Deadline looming, Biden and McCarthy narrow in on budget deal to lift debt ceiling
WASHINGTON (AP) — Days from a deadline, President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are narrowing in on a two-year budget deal that could unlock a vote for lifting the nation’s debt ceiling. They are racing for agreement this weekend. As soon as June 1, Treasury says it could run short of funds to pay the bills. A federal default on the nation's debt would send the economy into chaos. The budget flow isn’t the only hang-up. One thorny issue is a Republican demand opposed by Democrats for stiffer work requirements on people who receive government aid. Any compromise needs support from both Democrats and Republicans to pass in Congress.
Threat of US credit downgrade looms over debt ceiling talks
WASHINGTON (AP) — With one of three major rating agencies warning that America’s AAA credit is at risk, the stakes are growing in the standoff in Washington over raising the nation’s debt limit. The rating agency Fitch has put the nation’s credit on “Rating Watch Negative,” which amounts to a warning that it might downgrade the U.S. credit as a result of the impasse. The government reached the $31.4 trillion debt limit in January, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has resorted to “extraordinary measures’’ since then to keep paying the bills. But Yellen has warned that Treasury will likely run out of money to meet all its obligations as soon as June 1, which is being described as the “X-date.”
Debt default 'X-date' calculations aim to figure out when the US may run short of cash
WASHINGTON (AP) — For all the concern over when the government might run out of money to cover all its bills, it turns out that no one can be absolutely sure exactly when the country faces a potential default — the dreaded “X-date.” Calculating when the country is going to run short of cash requires monitoring major fluctuations in cash flowing into and out of the Treasury and factoring in the timing and size of big payments coming due, among other factors. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned Congress that the government could default as early as June 1. But amid all the squabbling over the debt, the X-date itself has become a subject of political rancor.
Nvidia stuns markets and signals how artificial intelligence could reshape technology sector
WASHINGTON (AP) — Shares of Nvidia, already one of the world’s most valuable companies, have soared after the chipmaker forecast a huge jump in revenue. It's an indication of how vastly the broadening use of artificial intelligence could reshape the tech sector. The California company is close to joining the exclusive club of $1 trillion companies after shares jumped 24% Thursday. Late Wednesday, Nvidia reported a quarterly profit of more than $2 billion and revenue of $7 billion, both exceeding Wall Street expectations. Yet its projections for sales of $11 billion this quarter is what caught Wall Street off guard. It’s a 64% jump from last year during the same period, and well above the $7.2 billion industry analysts were forecasting.
California unlikely to run short of electricity this summer thanks to storms, new power sources
RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — California regulators say the state is unlikely to run short of electricity this summer, thanks to new power sources and a wet winter that filled reservoirs to restart hydroelectric power plants shuttered during the drought. Officials say more than 8,000 megawatts of new wind, solar and battery power will come online by September. One megawatt of electricity is enough to power about 750 homes. California normally has more than enough electricity to power the homes and businesses of its more than 39 million people. But the electrical grid has trouble when it gets really hot and everyone turns on their air conditioners at the same time. California ran short of power in 2020. That caused brief blackouts for hundreds of thousands of households.
Companies are finding it's not so simple to leave Russia. Some are quietly staying put
When Russia invaded Ukraine, companies were quick to respond, some announcing they would get out of Russia immediately. Others vowed to curtail sales and new investment. Billions of dollars' worth of factories, energy holdings and power plants were written off or put up for sale. More than a year later, it’s clear: Leaving Russia isn't as easy as the first announcements might have made it seem. Increasingly, Russia has put hurdles in the way of companies that want out, requiring approval by a government commission and in some cases from President Vladimir Putin himself, while imposing painful discounts and taxes on sale prices. They also risk running afoul of Western sanctions and public opinion.
Which companies are leaving Russia and which are staying? Here's a look
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — More than 500 companies have suspended their business in Russia, and a similar number have withdrawn completely. A database kept by Yale University shows an additional 151 are “scaling back,” 175 are “buying time” and 230 are “digging in.” Chinese companies figure prominently in the last category. Volkswagen closed a long-delayed deal to sell its Russian business on Friday but still faces a contractor's lawsuit. Burger King and Carl’s Jr. are both still open in Moscow. An executive at Burger King's parent company has told employees that franchise agreements made it impossible to force the local operator to shut down while the company tries to sell its share in the joint Russia venture.
Expect big crowds for the summer travel season -- and big prices, too
The unofficial start of the summer travel season is here, with airlines hoping to avoid the chaos of last year and travelers scrounging for ways to save a few bucks on pricey airfares and hotel rooms. Some travelers say they will settle for fewer trips than they hoped to take, or they will drive instead of fly. Others are finding different money-saving sacrifices. AAA predicts that 37 million Americans will drive at least 50 miles from home this weekend, an increase of more than 2 million from Memorial Day last year but still below pre-pandemic numbers in 2019. The Transportation Security Administration expects to screen 10 million travelers between Friday and Monday, a 14% increase over the holiday in 2022 and slightly more than in 2019.
Twitter's launch of DeSantis' presidential bid underscores platform's rightward shift under Musk
NEW YORK (AP) — While shaky and skewered by critics, Twitter’s forum for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to announce his presidential run nevertheless underscored the platform’s unmistakable shift to the right under new owner Elon Musk. He has promoted the platform as a haven for free expression, but it has been flooded with extremist views and hate speech since he bought it. That is raising alarms that Twitter will become an open forum for conspiracy theories, fake content and election misinformation as the country heads toward the 2024 presidential election. Though Democrats wince at the direction Musk has taken Twitter, most are staying put, saying they don't want to cede such an important space.
Elon Musk wants to build a digital town square. But his debut for DeSantis had a tech failure.
Elon Musk wants to turn Twitter into a “digital town square,” but his much-publicized Twitter Spaces kickoff event, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announcing his run for president, struggled with technical glitches and a near half-hour delay Wednesday. The billionaire Twitter owner said the problems were due to “straining” servers because so many people were trying to listen to the audio-only event. But even at their highest, the number of listeners listed topped out at around 420,000, far from the millions of viewers that televised presidential announcements attract.
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