While we've been looking at the shutdown and hoping for something less than the worst, other news has been happening, specifically regarding Iran and its nuclear ambitions.
Foreign Policy magazine has the story:
On Wednesday, Iran and six world powers wrapped up two days of nuclear talks in Geneva on a surprisingly positive note. In a rare joint statement, the nations called the discussions "substantive and forward looking" and formalized the next round of negotiations in Geneva on Nov. 7-8. The United States and the European Union depicted the talks as "substantive," "very important," and "positive."
One senior Obama administration official beamed with excitement. "I've been doing this now for about two years, and I have never had such intense, detailed, straightforward, candid conversations with the Iranian delegation before," said the official. "I would say we really are beginning that type of negotiation where one could imagine that you could possible have an agreement."
Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, however. FP continues:
But back in Washington, the enthusiasm is not shared by Congressional hawks who immediately dismissed the talks and proposed a new round of sanctions against Tehran -- even though the administration had yet to reveal details about the progress of discussions.
"No one should be impressed by what Iran appears to have brought to the table in Geneva," said Sen. Marco Rubio in a statement attached to a new resolution calling for additional sanctions. Rubio added earlier: "Now is not the time to suspend sanctions, but to increase them on the Iranian regime."