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Activists perform a "Die In" to protest government shutdown and proposed cuts to Medicare, Social Security benefits, as well as child care, food, disability, and senior advocate programs outside of the federal building in San Francisco, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

U.S. government shutdown

The government reopened its doors Thursday, October 17th after a battle-weary Congress approved a bipartisan measure to end a 16-day partial shutdown and avert the possibility of an economy-jarring default on U.S. obligations.

Early Thursday, President Barack Obama signed the measure, which the House and Senate passed late Wednesday, ending a brawl with Republicans who tried to use the must-pass legislation to mount a last-ditch effort to derail the president's landmark health care law and demand concessions on the budget. (AP)