U.S. officials strike a debt-limit deal
President Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached an agreement in principle to lift the debt limit for two years, a breakthrough after a marathon of crisis talks that brought the nation within days of its first default in history.
“It is an important step forward that reduces spending while protecting critical programs for working people and growing the economy for everyone,” Biden said in statement Saturday night.
The accord would suspend the borrowing limit, which is currently $31.4 trillion, long enough to get past the next presidential election. The Treasury projected that it would exhaust its ability to pay its obligations on June 5. Economists and Wall Street analysts warned that a default would be devastating and could potentially lead to a global economic meltdown.
Details: Domestic spending would be capped, though not as much as Republicans wanted. Defense, Social Security, Medicare and veterans’ programs would be shielded from cuts.
Erdogan is re-elected
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had been facing the greatest political challenge of his 20 years in power, won re-election yesterday. Erdogan captured 52.1 percent of the vote, compared with 47.9 percent for his challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, according to the state news agency Anadolu.
Erdogan addressed his supporters from atop a white bus outside his home in Istanbul, thanking them for giving him another five years in office and for supporting him in a runoff election that delayed his victory by two weeks.
“We will be together until the grave,” he said.
In a televised speech, Kilicdaroglu didn’t contest the results but said the election, in which Erdogan leveraged his state power, had been unfair.
View from abroad: The results were closely watched by NATO allies, including the U.S., whose relations with Erdogan have been strained as he has stalled Finland’s membership into the alliance and refused to endorse Sweden’s inclusion.
Covid cases rise in China
Health authorities in China have reported a rise in Covid cases since April, especially from newer subvariants that are spreading across the world. One prominent doctor estimated that by late June as many as 65 million people a week could become infected across the country.
Those numbers could have prompted a repeat of the “zero Covid” policy that was abruptly reversed in December. But officials across China appear to be trying to prepare the population for an increase in infections without reintroducing the heavy controls.
Context: Since abandoning its tight restrictions on domestic travel, the government has shifted toward reviving growth and job creation. The jobless rate among the youth, which is at its highest level in years, may be more politically pressing than rising Covid numbers.
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Eight years ago, Ryyan Alshebl, a Syrian refugee, crossed the Mediterranean Sea by dinghy and trekked the continent on foot, eventually seeking asylum in Germany.
Now he is the mayor of Ostelsheim, a small, conservative village in southwestern Germany. The story of how the town chose a refugee as its mayor holds clues for a nation wrestling with its multicultural identity.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Your songs of home
We recently asked readers to share songs that evoke a memory of a home. Thank you to everyone who responded. Here are a few of your favorites, shared by multiple readers:
Delhi residents pointed to the soundtrack of the film “Delhi-6,” which came out in 2009. Many recommended “Dil Gira Dafatan.” “This song captures the quick surrender of one’s heart to one’s beloved — and of mine to Delhi,” wrote Kritika Rawat, who is 28 and lives in Bangalore.
People who grew up or had lived in the Philippines celebrated “Manila” by Hotdog. Jay, who is 48 and now lives in Singapore, said the song “captures both the spirit of the city at its height of optimism and the sense of wistfulness that the millions of expatriate Filipinos feel.”
Many readers recommended Peter Allen’s “I Still Call Australia Home.” The reason is simple, said Sue Irie, 56, who lives in Kashiwa, Japan: “Because even though I’ve lived overseas longer than I lived in Australia, Australia is still home.”
We hope you enjoy this playlist. Maybe you’ll take it with you on a long walk, letting the sounds of elsewhere wash over you.