Shutdown chokes Washington as stand-off deepens
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The first US government shutdown in nearly two decades put a choke hold on Washington on Tuesday, as the White House and Republicans dug in for an extended struggle with no way out in sight.
National monuments were barricaded, US war cemeteries in Europe closed, and hundreds of thousands of federal workers sent home without pay, after dawn revealed the wreckage of America's latest paralysing political crisis.
President Barack Obama accused conservatives in the House of Representatives of waging an "ideological crusade" by making government funding conditional on gutting his health reform law.
His top foe, House Speaker John Boehner meanwhile claimed Mr Obama was pursuing a "scorched earth" policy by refusing to negotiate with Republicans, as the rhetoric hit new heights and hopes for a swift end to the standoff faded.