On Saturday, two Louisiana Walmart stores had their grocery shelves cleaned out by food-stamp recipients whose benefit cards briefly had their spending limits removed. Walmart may end up footing most of the bill because it chose not to implement emergency procedures that would have stopped all purchases at $50.
The government shutdown that began Monday night and is now in its fourth full day means that lots of official data collection, analysis and reporting that happens each month has now stopped. This includes the monthly jobs reports issued by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
At 8 a.m. EST Thursday, the National Hurricane Center issued hurricane and tropical storm watches for the northern Gulf Coast, as tropical storm Karen gains strength in the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico.
As of 12:01 a.m. EST on Tuesday, the federal government closed down. Congressional leaders in the House of Representatives and the Senate were unable to reach an agreement on a budget or a temporary fix, known as a continuing resolution, before the start of the new fiscal year on October 1.
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