How The World Sees The US Shutdown

PARIS – The United States woke up Tuesday to a rather expected, but nonetheless stunning government shutdown after Congress failed to agree on a new budget by the midnight deadline in a political standoff over Republican attempts to reverse President Obama's landmark health care reform.

The government is forced to put an end to non-essential services, an estimated 800,000 federal employees face unpaid leave beginning Tuesday, with no guarantee of back pay once the deadlock is over.

Goldman Sachs estimated that the U.S. could lose as much as 0.9% of its GDP this quarter if the shutdown lasted three weeks. This domestic political row from the world's largest economy and, er, temporarily lamest democracy are bound to have reverberations around the world.

British Prime Minister David Cameron told the BBC radio: "It is a risk to the world economy if the United States can't properly sort out its spending plans and its deficit reduction plans."

The shutdown is the leading story on many top global news outlets:

Commentators are chiming in:

- In French daily Le Figaro, Pierre-Yves Dugua writes: "The U.S. is being humiliated by the inability of its political system to carry out its primary mission: to pass a budget."

- In Germany's leading business daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Patrick Welter writes: "The failure to reach agreement casts a dark shadow on the next and more important forthcoming round in the fiscal row."

- Andrew Coyne of Canada's National Post adds: "Today’s crisis is driven not by the leadership or even the majority of the Republican party, but by an intense and disciplined minority, itself a product of the changes that have overtaken the country in recent years.

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Geopolitics

In Sudan, A Surprise About-Face Marks Death Of The Revolution

Ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was the face of the "stolen revolution". The fact that he accepted, out of the blue, to return at the same position, albeit on different footing, opens the door to the final legitimization of the coup.

Sudanese protesters demonstrating against the military regime in London on Nov. 20, 2021

Nesrine Malik

A little over a month ago, a military coup in Sudan ended a military-civilian partnership established after the 2019 revolution that removed President Omar al-Bashir after almost 30 years in power. The army arrested the Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and, along with several of his cabinet and other civil government officials, threw him in detention. In the weeks that followed, the Sudanese military and their partners in power, the Rapid Support Forces, moved quickly.

They reappointed a new government of “technocrats” (read “loyalists”), shut down internet services, and violently suppressed peaceful protests against the coup and its sabotaging of the 2019 revolution. During those weeks, Hamdok remained the symbol of the stolen revolution, betrayed by the military, detained illegally, unable to communicate with the people who demanded his return. In his figure, the moral authority of the counter-coup resided.

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