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Pentagon officials said the U.S. Defense Department will put half its 800,000 civilian employees on unpaid leave next week and halt military activity not critical to national security if Congress fails to resolve a looming funding crisis. Some of America's leading CEOs are beating a familiar path to Washington to support efforts to avert a government shutdown and raise the U.S. borrowing limit, warning lawmakers that the threat of the first debt default in the country's history is damaging the economy. Since Hillshire Brands spun off from the Sara Lee last June, CEO Sean Connolly has made a point of thinking outside the box - and even beyond the traditional pig and cow. He has focused on energizing the brand, best known for Jimmy Dean sausages by trying to reach a broader and younger consumer base and get creative with poultry and even no-meat options. Confident that Spain is emerging from a prolonged recession, the government presented a budget for 2014 that was largely free of the unpopular austerity measures of recent years. The budget is based on a forecast that the Spanish economy will grow 0.7 percent next year while the GDP is expected to contract 1.3 percent this year.

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