SHUTDOWN? Will the US government shut down tonight?

CNN

The U.S. Capitol looms in the background of a sign on the National Mall reminding visitors of the closures to all national parks due to the federal government shutdown in Washington October 3, 2013. The U.S. government shutdown prompted growing concern of wider economic consequences when it stretched into a third day on Thursday, and President Barack Obama challenged Republicans to “end this farce” by calling a straight vote on a spending bill.
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS HEALTH) – RTR3FK83

CNN Reports: If Congress fails to avert a government shutdown by its Friday deadline, the popular panda cameras at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington will be turned off, according to a statement from the Smithsonian Institution.

The Smithsonian’s lion and elephant cameras will also go dark, the statement read.

If a shutdown occurs, visitors will still be able to visit the National Zoo, as well as Smithsonian museums, over the weekend. But the zoo and the museums would be closed beginning Monday.

The panda cams, which live-stream on the zoo’s website 24/7, allow curious folk and panda enthusiasts to watch the three giant pandas — Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and Bei Bei — while they play, roam around, sleep and chomp on bamboo. The cameras also permit researchers to collect behavioral data on the pandas.

The Smithsonian statement noted that if the federal government shuts down, the zoo’s animals will still receive food and other care.

From CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi

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