VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
AMERICANS VOICE ANGER, FRUSTRATION IN STALEMATE
The regular book study group at the Rev. Tim Ahrens' church in middle America always ends with a prayer - most deeply personal, often about a family or friend's illness. But after one recent meeting, the members held hands in a circle and turned to something far different.
"All they wanted to pray about is the government ... and that cooler heads will prevail," says Ahrens, pastor of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Columbus, Ohio. "It speaks to the fact that this is deep in the hearts of the people. There's just a huge concern about the tenor of who we are and how we conduct the business of the country."
With the government shutdown in its second week and a possible default just days away, many Americans view this epic political clash with frustration, anger and a stoic, here-we-go-again acceptance: They don't like what they see, don't agree on who's to blame and aren't sure what would be the best solution. But they hope that someone - anyone - comes up with a way out of the mess.
"The bottom line is there's a logjam that's ideological and idiotic," says Ahrens. "What's happening is awful. What we see is an inability for people to work together and communicate. There's no excuse for that."
The red-blue divide has become deeper and more ominous in recent weeks as the two parties have bickered their way closer to possible economic disaster.
The White House and Democrats have opposed efforts to defund or delay the 3-year-old health care law, and President Barack Obama has vowed not to negotiate over increasing the federal borrowing authority, which would allow the U.S. to continue to pay its bills and avoid a potential government default.
On Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner proposed a six-week extension of the debt ceiling if the president agrees to negotiations on spending cuts. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Democrats won't talk until the government reopens.
FACEBOOK NO LONGER LETS USERS HIDE FROM SEARCH
NEW YORK (AP) -- Facebook is getting rid of a privacy feature that let users limit who can find them on the social network.
Facebook Inc. said Thursday that it is removing a setting that controls whether users could be found when people type their name into the website's search bar.
Facebook says only a single-digit percentage of the nearly 1.2 billion people on its network were using the setting.
The change comes as Facebook is building out its search feature, which people often use to find people they know - or want to know - on the site.
Facebook, which is based in Menlo Park, Calif., says users can protect their privacy by limiting the audience for each thing they post about themselves.
'DOWNTON ABBEY' PREVIEW SET TO AIR IN DECEMBER
NEW YORK (AP) -- PBS is setting the table for the "Downton Abbey" feast ahead with a preview special planned for broadcast in December.
PBS' "Masterpiece" says "Return to Downton Abbey" will air Dec. 1 with what's billed as "a tantalizing taste" of the upcoming season, which begins Jan. 5.
It also will look at the series' past three seasons.
Susan Sarandon serves as host for the special, a mix of behind-the-scenes footage, clips of favorite moments and interviews with cast members. Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter and Shirley MacLaine are among the stars who will appear in the special.
"Downton Abbey," the wildly popular drama about British class and culture a century ago, will move into the Roaring Twenties in the new season.
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