Barack Obama calls budget cuts 'dumb' and 'arbitrary'

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US President Barack Obama said cuts will hurt the US economy after political leaders failed to reach a budget deal during last-ditch talks at the White House.

Cuts worth $85bn (£56bn), originally passed in an effort to push Congress to strike a budget deal, are due to become law by the end of Friday.

Mr Obama said "Washington didn't make it easy at a time when businesses have finally began to get some traction".

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