WASHINGTON – World finance officials pledged on Saturday to deal with new risks to the global recovery while they kept up pressure on the United States to address the biggest threat of all – a market-rattling default on U.S. debt.
The International Monetary Fund’s policy committee said the United States needed to take “urgent action” to address the budget impasse that has blocked approval of legislation to increase the government’s borrowing limit before a fast-approaching Thursday deadline.
Across town from the global finance meetings Saturday, an effort at the Capitol to pass a one-year extension of the borrowing limit failed to get sufficient votes. But in a more hopeful sign, negotiations to end a partial government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling began between Democratic and Republican Senate leaders.
Global finance officials were nervously monitoring those talks during their three days of discussions, held around the annual meetings of the 188-nation IMF and its sister lending agency, the World Bank.
Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, said Saturday that he found it “unthinkable that an agreement won’t be found.”
Firefighters rescue woman dangling from upright bridge
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – A woman seen dangling from a Fort Lauderdale bridge was rescued Saturday by firefighters after she participated in a cancer walk earlier in the day.
The woman was walking across the New River railroad bridge when it began to open. Witnesses called 911 to report that the woman was dangling 22 feet above the tracks with the bridge in the upright position, city officials said.
“To tell you the truth, honestly I thought it was probably like a stunt or something, it was just that unbelievable. I really didn’t think she honestly was trapped up there at first,” Ashanicka Powell said.
Firefighters responded and helped rescue the woman using a 24-foot ladder. She was not injured.
The 55-year-old woman told authorities she had taken part in a breast cancer awareness walk. It was not clear why she was on the bridge since pedestrians are not allowed on it.