Let’s deal. House Republicans are ready to make a deal on raising the nation’s debt ceiling, at least temporarily. According to unnamed sources, House Speaker John Boehner plans to propose extending the debt ceiling for six-weeks. President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats have repeatedly said they would not negotiate with House Republicans on the budget while the government is still in partial shutdown and the nation remains at risk of defaulting on its debt. No word yet on whether the Senate will approve the short-term extension, although the president said during a news conference yesterday he would be willing to work with a deadline that made room for negotiations. Boehner is taking a delegation of 18 GOP leaders to the White House to meet with the president this afternoon.
Stock surge. News of the potential deal sent stocks soaring in late morning trading. The three major indices posted gains of about 1.5 percent each, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average packing on 200 points. The markets started to slide last week as the government shutdown dragged on and investors began to get nervous about the possibility of a default.
Moscow meeting. Four representatives from an organization that advocates for whistleblowers met with National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden in Moscow yesterday, presenting him with an award announced in July. Members of the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, an organization of former national security officials, praised Snowden for leaking documents that detailed the extensive electronic surveillance programs used by U.S. intelligence agencies. Snowden sought asylum in Russia after leaving his job as an NSA contractor in Hawaii and staying briefly in Hong Kong. The Obama administration wants him returned to the United States to face espionage charges. After meeting with Snowden, the activists told members of the Russian media he looked “great” and appeared “remarkably centered.” While still unwilling to reveal his client’s whereabouts, Snowden’s Russian lawyer said he continues to learn more about his temporary home by reading Russian literature, including Dr. Zhivago and works by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
Rape case court martials. Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Michael Miller has ordered court martials for two of the three midshipmen accused of sexually assaulting a female classmate last year. The third midshipman involved in the incident, which took place at an off-campus party, will not face a court martial. Midshipman Eric Graham is charged with abusive sexual content and making false official statements. Midshipman Joshua Tate, also charged with making false statements, is charged with aggravated sexual assault. Graham, Tate, and Midshipman Tra’ves Bush are all former members of the academy’s football team. The victim admits she drank heavily before and during the party and has few recollections of what happened that night. The men claim the victim consented to the encounter, saying the fact that she was drunk does not make them rapists.