The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC survey finds just 24% of Americans hold a positive opinion of Republicans–a record low for the modern party. Meanwhile, Barack Obama’s approval rating has bumped up slightly in the last month to 47%. Even worse for Republicans, Obama’s signature health care law –which triggered the shutdown in the first place–is now liked by a higher percentage of Americans than at any point this year. NBC News has more here.
Obama to Meet With Senate Republican Conference Today - Both sides described Obama’s evening session with House Republicans as a “good meeting” and said talks will continue.
“The president’s goal remains to ensure we pay the bills we’ve incurred, reopen the government and get back to the business of growing the economy,” the White House said in a statement.
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) left the session and returned to the Capitol without speaking to reporters. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the meeting was “clarifying,” even though it did not produce a resolution.
A similar huddle is slated for late Friday morning when Obama will host Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the Senate Republican Conference. McConnell and Biden have been largely on the sidelines the past few weeks despite having served as the closers for the past three large fiscal compromises. The Washington Post has more here.
Kerry Meets with Karzai in Kabul - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Afghanistan on Friday to advance negotiations with President Hamid Karzai on a bilateral security pact which have hit a wall over two issues that have become deal breakers for the Afghan government.
The United States says it wants the deal done by the end of October, while Karzai has declared it can wait until after presidential elections in April next year, further straining what has become a rocky relationship between the allies.
U.S. officials, speaking en route to Kabul, said Kerry's visit was not intended to close a deal on the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA).
"This is really about us building momentum for the negotiators and helping establish conditions for success of the negotiations going forward," a senior State Department official told reporters.
The deal will determine the presence of U.S. forces in Afghanistan after most are withdrawn in 2014 and a failure to reach an agreement could prompt Washington to pull out all forces, an outcome known as the "zero option". Reuters.com has more here.
Chemical Weapons Watchdog Wins Nobel Peace Prize - Urging the destruction of “an entire category” of unconventional weapons, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded its 2013 Peace Prize on Friday to a relatively modest and little-known United Nations-backed body that has drawn sudden attention with a mission to destroy Syria’s stocks of chemical arms under a deal brokered by Russia and the United States.
The award to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, usually known by its initials O.P.C.W., took some Nobel-watchers by surprise. In the days leading up to the award, much attention had focused on Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani student who risked her life to campaign for female education and whose name was circulating as the potential youngest ever recipient. The NY Times has more here.