Your Thursday Briefing: U.S. Raises Interest Rates
Fed raises interest rates amid uncertainty
US Federal Reserve raise interest rates by a quarter point as officials try to balance the risk of high inflation with the risk of chaos in the banking system.
The decision is one of the most closely watched in years, and conflicting forces has left investors and economists guessing what central banks will do. The Fed raised interest rates to a range of 4.75 to 5% – in line with last month’s scale increase – and the central bank is expected to raise rates one more time in 2023 to 5.1%.
Jerome Powell, the Fed chair, said that officials were “considering” a rate pause because of banking problems but noted that economic data was very good. He added that the US banking system is “sane and resilient.”
He also called Silicon Valley Bank, which collapsed earlier this month, an “exception”, trying to treat its problems as unique. He said that was no reason to panic about the banking system, even as he acknowledged the need for Better supervision and regulation.
Background: This is the ninth rate hike in a year. The Fed was quick to raise interest rates as of March 2022making it more expensive to borrow money in the hope of cooling down inflation.
market: Wall Street Stocks reduce as investors balked at the Fed’s decision.
Waiting for Trump’s indictment
Americans are waiting for news of a possible indictment of Donald Trump, which could arrive as early as today. Criminal charges against the former president have been anticipated since at least Saturday, when Trump, without his direct knowledge, announced that he would be arrested on Tuesday.
The The grand jury in the case against Trump didn’t meet yesterday as expected, and it can still be heard from another witness before being asked to vote on an indictment. Prosecutors have signaled that criminal charges against capable former president.
The possibility that Trump, who is running for re-election, could face criminal charges is huge. No sitting or former US president has ever been indicted. In this case, which hinge on an untested legal theoryMerely one of the criminal investigations he faces.
Case details: The charges most likely focus on how Trump processing reimbursement of an attorney for a gag payment $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign.
While gag money is not inherently illegal, prosecutors could argue that the payment was a federal crime because it was made by falsifying business records. It could also be considered an inappropriate donation to the Trump campaign – a violation of election law.
Trump’s reaction: Trump has called the investigation a “witch hunt” against him. People who have spent time with Trump in recent days say that he often seems significantly disconnected from the severity of his potential legal woes.
What’s next: The timing of any potential indictment is unknown, and arrests will not be immediate. If Trump is found guilty of the felony, he will face a maximum sentence of four years, but jail time will not be required.
The summit demonstrated that Mr. Xi remains focused on forging ties with Moscow to counter what he sees as a longstanding US “containment” effort to stem China’s rise. . Leaders give their vision to the world in a joint statement that addresses a variety of topics, including Taiwan and climate change — and often depicts the United States as an obstacle to a better, more just world.
They also agree an extended role for China’s currency, the renminbi, a step that would tie the Russian economy closer to the Chinese economy. Wider use of the currency among China’s allies, including in Iran and North Korea, could make it easier to conduct transactions without worrying about sanctions-related issues. dollar.
Ukraine: The two leaders did not disclose any progress towards achieving peace in Ukraine.
Leadership: Both claim to admire each other’s authoritarian rule. Xi even supported Putin for another term.
The artisans who maintain the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem – known to the Jews as the Temple Mount – are struggling to keep up with repairs following clashes. They also prepare for more unrest: The holy month of Ramadan is beginning and Passover is just weeks away, raising fears that the growing number of visitors to the disputed site will increase the likelihood of clashes.
“This takes months to complete, and in just a minute, in one kick, all this hard work will be done,” said a man who works in stained glass.
A record-setting storm
As Southeast Africa begins to recover from Cyclone Freddy, scientists are taking a closer look at whether the storm could be a sign of things to come on a warming planet.
Hurricane Freddy hit three countries, hitting Madagascar and Mozambique twice. When it moved inland last week, heavy rain and landslides devastated Malawi, killing 438 people.
The storm was remarkable for a few reasons. One is longevity. It lasted 36 days, by a measure, and went through rapid boost cycle at least seven times, rapidly weakening and then strengthening. Freddy is currently the longest-lasting tropical storm in Southern Hemisphereand experts from the World Meteorological Organization are working to determine if this is the longest storm in history.
Freddy is also remarkable for its range. The storm moved more than 4,000 miles from the northern coast of Australia to the southeast coast of Africa.
Understanding the link between climate change and individual storms requires complex research, but scientists generally know that global warming is leading to larger, wetter storms. .
“Warmer atmospheres hold more moisture,” said Anne-Claire Fontan, who studies tropical storms at the World Meteorological Organization. “We expect that tropical cyclones will bring more rainfall.” — Lynsey Chutel, a Briefings writer in Johannesburg
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That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. — Amelia
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