April 7th, 2011
05:55 PM ET

Shutdown: 800,000 federal workers in the dark

Charles Riley
CNNMoney.com Staff Reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - There are two kinds of federal workers right now: the essential and the non-essential. Most don't know which group they're in.

And none of them will be getting a paycheck if the government goes dark.

The budget stalemate between Congress and President Obama has raised the specter of a shutdown at the end of Friday.

If they don't reach a deal, the government will shift to performing only "essential operations."

It's likely that more than 1 million essential employees will be asked to come to work - and not be paid.

But workers deemed non-essential won't be allowed to come to work or work from home. They won't even be allowed to turn on their BlackBerries. The official estimate from the White House is that 800,000 workers would be asked to stay home.

Full story on CNNMoney.com

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Charles Riley
April 7th, 2011
05:51 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/7/11

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks as Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) listens as they make statements to members of the press April 7, 2011 at the White House in Washington, DC. Both Boehner and Reid had a meeting with President Obama earlier to discuss the budget. (Photo credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Update: Beat 360° Winners:

Joey Gardner
“Look. No one wants to get back to wasting tax payers money more than we do.”


Gina Miller, NJ
"Well, we came to an agreement and we are all going to Disneyland."

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360°
April 7th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Letters to the President: #808 'Shutdown? Who cares . . .'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: The White House continues to monitor the talks between top Dems and Repubs over the budget impasse. There haven’t been a lot of signs of movement, but thank goodness the president has my daily letter to read while he waits.

Dear Mr. President,

Have you been intrigued by the public response to the possibility of a government shutdown? Maybe you don’t have time for intrigue considering that Rome is burning and you are surrounded by fiddle players, but I have found it fascinating.

I am increasingly convinced that this is a political Rorschach test, and the reaction of voters tells us more about their general beliefs than their specific thoughts about this issue. Basically it seems to come down to this: Some people think it will be the end of life as we know it, and others think it will be like Columbus Day.

April 7th, 2011
01:45 PM ET

Gadhafi's son arranges CNN interview with Al-Obeidy

Nic Robertson

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) - It has been almost two weeks since Eman al-Obeidy burst into our hotel in Tripoli, desperate for the world to hear her story of rape and torture. We had been trying since then to interview her in person and were finally able to speak to her Wednesday, against the explicit wishes of the Libyan government.

"You should not be allowed to do this," government spokesman Musa Ibrahim told me.

The interview with al-Obeidy was facilitated by Gadhafi's son Saadi and was subject to a government review. We asked al-Obeidy if she would be willing to come to Saadi Gadhafi's office. She agreed and Gadhafi sent a car to pick her up.

She and Gadhafi met privately before our interview, the first time the two had met. Gadhafi appeared shocked afterward. He commented on her strong character and willingness to challenge him when they disagreed.

He and his press assistant sat in on the 30-minute CNN meeting. Some of the time, we were alone with her.

She came dressed in ornate black robes and with her head covered. She called herself an ordinary citizen, a good Muslim who is conservative in her social outlook. She spoke with clarity and exuded strength through the conversation, adamant about clearing her name she said Libyan state media had smeared.

"Everything they said about me is a lie," she said.

"I am well-educated unlike the way the Libyan TV portrayed me. I come from a good family, regardless of what they said, I am also not mentally challenged like they said. Just because I raised my voice and talked to the media they blamed me and questioned my sanity. Nonetheless, I want my rights, even without the media."

She spoke of her abduction, of how she was taken to one of the residences of Moammar Gadhafi's soldiers. They were drunk, she said. They tied her up, beat and raped her.

Her bruises had faded, but I could still the see the evidence of her agony around her wrists. She said in the height of her trauma, she took pictures with the camera on her mobile phone, lest people should not believe her later.

"People have blamed me for showing my body," she said. "I was depressed and there was no way to show people how I was tortured. I was brutally tortured to the point of them entering weapons inside me. They would also pour alcohol in my eyes."

She said the men who tortured her are still free, without punishment. Later Saadi Gadhafi told me: "The people responsible for raping her should face charges. She is a strong woman."

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • AC361°
April 7th, 2011
12:00 PM ET

Poll: Americans want compromise to avert government shutdown

Paul Steinhauser
CNN Deputy Political Director

Washington (CNN) – A majority of Americans want congressional lawmakers to seek compromise to avoid a government showdown, according to two new national polls.

But the surveys both indicated that there's a partisan divide, with Democrats and independent voters urging compromise while many Republicans are telling their lawmakers to stick to their guns, even if it leads to a shutdown of some government services and offices.

Fifty-eight percent of people questioned in a Gallup poll released Wednesday said they want the members of Congress who represent them to agree to a compromise budget plan, even if that means a budget they disagree with is passed, with one in three saying that their lawmakers should hold out for the plan they support, even if it leads to a government shutdown.

Recent surveys by the Pew Research Center, the Washington Post, CNN/Opinion Research Corporation and CBS had similar findings.

But most those polls, as well as the two new surveys, indicated a partisan divide.

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
April 7th, 2011
01:45 AM ET
April 7th, 2011
01:30 AM ET
April 7th, 2011
01:25 AM ET
April 7th, 2011
01:14 AM ET
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