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October 2, 2013

Obama cancels part of Asia trip to address shutdown

McALESTER — President Barack Obama canceled part of his trip to Asia next week to deal with the government shutdown but for now is still planning to attend the two world summits on his schedule, the White House said Wednesday morning.

Obama called the president of the Philippines and the prime minister of Malaysia on Tuesday night to tell them he is canceling his plans to visit their countries, officials said.

Instead of an eight-day trip, Obama will stay in the region only four days and attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Indonesia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Brunei.

The decision reflects a belief in the White House that the government shutdown is not likely to end quickly and may still be in effect on Saturday when Obama was scheduled to leave town. The halt in government function Tuesday meant that several White House staffers were furloughed, complicating the planning for departure and travel.

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