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Counting the Cost

The great US trickle down

As the White House and Congress prepare to battle over the budget, we ask what a US debt crisis means for the world.

Last Modified: 28 Sep 2013 09:39
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The US is flirting with another politically-motivated debt crisis as the White House and Congress battle over the budget for the year beginning on October 1.

The White House has asked Congress to raise the $16.7tn debt ceiling. But Congress will not do that unless the White House agrees to spending cuts and a delay in Barack Obama's healthcare law. If they fail to agree, come October 17, the treasury will be down to its last $30bn, meaning that the US will be unable to pay its bills. That could result in the government and schools being shut down and social security payments stopped.

Of course, the country came close to an historic debt default in 2011. So, will Obama bypass Congress this time around? And, if the US cannot sort out its debt, what will that mean for the rest of the world?

Plus, it has been a busy week at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, with Iran's newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani, generating a lot of attention.

He arrived at the UN eager to find a way to end the crippling sanctions imposed on his country by the West. And with unemployment said to be at around 12.9 percent, oil revenues down by half and only 32 percent of the country's population economically active in 2012, it is clear why Tehran would not only want to avoid new sanctions but seek a way to remove those already in place.
 
So, can Iran convince the West that its nuclear programme is peaceful? How do sanctions work? And just what impact do they have on ordinary Iranians?

Finally, is there a beneficial side to climate change? For the fishermen in Canada's part of the Arctic, there may well be. Global warming and melting polar ice caps mean that new marine species are moving north. And, for some, that is translating into bigger catches than ever before. Scientists, however, are warning that the results could be disastrous.

Watch each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630.   Watch   more  Counting the Cost .

Follow Kamahl Santamaria  @KamahlAJE  and business editor Abid Ali @abidoliverali 

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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