10 Oct 2013

Obama demands immediate response to shutdown cutting off war dead benefits

10:30 am on 10 October 2013

The United States President Barack Obama has demanded immediate action after learning the government shutdown has cut off death benefits to relatives of soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

Spokesperson Jay Carney says Mr Obama was disturbed to find out the payments had stopped after budget funds for the Pentagon dried up and wants a solution found immediately.

Meanwhile, as Reuters reports, consumer advocates are warning the federal shutdown is hampering a government response to an outbreak of salmonella in raw chicken that has made nearly 300 people in 12 states ill.

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers have been sent home without pay, including staff at the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.