Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 |
Share this story
Biden Voices Optimism on Reaching Debt Deal
President Joe Biden on Saturday brushed off statements issued by both sides in the debt and spending talks gripping Washington, dismissing them as little more than the posturing typical of any negotiation and expressing confidence he will be able to strike a deal with Republicans to raise the debt ceiling. Biden’s comments came after a tumultuous day of thrust and parry carried out across the oceans: Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Friday declared a “pause” in the talks, only to send his negotiators back to the table later in the day, but to a session that broke up after only an hour. It remains unclear when negotiators planned to meet again.
Criticizing Biden, Adams Diverges From Democrats
The Democratic Party is following a standard strategy as President Joe Biden seeks reelection: Do not criticize him publicly under any circumstances, lest it help Donald Trump or one of his acolytes take back the White House for Republicans. The one Democrat who appears to have missed the memo is Mayor Eric Adams of New York City. In recent weeks, Adams has publicly blamed Biden or his administration for the influx of migrants to New York from border states, many of them bused there by Republican governors. The recent schism comes as Republicans make Biden’s immigration policy central to their efforts to dislodge him in 2024.
Desert Provides a New Paradise for Hawaiians
Las Vegas is drawing former Hawaii residents who came to visit and decided to stay, convinced that an affordable faux version of the islands is better than an endless struggle to make ends meet in the real thing. For many, the draw is real estate: Houses in the Las Vegas area have a median listing price of about $460,000, compared with about $800,000 in Honolulu. Between 2011 and 2021, the population of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders in Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, grew by about 40%, for a total of nearly 22,000 people.
Why It’s So Hard to Crack Down on Stoned Drivers in New York
Since recreational marijuana was legalized statewide in March 2021, weed now seems ubiquitous on New York City roadways. At smoke shops, customers drive off after blazing up. State law still forbids smoking pot before or while driving, and on paper, the consequences for driving high are similar to drunken-driving charges. But arrests are scant in New York. In explaining the low arrest numbers, New York City police officials noted numerous hurdles in cracking down on driving high: the lack of a Breathalyzer-type device for evaluating blood marijuana levels, the difficulty in proving impairment and legal limitations when apprehending stoned drivers.
Ugly Tale of Migrants Displacing Veterans Makes Waves and Then Dissolves
The story seemed tailor-made for opponents of outsiders: “VETS KICKED OUT FOR MIGRANTS,” blared the front page of The New York Post, one of many outlets that last week carried the tale of homeless military veterans being expelled from their temporary hotel rooms north of New York City so that people coming from the Mexican border could stay there, becoming an instant talking point for local Republicans. Problem was, the story was a sham. A group of homeless men said they had been approached at a homeless shelter in Poughkeepsie, New York, and then wined and dined before being propped up to the news media as ousted veterans.
An Auction of Prosthetics, Mermaids and Creepy Dolls to Benefit Sea Turtles
A prosthetic leg, crusty baby dolls, and even a 3-foot fiberglass mermaid will be up for auction Saturday, along with other curious pieces salvaged from among the more than 500 tons of marine debris that, according to the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve in Port Aransas, Texas, wash up on the beaches of Texas every year. The proceeds will benefit the Amos Rehabilitation Keep, a rehabilitation center for marine turtles and birds in the reserve. The rehabilitation center takes care of about 1,500 animals every year, including 1,000 birds and about 500 sea turtles.
At the G-7 Summit, Zelenskyy Pleads for More Aid
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine landed in Hiroshima, Japan, on Saturday determined to urge the wealthiest democracies in the world to stick with him as Russia bets on the West growing fatigued by the cost and consequences of the war. Zelenskyy, U.S. and British officials say, seems to sense that when he shows up in person, he can both break through U.S. resistance to sending more powerful weapons and pressure nations like India and Brazil that have stayed on the sidelines. Zelenskyy was expected to address the Group of 7 leaders Sunday as part of his continued efforts to marshal more military aid for his country.
Wagner Chief Says Bakhmut Is Captured; Ukraine Rejects Claim
The head of Russia’s Wagner paramilitary group said his mercenaries had captured Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine on Saturday, a claim the Ukrainian military denied. Senior Ukrainian military officials acknowledged that the situation inside the city was “critical.” Nevertheless, they said, the Ukrainian forces were still engaged in combat operations. The Russian Ministry of Defense and the Kremlin released a statement confirming the city had been “liberated,” hours after the declaration by the Wagner chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin, that the fight for the city was over. The commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, said the battle for Bakhmut was not over.
In Flood-Stricken Area of Italy, Many Fear This Won’t Be the Last of It
When floods hit Lugo, Italy, this past week, overflowing a local watercourse and sending water gushing into streets and the surrounding fields, Irinel Lungu, 45, retreated with his wife and toddler to the second floor of their home. Downstairs, the “water was up to my chest,” he said Saturday, adding, “We had nowhere to go.” Italy’s leaders are trying to come to terms with what scientists say is the new normal of climate change, but some lawmakers are asking whether the country missed opportunities to better prepare for the extreme flooding that many saw coming and to protect the country with artificial basins or other solutions.
G-7 Nations Wrangle Over Ambitious Climate Commitments
In theory, the world’s largest industrialized democracies have agreed to stop using fossil fuels within a little over a quarter-century. But as leaders of the Group of 7 gathered in Japan this weekend, some countries were wrangling over whether to loosen commitments to phase out the use of carbon-emitting fuels such as gas and coal in time to avert the worst effects of global warming. The final communiqué from the summit, released Saturday, included language sought by Japan that blesses continued investment in certain types of coal-fired power plants. But leaders only modestly modified language from last year’s meeting that supported some new investment in natural gas infrastructure.
This Year’s G-7 Summit Doubles as a Club for Unloved Leaders
They speak different languages and span the ideological spectrum. But one thing President Joe Biden and the other leaders of the Group of 7 meeting in Japan this weekend have in common? They’re not all that popular at home. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni of Italy fared best with a 49% approval rating, according to Morning Consult, followed by Biden with 42%, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada with 39%, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany with 34%, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain with 33% and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan with 31%. President Emmanuel Macron of France trailed the pack with a dismal 25%.
Jeff Bezos’ New Yacht Is Finally Ready to Set Sail
Just in time for the high season of yachting in the Mediterranean, when multimillion-dollar megayachts descend on ports such as Monte Carlo and St. Tropez, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has been photographed with his partner, Lauren Sánchez, on his new boat, Koru, off the coast of Spain. Bezos’ vessel is a sailing yacht, a departure from the diesel-powered, floating palaces popular with other billionaires. But it is still massive. At 417 feet, Koru is the world’s largest sailing yacht, according to Boat International, and it cost an estimated $500 million to build, Bloomberg reported.
By wire sources
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *