more than half a century, becoming the top producer in the Middle East. The distinctive Paykan, first produced in 1967, remains an enduring source of national pride. Just two years ago, Iran was producing 1.65 million cars a year, with exports to Syria, Iraq and Venezuela. Even the “Happy Birthday” song that Iranians sing to one another was first commissioned by Paykan manufacturers to celebrate the car’s anniversary. But if the car industry’s rise has been stunning, so has been the crash, reports Jason Rezaian.
OTHER TOP NEWS
-Senate leaders’ talks on shutdown, debt limit stall as sides await market’s reaction- What started as a mad dash to strike a deal to lift the federal debt limit slowed to a crawl over the weekend as stalemated Senate leaders waited nervously to see whether financial markets would plunge Monday morning and drive the other side toward compromise. Republicans seemed to think they had more to lose. After talks broke down between President Obama and House leaders, GOP senators quickly cobbled together a plan to end the government shutdown — now entering its third week — and raise the $16.7 trillion debt limit. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) then asked Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) to elevate negotiations to the highest level, report Lori Montgomery and Rosalind S. Helderman.
-The Fix: Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell don’t get along. That’s a major hurdle to a fiscal deal- Here’s one of the worst kept secrets in Washington: The two men tasked with finding a solution to the government shutdown and the looming debt ceiling deadline over the next few days don’t like each other all that much. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) may well hold the fiscal future of the country in their hands right everyone involved in the shutdown/debt ceiling talks now acknowledges that the other attempts to craft a solution — including by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the White House — have fallen apart. But, for the same reason we were always skeptical that Boehner and President Obama would find a way to a deal — they don’t trust one another and have little to no relationship — there’s reason to be skeptical about whether Reid and McConnell can negotiate a compromise, report Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan.
-Some say bitter rift between McConnell and Reid could endanger a deal- When Washington is in crisis and every other option has fallen to pieces — whether on rescuing Wall Street, rewriting national security rules or agreeing on a budget — Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are usually the ones who put it all back together. But if the two wily 70-somethings who are trying to resolve the current crisis make a deal once again, they will do so despite an increasingly bitter and distant relationship that some say is so fraught with animosity that it endangers their talks, reports Paul Kane.
-Capital Business: As economic uncertainty looms, consumers and businesses save more money- Consumers and businesses in the Washington area are saving more money as economic uncertainty continues to loom over the region. Deposits at eight of the Washington area’s 10 largest banks rose in the past year, according to data released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. “All this shutdown talk — and of course the actual shutdown now — may have incentivized people, particularly government employees and contractors, to be a little bit more cautious and have more cash on hand,” said Bert Ely, principal of Ely & Co., a financial consulting firm in Alexandria, reports Abha Bhattarai.
-Debt-ceiling breach would push economy into free fall, without a government safety net- The Obama administration will have to decide whether to delay — or possibly suspend — tens of billions of dollars in Social Security checks, food stamps and unemployment benefits if negotiations to raise the federal debt ceiling are not resolved this week, experts say, one of the many difficult choices officials will have to make at a time when the government will essentially be running on fumes. The government will begin Monday with about $30 billion cash in the bank and a little more room to borrow as a result of extraordinary measures launched in the wake of the debt-ceiling crisis. By Thursday, administration officials say they will exhaust all borrowing authority and have only that cash on hand, report Zachary A. Goldfarb and Jim Tankersley.
-Wonkblog: The GOP’s latest poison pill- The National Review's Robert Costa reports that House Republicans are preparing a six-week debt-ceiling extension that includes the Vitter amendment (see here for more on that bit of health-care trolling), strengthened income verification under Obamacare, and Rep. James Lankford's 'Government Shutdown Prevention Act.' Lankford's bill is interesting. Here's the description from his congressional office: If Congress fails to approve a budget by the end of each fiscal year, the Government Shutdown Prevention Act would ensure that all operations remain running normally without any interruption of services by automatically triggering a continuing resolution (CR) or short-term, stop-gap spending device. The bill creates an automatic CR for any regular appropriations bill not completed before the end of the fiscal year. After the first 120 days, auto-CR funding would be reduced by one percentage point and would continue to be reduced by that margin every 90 days, reports Ezra Klein.