What we’re watching Saturday


Government shutdown continues

As the government shutdown enters its fifth day, the House passed a bill to ensure furloughed workers will get paid for days they don’t work.

According to the Associated Press, the White House backs the bill and the Senate is expected to agree on the measure as well.

Meanwhile, President Obama used his weekly Saturday morning address to criticize members of the Republican-led House of Representatives for what he called their choice to “shut down a government they don’t like over a health care law they don’t like.”

While the President implored GOP House leaders to end the impasse, a resolution seemed unlikely anytime soon.

From the AP:

“But the far right of the Republican Party won’t let Speaker John Boehner give that bill a yes-or-no vote,” Obama said in his Saturday radio and Internet address. “Take that vote. Stop this farce. End this shutdown now.”

There seemed little chance of that.

For one thing, flinching by either side on the shutdown might be seen as weakening one’s hand in an even more important fight looming just over the horizon as the combatants in Washington increasingly shifted their focus to a midmonth deadline for averting a first-ever default.

“This isn’t some damn game,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said as the White House and Democrats held to their position of agreeing to negotiate only after the government is reopened and the $16.7 trillion debt limit raised.

Republicans pointed to a quote in The Wall Street Journal from an anonymous White House official that “we are winning … It doesn’t really matter to us” how long the shutdown lasts.

Westgate Mall attackers named

A Kenyan military spokesman has confirmed the names of four extremists allegedly implicated in the assault on civilians at an upscale mall in Nairobi last month.

According to the AP, Major Emmanuel Chirchir said the attackers were Abu Baara al-Sudani, Omar Nabhan, Khattab al-Kene and Umayr.

It remains unclear the exact number of people involved in the assault, but footage released from the mall shows no more than four attackers, “calmly walking through a storeroom inside the complex, holding machine guns.”