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Boehner abruptly breaks off debt talks

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By Andy Sullivan and Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – House Speaker John Boehner broke off talks with President Barack Obama on Friday on a deficit-reduction deal to prevent a devastating default and said he would try to hammer out an agreement through the Senate.

In a dramatic turn of events with the deadline to raise the U.S. debt ceiling just 11 days away, a stern-faced Obama expressed chagrin at the Republican leader’s move, saying it was “hard to understand why Speaker Boehner would walk away from this kind of deal.”

Boehner, in a letter to fellow lawmakers, said he and Obama failed to reach agreement on a deficit reduction package and that the two “had different visions for our country.”

A deep divide over tax revenue was at the heart of the impasse.

With the August 2 deadline fast approaching for Congress to increase the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, Boehner said he would begin talks with Senate leaders to “in an effort to find a path forward.” An aide said a deal needs to be set by Monday.

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“We have now run out of time,” Obama said, insisting he had made an “extraordinarily fair” offer to Boehner. The president said he was summoning Democratic and Republican leaders to the White House on Saturday in a last-ditch effort to find a path forward.

He warned that failure to reach a agreement to raise the debt limit would increase the chance of a harmful downgrade in America’s top-notch credit rating.

Mohamed El-Erian, co-chief investment officer at Pacific Investment Management Co., which oversees $1.2 trillion in assets, told Reuters: “If not reversed within the next few days through crisis negotiations, this breakdown will be highly detrimental to the already-fragile health of both the US and global economies.”

The rancorous breakdown in talks came after Obama earlier on Friday said he was prepared to make “tough choices” for a sweeping deficit-reduction deal to avert a default, despite Democrats warning him not to make too many concessions.

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The Democratic president at the time appealed for compromise by both parties as he and Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, pursued a plan for up to $3 trillion in spending cuts.

Obama had faced increasingly vocal complaints from his own Democrats on a deal-in-the-making that could mean painful curbs in popular health and retirement programs but no immediate increase in taxes.

Republicans have refused to accept a deal for raising the debt limit if it includes revenue increases.

(Additional reporting by Andy Sullivan, Thomas Ferraro, Donna Smith, Richard Cowan, Steve Holland, Alister Bull, Laura MacInnis and Rachelle Younglai; Writing by Matt Spetalnick and Kristin Roberts; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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Source: Reuters US Online Report Top News

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Melania Trump ripped for bragging about helping children while her husband runs concentration camps for kids

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Melania Trump was ripped on Monday for pushing her signature "Be Best" campaign against bullying while her husband, President Donald Trump, runs concentration camps for children along the southern border.

"Looking forward to collaborating with all of our #BeBest Ambassadors. Delighted to be working alongside so many people both inside and outside of government to better the lives of children everywhere!" Melania Trump tweeted Monday.

The response was some of the harshest since she wore an "I Don't Care" jacked to visit the border.

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Border Patrol blocking Americans from donating toothbrushes and diapers for detained children

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Donald Trump on the US-Mexico Border

On Sunday, Austin Savage and five of his friends huddled into an SUV and went to an El Paso Target, loading up on diapers, wipes, soaps and toys.

About $340 later, the group headed to a Border Patrol facility holding migrant children in nearby Clint with the goal of donating their goods. Savage said he and his friends had read an article from The New York Times detailing chaos, sickness and filth in the overcrowded facility, and they wanted to help.

But when they arrived, they found that the lobby was closed. The few Border Patrol agents — Savage said there were between eight and 10 of them — moving in and out of a parking facility ignored them.

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Michael Flynn’s legal team is making bizarre moves — signaling he’s still hoping for a Trump pardon

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When disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn recently hired a new firebrand lawyer, Sidney Powell, it suggested he could be maneuvering to change his legal strategy.

And on Monday, new signs emerged that his legal team is looking to shake things up. Flynn had another status hearing on Monday before Judge Emmet Sullivan as he awaits sentencing for charges brought by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

In the hearing on Monday, Powell, who had been publicly critical of the Russia investigation before joining Flynn’s team, requested a security clearance to review documents in the case. This was a surprising move, because the government said that there was no classified information in the documents it had turned over to the defense.

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