A man looks at an electronic board displaying the current Nikkei share average in Tokyo, Japan.
A man looks at an electronic board displaying the current Nikkei share average in Tokyo, Japan. - 
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Time is short to avoid the fiscal cliff. But politicians are working on a last-minute deal. House members will return to Washington for a rare Sunday session. Today, President Obama will sit down with top Congressional leaders.

But there's still a ways to go.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says his party won't be pressured into a bad deal. "Republicans aren't about to write a blank check -- or anything Senate democrats put forward -- just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff," he said.
On the other side of the aisle, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid says Republicans are the ones holding things up. "We can't negotiate with ourselves. Unless we get a sign off from the Republicans, we can't get anything done," Reid said.

While the drama unfolds here at home, it is important to look at how the fiscal cliff is affecting economies elsewhere in the world -- like Asia. Markets there did well today, but that isn't the whole story.

"If you just look at Asian markets and how shares have been performing, it looks like they don't seem too bothered by what's happening in the United States," says the BBC's Mariko Oi in Singapore. "But nevertheless, that's not to say that people aren't concerned about it."

What happens in the U.S., she adds, affects Asian economies quite significantly -- just remember the crisis of 2008.

Japan, in particular, has been doing well. Stocks there have been going up, thanks to the weakening yen, says Oi. In fact, the Nikkei has seen its best year since 2005.

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