NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks have opened the trading day with a steep plunge, as the U.S. government's partial shutdown continues into a second week with no signs of a budget agreement. After plunging nearly 150 points in the early going, the Dow was down about 75 after the first hour of trading, while the broader indexes are also lower. Banks and health care companies are leading the declines, while all 10 industry sectors in the S&P 500 index were lower.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) is ruling out any measure to raise the government's debt limit without concessions from President Barack Obama. A stalemate over a temporary funding measure already has the government partially shut down. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has warned that the government will run out of bookkeeping maneuvers ten days from now but says President Barack Obama has no intention of linking the issue to Republican demands for changes in the 3-year-old health care law.
BEIJING (AP) -- The U.S.'s biggest foreign creditor is urging Washington to make all efforts to avoid a default. China says it's concerned that the budget deadlock will also lead to a failure to raise the debt ceiling. A top finance ministry official says as the world's biggest economy and holder of the global reserve currency, the U.S. has a responsibility to ensure world economic stability.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tobacco companies have lost a significant battle in their efforts to defend against lawsuits. The U.S. Supreme Court says it will not hear an appeal of a Florida lawsuit that made it easier for sick smokers and their survivors to sue. The state courts said tobacco companies knowingly sold dangerous products and hid the hazards of cigarette smoking, and ruled that individual smokers can file their own suits without proving those factors again in their cases.
PARIS (AP) -- The World Wildlife Fund is trying to block proposed oil exploration in Africa's oldest national park. Last year Congo's government authorized a British-based company to explore in the Virunga National Park region, saying that economic interests take precedence over environmental considerations. The WWF says the plan violates international guidelines on sustainable development and public disclosure. Some 200 gorillas live in the park, which is a World Heritage site listed by UNESCO as being "in danger."
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