US

Members of the Afghan Loya Jirga attend a meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has told a gathering of elders that he supports signing a security deal with the United States if safety and security conditions are met. Karzai spoke as the 2,500-member national consultative council of Afghan elders known as the Loya Jirga started in Kabul on Thursday. The four-day meeting will discuss the bilateral security pact that defines the role of thousands of U.S. troops who will remain after the NATO combat mission ends in 2014.

Rahmat Gul/AP

Members of the Afghan Loya Jirga attend a meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai has told a gathering of elders that he supports signing a security deal with the US if safety and security conditions are met.

An Iranian woman holds an anti-US poster as she stands in front of a mural of the Statue of Liberty bearing the face of a skull on the wall of the former US embassy in Tehran on Monday, during a demonstration to mark the 34th anniversary of the 1979 US embassy takeover.

Behrouz Mehri/AFP

An Iranian woman holds an anti-US poster as she stands in front of a mural of the Statue of Liberty bearing the face of a skull on the wall of the former US embassy in Tehran on Monday, during a demonstration to mark the 34th anniversary of the 1979 US embassy takeover.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the difficulties plaguing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The Obama Administration claims the botched rollout was the result of contractors failing to live up to expectations   not bad management at HHS. As the public face of President Barack Obama's signature health care program, Sec. Sebelius has become the target for attacks over its botched rollout with Republicans, and even some Democrats, calling for her to resign.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

US health and human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the public face of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare programme, testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Capitol Hill, Washington. The Obama administration claims the botched rollout of the Act was the result of contractors failing to live up to expectations, not bad management at HHS.

The nieces of Palestinian prisoner Omar Massoud, held by Israel since 1993, look outside a window as his family members react after hearing news on his expected release, at his family's house in Gaza City...The nieces of Palestinian prisoner Omar Massoud (pictured on the wall), who has been held by Israel since 1993, look outside a window as his family members react after hearing news on his expected release, at his family's house in Gaza City October 29, 2013. Israelis say Massoud was convicted of killing an Israeli in 1993. Israel is to release 26 Palestinian prisoners in a second stage of a deal brokered by the United States in July that brought a resumption of peace talks. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Mohammed Salem/Reuters

The nieces of Palestinian prisoner Omar Massoud (pictured on the wall), held by Israel since 1993, look out after his family in Gaza City react to the news of his expected release. Israel says Massoud was convicted of killing an Israeli in 1993. Up to 26 Palestinian prisoners are set to be released as part of a deal brokered by the US in July that brought a resumption of peace talks. Read more

In early morning darkness, workers prepare heavy machinery for the day as rebuilding work continues on the beach area of Seaside Heights and Seaside Park, N.J., Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. A large Sandy-related fire on the boardwalk in September has slowed progress in the area.

Mel Evans/AP

In early morning darkness, workers prepare heavy machinery for the day as rebuilding work continues on the beach area of Seaside Heights and Seaside Park, New Jersey. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of hurricane Sandy.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, October 10, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee is hearing testimony from Secretary Lew on the nations debt limit.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Treasury secretary Jack Lew testifies at the Senate finance committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Washington, on Thursday. The committee is hearing testimony on the nation’s debt limit.

Matthew Giarmo of Alexandria, Virginia, who lost his contract job with the Department of Health and Human Services in 2012, holds up a sign seeking a job with a lower salary than he would normally ask on a street corner October 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. With his wife furloughed from her job at the Smithsonian Institution due to the U.S. government shutdown, Giarmo, who has a Ph.D. in social-personality psychology, said he had no choice but to stand on the street to find work.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Matthew Giarmo of Alexandria, Virginia, who lost his contract job with the Department of Health and Human Services in 2012, holds up a sign seeking a job with a lower salary than he would normally ask on a street corner in Washington, DC. With his wife furloughed from her job at the Smithsonian Institution due to the U.S. government shutdown, Giarmo, who has a Ph.D. in social-personality psychology, said he had no choice but to stand on the street to find work.

U.S. President Obama delivers remarks on the government funding impasse at a local small business in Maryland...U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the government funding impasse at M. Luis Construction, a local small business in Rockville, Maryland, near Washington, October 3, 2013. Obama travelled to the business to highlight the impacts that a government shutdown and default would have on the economy. The U.S. government shutdown entered its third day on Thursday with little sign of compromise between Republicans and Democrats and concerns grew about the economic consequences of a prolonged stalemate.     REUTERS/Jason Reed

Jason Reed/Reuters

President Barack Obama delivers a speech at M. Luis Construction, a local small business in Rockville, Maryland, near Washington. Mr Obama travelled to the company to highlight the impact that a US government shutdown and default would have on the economy. The shutdown entered its third day on Thursday with little sign of compromise between Republicans and Democrats.

The morning sun illuminates the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, as the government teeters on the brink of a partial shutdown at midnight unless Congress can reach an agreement on funding.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The morning sun illuminates the US Capitol building in Washington on Monday as the government teeters on the brink of a partial shutdown at midnight unless Congress can reach an agreement on funding.

An Iranian woman walks past a mural showing a gun painted with an interpretation of the American flag on the wall of the former US embassy in Tehran on September 25, 2013. Leaders from Iran and the United States have not met since the 1979 Islamic Revolution brought often open hostility to their contacts, particularly over Iran's contested nuclear program.

Atta Kenare/AFP

An Iranian woman walks past a mural showing a gun painted with an interpretation of the American flag on the wall of the former US embassy in Tehran on Wednesday. Leaders from Iran and the United States have not met since the 1979 Islamic Revolution brought often open hostility to their contacts, particularly over Iran’s contested nuclear program.