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From Capitol Hill to distant battlefields, a government shutdown would be felt by millions of Americans, most of all by 800,000 federal employees who won't be paid for as long as it lasts. We look at last minute efforts to stave it off. Also, the Democratic long shot claims victory in the Wisconsin judicial race, and China jails the architect of the Birds' Nest Stadium at the Beijing Olympics.

Banner image: House Speaker John Boehner (R) listens as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) makes a statement after meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House April 6, 2011. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

Making News Democratic Long Shot Claims Victory in Wisconsin Judicial Race 7 MIN, 27 SEC

In the presidential battle-ground state of Wisconsin, obscure Democrat Joanne Kloppenburg is claiming victory by 204 votes out of one and a half million over David Prosser, a veteran Republican on the State Supreme Court. The office is actually non-partisan, but it was politics that made the difference, and it's all about Republican Governor Scott Walker's new law restricting collective bargaining for state workers. Monica Davey is Chicago Bureau Chief for the New York Times.

Monica Davey, New York Times

Main Topic Democrats and Republicans on the Brink in Washington 36 MIN, 40 SEC

For the third time in three days, Congressional leaders went back to the White House early this afternoon to try to avoid a government shutdown starting at midnight tomorrow. Both sides agree it's not just about money, but also Republican demands to eliminate healthcare reform, Planned Parenthood, EPA regulations and NPR. They got their chance after Democrats lost the Congress without passing a budget for this year. After two stop-gap measures, there's still no deal. We update the last-minute negotiating and look at the so-called "non-essential" federal services that could stop at midnight tomorrow.

Jim O'Sullivan, National Journal
Michael Gerson, Washington Post
Chris Littleton, Littleton and Associates (@clittleton)
E.J. Dionne, Brookings Institution / Washington Post (@EJDionne)

Souled Out

E. J. Dionne

Reporter's Notebook China's Most Famous Artist Jailed for 'Economic Crimes' 6 MIN, 13 SEC

One of China's most distinguished artists and architects has been detained for investigation of "economic crimes," and other countries have been warned not to meddle in his case. After a news conference yesterday at China's Foreign Ministry, the official transcript deleted all questions and answers about Ai Weiwei.  The issue was why the designer of the Bird's Nest stadium for the Beijing Olympics was detained at the Beijing airport, still under detention, while police officers raided his art studio. Melissa Chiu is Director of the Asia Society Museum.

Melissa Chiu, Asia Society Museum

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