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Starbucks asks customers to sign petition

NEW YORK (AP) - Starbucks says it will ask customers and businesses to sign a petition calling for an end to the partial government shutdown that has forced hundreds of thousands of federal workers off the job.

The petition will will be available at all Starbucks 11,000 U.S. locations to sign beginning Friday.

It calls for reopening the government, paying debts on time and passing a long-term budget deal by the end of the year. In addition to Starbucks customers, the company is trying to get the CEOs of the nation's largest companies to sign.

While big brands generally steer clear of politics to avoid alienating customers, Starbucks and its outspoken CEO, Howard Schultz, in recent years have run toward the spotlight by trying to gain a voice in national political issues.