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Obama agenda: Progress

USA Today: A late Thursday meeting between President Obama and congressional Republicans showed the first sign of progress towards ending the government shutdown and averting the first-ever U.S. default. … The Senate will vote Saturday on a key procedural motion to move forward with a one-year clean increase in the debt ceiling, but it is unclear if Reid has the 60 votes it will need to pass. Republican senators will meet with Obama Friday morning.”

NBC's Carrie Dann:: "The government shutdown isn’t over, but an end to the stubborn fiscal impasse could finally be in sight. House GOP and White House negotiators worked behind closed doors late Thursday to try to hammer out a deal that could potentially reopen the government in the coming days and delay an Oct. 17 deadline to raise the nation’s debt limit. The midnight-oil talks – held primarily at the staff level – were the most serious negotiations since government funding ran out on Oct. 1, leaving hundreds of thousands of federal workers furloughed and many more facing the possibility of delayed paychecks."

“President Barack Obama and House Republicans clashed in a meeting Thursday afternoon over how soon the government can be reopened, even as the GOP offered to lift the debt limit for six weeks, according to sources familiar with the session,” Politico writes. “House Republicans told Obama at the White House that they could reopen the federal government by early next week if the president and Senate Democrats agree to their debt-ceiling proposal. After the debt ceiling is lifted, a House GOP aide said they would seek some additional concessions in a government funding bill. Obama repeatedly pressed House Republicans to open the government, asking them what’s it going to take to’ end the shutdown, those sources said.”

Today, “President Obama and aides continue talks Friday with congressional Republicans about the partial government shutdown and the debt ceiling,” USA Today writes. “Obama and Vice President Biden meet in the late morning with the Senate Republican Caucus, as aides monitor events with the House GOP.”

“President Barack Obama’s willingness to hold budget negotiations with Republicans during a short-term debt ceiling extension could be the opening that ends the latest Washington stalemate. But it would be the kind of temporary patch that Obama has always railed against — the propensity for Washington to govern from crisis to short-term crisis,” AP writes.

“The U.S. government’s aggressive prosecution of leaks and efforts to control information are having a chilling effect on journalists and government whistle-blowers, according to a report released Thursday on U.S. press freedoms under the Obama administration,” the AP says. “The Committee to Protect Journalists conducted its first examination of U.S. press freedoms amid the Obama administration’s unprecedented number of prosecutions of government sources and seizures of journalists’ records. Usually the group focuses on advocating for press freedoms abroad.”

“Jihadi-led rebel fighters in Syria killed at least 190 civilians and abducted more than 200 during an offensive against pro-regime villages, committing a war crime, an international human rights group said Friday,” AP writes.

USA Today: “The world is looking at the federal government shutdown and sees ‘a democracy that's not working,’ former president Jimmy Carter said Thursday.”

Eleanor Holmes Norton is not happy with President Obama for blocking DC funding because he is against any piecemeal effort to fund the government. “I had to go to the source of the problem, and that’s the president,” Norton said. Roll Call: “When she rose to ask Obama to lift his veto threat, the president gave a five-minute answer that ‘demanded a response,’ she said. … [New York Democrat Jose] Serrano, who was in the front row of the White House meeting, joked, “I thought you were going to hit him or something. He is tall.”

Michael Kinsley says Obama should “just give in to Republicans.”